Another Halloween has passed. While I despise the dark significance of this day, I always enjoyed making (or borrowing) unique costumes for my daughters. It’s been awhile since my inner creative seamstress has emerged, but I relish looking back on photos like the one above, circa 1992. Pippi Longstocking, Bumble Bee and Equestrienne were about 10, 5 and 9 respectively.
A few days ago, my Christian college-aged friend Julianne lamented on her Facebook Page: “okay, costumes just get sluttier and sluttier. . .”
Apparently she was invited to a Halloween party. Because most college students don’t have the time (or know-how) to sew an alter-ego, Julianne may have gone shopping for a whimsical—possibly prize-winning—outfit, and observed that the selection for young women was predominantly akin to hooker-wear. She’s right. . . and she’s not buying.
Ironically a group of Ohio University students has begun a campaign against what they consider “racist” children’s Halloween costumes such as an Indian Princess, a Mexican Mariachi Band member, a China doll, an Italian gangster and more. But they did not mention popular costumes such as the busty German barmaid or the provocative French housemaid. So titillating caricatures of western European women are not racist (or sexist) stereotypes? Does sex trump racist inferences? Apparently lust is above criticism.
Real racism is despicable, but its definition is sometimes distorted by folks who tend toward extremes of political correctness. Personally I think Halloween’s increasingly blatant sensuality is more damaging to our daughters’ collective moral fiber than allegations of racism over a baggy Indian Princess costume. That costume will likely be worn once and then outgrown. But provocative Halloween costumes reinforce the false notion promoted by the vampy clothing sold everyday in mainstream stores: that a girl’s worth is directly proportional to her sexual charms.
An article in last year’s New York Post decried the racy costumes pitched to girls under age 10.
Sadly this degrading trend continued in 2011. Immodesty never takes a day off . . . neither should our efforts to uphold virtue.
I’ll always favor classy homemade costumes as the best kind. And I’m grateful that at least one of my daughters has carried on the creative tradition. Can you guess who is inside the fuzzy mare?