This dad went shopping with his two daughters for a Halloween costume. At the super store they found a “boys career” section with doctor, fireman and astronaut costumes. What was in the girls “career” section? Trick question. No such section. But there were two fairy sections: regular and “Flutter Fairy.” Seriously.
Every year about this time we get hit over the head with the sexualized and stereotyped costumes, for both boys and girls. Have you seen the ridiculously muscled superhero costumes for boys? What kind of effect will that have on boys’ body image, do you suppose?
One solution: Make it yourself.
Here’s Dr. Jennifer Shewmaker on why sexy costumes are bad for girls:
At the high school party I mentioned above, there were young girls wearing very abbreviated Hooters girl costumes that I cannot even believe they were able to get into. These girls were wearing fewer clothes than the model in the “sexy” costume pictured above. Others were dressed as “Dallas Cowboys” wearing a sheer jersey with only a bra and panties underneath.
These girls are taking cues from our pornified culture that tells them that to present themselves as sexual objects gives them power. They dress, move, and act like women they’ve seen in sexy movies.
But these are real life girls who will be sitting next to these boys in the classroom tomorrow. These are girls who will be taking tests, writing papers, answering academic questions tomorrow. These are girls who know these boys, it’s not a fantasy or a daydream.
These are girls who have bought into the belief that their social power comes from their sex appeal. They have bought into the belief that to make themselves into the object of male desire is a fun and exciting thing. But what they, and many women and girls, don’t know is that when this idea becomes a reality, it is far from empowering.
Some advice from the Mediatrician for a parent whose tween daughter want to be a sexy vampire:
You can respond by talking with her seriously: What is it about this costume that she likes? Does she realize how people will respond to her in it, and if so, is that what she’s looking for? Be frank: Is she ready to be sexually objectified? Will she be uncomfortable in this costume in front of her peers, older teens, or even people her dad’s age?