Are “Sexy” Halloween Costumes Too Prevalent?

While many parents dread the sugar high that befalls their children around Halloween, over 60 percent of parents polled in a non-scientific survey felt that too many young girls were choosing sexy costumes for the October holiday.

Jennifer Diamond, one of the surveyed parents absolutely refused to consider letting her children dress up in such a costume for fear of teaching the wrong lesson. Diamond, the mother of a 12-year old girl, felt that self-respect should be taught to children at all times. Diamond wants her daughter Sarah to know her self-worth goes beyond looks. Maryland resident Lisa Sanders, another respondent, mentioned that she purchased a bumble bee costume for Addy, her first-grader daughter, that was several sizes too big. Her reasoning for doing so was so Addy could wear it without coming off as inappropriately dressed.

A brief scan for girls Halloween costumes reveals a variety of short-skirted versions of otherwise inoffensive creatures like clowns, wolves and police. Furthermore, many of the results are fabricated with little materials, as well as spaghetti straps or low-cut tops.

Dr. Deborah Gilboa, an expert in child development, believes that while parents should feel justified in their disdain for “sexy” costumes, they are also the final arbiters on what rules their children should abide by when it comes to their children’s Halloween clothing. She adds that it is perfectly appropriate to step in when a child of age 15 or less wants to dress like an adult and advises parents to explain such disparities as adult versions of the costume.

Gilboa gives the example of a bunny costume, explaining that a “sexy” bunny costume is supposed to be what a woman dressed like a bunny would resemble. Gilboa then suggests to mention such a line to their children; parents can tell their kids to pick whatever costume they want, so long as it is not the version of a costume that might be worn by an adult. Gilboa concludes her advice by saying that such an explanation should be perfectly sufficient when it comes to laying down the law with elementary school students. She then goes on to caution that things can get a lot more contentious and require more intricate discussion when handling the matter with daughters who have reached middle school or high school; those latter years are the times when daughters will feel pressured to come across as more adult.

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