I try not to preach a lot, especially about parenting.
For one thing, I’m not qualified. For another, no one is. But sometimes something gets under my skin so deeply that I can’t let it go, and as my son’s third Halloween approaches – the first where he actively chose his own costume – I have to speak up.
Halloween has become an incredibly sexist holiday. TOWARDS BOYS.
Everyone is always talking about the way Halloween costumes are marketed towards girls, and they’re right. The focus of most female-centric costumes – seemingly no matter their age – is “sexiness.” It’s as if fraternity guys have gotten control of Halloween and turned it into one big off-campus party that only half-naked girls can attend. Not only are there the typical “Sexy Nurse” and “Sexy Cop” and “Sexy Librarian”, the industry has inexplicably expanded to include sexy foods and sexy Sesame Street characters. As evidenced by the photo to the right, they’re even selling sexy costumes to preschool girls. Sorry, “naughty” costumes.
As idiotic as that is – and as the parent of a frequently misbehaving three-year-old, I don’t think encouraging toddlers to be naughty, in any sense of the word, is a great idea – it’s not what really gets my (naughty) goat. It’s the double-standard.
Because you know who they’re not selling sexy costumes to? BOYS.
I drove my son all over town looking for a sexy (male) pirate or a sexy (male) superhero or a sexy (male) librarian, and NOTHING. It’s like the people who sell Halloween don’t think men can pull it off. It ain’t no thing to make women look sexy. They are clearly the more attractive sex. Regardless of which gender floats your boat, from a purely architectural standpoint it’s impossible to deny that fact. Which makes creating a costume that showcases their inherent physical beauty a remedial task.
If the Halloween fashion moguls out there want a real challenge, they should try turning an unsightly lump of flesh like my friend Tim into something attractive! (In my case, I don’t need my sexiness amplified. Mom and Buried and I don’t need to wear flimsy outfits to light the neighborhood on fire, we’re already doing it just by being ourselves. I mean, do you see the picture to the left? CASE CLOSED.)
I want my son to be able to dress however he wants on Halloween, and that includes dressing as something sexy, should he decide to go that route. Because equality isn’t about taking away choices, it’s about letting everyone have the exact same choices. We need to stop limiting women to nothing but puerile sexy/naughty get-ups and start giving men the opportunity to go that route!
If I had a little girl, she’d be vamping it up all over my neighborhood in her scandalous little “sexy Chewbacca” outfit. Meanwhile, I’m forced to break my son’s precious heart by telling him he can’t dress up as a sexy train conductor this year. All because they don’t sell that kind of thing to boys.
The sexism of Halloween is Nutrageous! Sorry, I got into my son’s candy. The sexism is outrageous!