Thursday, September 18, 2014

The trouble with Girls' Halloween costumes...

Now that it is Fall season, my next project is getting Maya's Halloween costume ordered and delivered (Yes, I do everything ahead of time!). Even though Maya is only 2, because of her height, she is fitting into size 4 girls' clothes right now. Hence, the problem....

Halloween costumes for kids usually fit into three categories - infant (under 18 months), toddler (18 months to 3 years), and girls size (4 years +). I was appalled at the Halloween costume selection for little girls. It was all either extremely sexualized or princesses!!!!

What ever happened to kids just being kids? 

And don't get me started on the selection for adult women - it is all "sexy policewoman" and "sexy teacher", as if we are all strippers for hire! Because clearly, our main goal in life should be "sexy"...gimme a break!!! Although I knew adult women costumes were like this, I was shocked to see that it starts from the little girls' costumes as well. It is really gross.

My main concern is that she should be fully covered because the weather is going to be very cold and we will be going trick or treating, door to door. So I want her in a warm costume, so she won't catch a cold. And I don't want a bulky jacket to cover her costume.

Evidently, even characters like Minnie Mouse have the shortest skirts. And I don't even know any of the other characters because we don't watch the Disney channel. And I'm really not big on princess culture because I don't like the sense of royal entitlement or the fact that the main goals of these princesses in the stories is to keep a man. It just rubs me the wrong way. Maybe Cinderella doesn't want or need to be rescued! (DUH!!)

The rest of the selection looks very pageant-y. I can't stand it!!! The boys' selection however, has so many animal costumes. Why can't they have animal costumes for girls too? Why are neutral animal costumes considered to be only for boys? Why can't a girl be a dinosaur or a lion? I don't want my daughter to have to choose between a princess costume or a sexualized pageant costume!!!

Growing up, Halloween was a special holiday for me. My grandparents lived at the University Lands and there were tons of kids in the area. Since my parents worked in Fashion, they always made my costumes. I was a cat, a tomato, an angel, a bunny, and my favorite was a wicked witch. I loved the magical witches from Hocus Pocus and Roald Dahl's The Witches. Back in the day, I don't remember the selection of girls' costumes to be so god-awful. None of my friends growing up wore stuff like that, nor were things like that sold in stores. Looks like I may have to make her costume or get it made, in upcoming years, which means even more preparation!

(Me circa 1990, angel costume)

Luckily, after days of searching, I was able to find two possible costumes online - a lion or a ladybug - which were age appropriate and weather appropriate. And Maya picked the lion costume!

Stay tuned....!



  1. Yep, it is princess everything or Barbie in India, drives me nut. Fortunately, the latest Disney Princesses are not rescued or wanting to be rescued by Prince Charming, so there is hope.
    You are better off making your own costume it seems.

    1. I may use Pinterest next year :) it will probably come up totally messed up, but at least it would be better than what`s offered! LOL

  2. Hypersexualization of girls starts so young these days. Looks like women exist only for one thing - please men sexual predatory nature!

  3. @Alexandra

    You looked absolutely adorable in angel costume. I think nobody wants to be an angel these days. Unfortunately, this oversexulization has spread world over from bollywood to the streets. A few years ago an obnoxious fashion was prevalent in India. It was called the "low waist jeans" both for men and women. The jeans barely cling to the waist of the wearer and you could the under garments once the wearer bent down or sat. It is highly unbearable to look at the backside of a grow up person. This was combined with shirt which never reached the waist. The midriff and way beyond was clearly visible. What was funny was that the wearer made a constant attempt to pull his/her clothes, as if that could make a difference. I thought that under garments were called undergarments for obvious reasons, then I may be wrong. Thankfully, this fashion is no longer in vogue these days.

    Then, started the fashion of showing bra straps of different colours jutting out of clothes, outfits which are flimsy and loose, which left nothing to the imagination. I don't want to offend you but I sometimes I felt ashamed seeing these things. I mean where you draw the line. Do these people do not see themselves in mirror before venturing out?? Is it peer pressure which makes them do this?? If someone points out this, he/she is called conservative, misogynist etc. I tried to stretch my definition of decency but could not wrap my head around it. Is there something wrong with the way I as an Indian sees these things or some people have totally misinterpreted modern culture. If anything is vulgar it remains vulgar isn't it??

    Since you felt something wrong with the costumes, I did feel we are on the same page on this.

    1. I am a feminist but I am more conservative in my dress, just because that is how I feel more comfortable. If you show too much, people will leer, and I hate that. So I prefer to show very little. I also love intricate fabrics, so clothing is more of a fun personal expression thing for me. In the West, people work out like crazy just so they have `good legs`and ``good butts`` by societies standards, and then they wear things that show these body parts off. But for me as a woman, people will objectify no matter what, so I prefer to take the safe route. Well, except if you're swimming of course! Then there is no option.
      I think it is a bit vulgar, whether I see a man or a woman half naked, I still say ``gross``!

    2. So agree...Sometimes some things are covered with the feminism theory. But what people miss out is that putting things out there or just to do things that you might not do without shots of vodka doesnt make you a feminist may be a rebel but not a feminist. And though we seem to have convinced ourselves that the short skirts and fish net stockings are for our own feel good factor,somewhere at the back of our brains we do understand that we do it due to the peer pressure or expectations of the society which we come to have accepted without questioning. As for the objectifying women,like my mom says, drape a saree on a stick and they will still objectify. :p never understand with the saree though, the bare back and midriffs are ok but not wearing a skirt that shows of ur legs. Never understood the logic. As i commented once on boiling woks post some kind of "foot fetish" eh :P

    3. And all the women superheros are overtly sexualized too arent they wonder women,cat woman

  4. You might want to check out A Mighty Girl for some costumes that aren't princess-y or sexy. They have some cute stuff!

  5. I went as superman for halloween when I was 6, complete with muscle padding and all.

  6. Yay to the cute lioness!! I agree that this princess trend is really over-the-top! I've seen many little girls completely reject it and going as Darth Vader or Spider...person!!

  7. I agree with what you're saying. I actually like fairy tales, princesses and all that... But I also like video games, super heroes and other things people consider "masculine". But the whole problem is categorizing them into feminine and masculine in the first place. I also don't think every girl "should" like princesses and fairy tales and glitter. Just like every boy shouldn't have like toy guns and pirates.

    And costumes are indeed getting shorter and less relevant. If you WANT to dress like Alice, her dress went below her knees. It's obnoxious that children's costumes are becoming "sexy".

    And by the way, your daughter is adorable always! She will look super cute as a lion.

    1. Exactly. The problem is that the choices are "gendered" when they really should be "neutral". Especially animal costumes which are naturally neutral anyway.

  8. For kiddies, I wouldn't put those outfits but for me why not :P


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