As a father of two young daughters—including one who is right in the tween demographic—I was appalled to read about this alarming trend.
Here is a brief overview of some of the questionable costumes aimed at young girls:
Cop Cutie: A form-fitting mini-dress, with high-heeled leather boots and a pair of handcuffs to provocatively swing around. (It doesn’t matter that real female police officers wear khaki pants and button-up dress shirts.)
Major Flirt: Once again, high-heeled leather boots make an appearance in this military-themed costume for girls. It’s actually a toss-up to figure out what is more offensive: The name of the outfit or the costume itself.
Purrty Kitty: If you want your tween-age girl to look like she’s headed out for a night at the Playboy Mansion, then this is the costume for you. (And don’t worry about calling the grammar police on the spelling of this name, because they will apparently show up in a tight leather mini-skirt).
Fallen Angel: Because young girls everywhere should be wearing fishnet stockings.
Midnight Mischief: “She’s up to no good!” reads the costume’s official website. You can dress your child in a spidery seductress costume that makes her look like a naughty witch. According to the site, this is for girls ages three and up—because there are choking hazards with the costume. (That’s terrible news for anyone hoping to dress their 18-month-old daughter up like Elvira this Halloween.)
I’m aware that costumes like these are on the market. We’ve all seen the Sexy Nurse costumes around this time of year—even though a more realistic portrayal would feature them wearing bland green scrubs. However, those types of skimpy costumes should be reserved for college campuses and adult-themed parties.
My anger is rooted in the very idea that these costumes are being aimed at young girls and hyper-sexualizing them at this age. What’s even more disturbing is that not only are these costumes available for young girls—they are selling extremely well.
On the Spirit Halloween website, Purrty Kitty is sold out in all three children’s sizes—which means girls as young as six will be parading themselves around in that type of costume this year. No matter what type of backlash there may be on social media, if these types of skimpy outfits are selling well in the tween demographic, there is no way to halt production.
Read more: 7 DIY Halloween costumes for kids>
It’s also worth noting that if a young boy wants to dress up as a firefighter, it doesn’t include a skimpy costume that leaves him bare-chested with only suspenders. We don’t dress our young boys like quasi-strippers and give their firefighter costume names like Hot Stuff, so why do we do this for our young girls?
The lede of the Daily News article pinned this topic perfectly: “Are your kids dressing up to trick-or-treat or to turn tricks?”
If you have young daughters at home, this is definitely a question you should ponder this Halloween.
Follow along as Ottawa-based sports radio host Ian Mendes gets candid about raising daughters, Elissa and Lily, with his wife, Sonia. Read all of Ian’s The Good Sport posts and follow him on Twitter @ian_mendes.