Tonight, the scariest costume you see might be covering a pre-teen girl. Well, partially covering would be more like it.
Sexy Halloween costumes have long been a staple for young women, but the market is so saturated with trampy fare this year that the New York Times, USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle have all done stories on the trend. Turning heads this year is not just the volume of skimpy outfits, but the age range.
“We have a French maid costume for a toddler,” said a Halloween Headquarters store manager in Santa Cruz, Calif.
She wasn’t kidding. You can get French maid costumes for girls ages 14 to four. Yes, four.
Or if the schoolboys aren’t into French maids, your little sweetheart can go with Little Red Riding Hood.
There are plenty of non-sexy girls costumes. Here‘s a non-sexy Little Red Riding Hood. But consider for a moment that these outfits designed to sexualize children are being made for one reason. They sell, now more than ever.
USA Today reported that Internet searches for “sexy Halloween costume” are up 400 percent over last year.
The leftist reaction would be to instantly blame corporate America or commercialism or our patriarchal culture. But this objectification of little girls, not to mention women, came after the sexual revolution. No one is forcing women and teen girls to buy these outfits for themselves or their daughters.
“Decades after the second wave of the women’s movement, you would expect more of a gender-neutral range of costumes,” Adie Nelson, the author of “The Pink Dragon Is Female: Halloween Costumes and Gender Markers,” a Halloween costume analysis published in the Psychology of Women Quarterly in 2000, told the New York Times.
Well, actually, that’s exactly the opposite of what one would expect, though it is precisely what a feminist intellectual would expect. The old “I am woman, hear me roar” feminism presumes that all else being equal, women and girls will gravitate toward the same things men and boys do. Applied to Halloween costumes, it holds that we’d see a roughly even distribution of astronauts, fire fighters, police officers, construction workers, etc. between the sexes.
But boys forced to play with Barbie dolls will pretend Barbie is a gun or a hand grenade. And girls like to play princess and dream of being rescued by handsome princes. Instead of making girls into boys with breasts, women’s lib allowed women to pursue womanly desires without the social restrictions that had previously been placed upon them. And so it should be no surprise that on Halloween, when everyone gets to enjoy a temporary fantasy by playing dress up for a night, liberated women don fare that draws the male eye. Call it, “I am woman, hear me purr” feminism.
The desire to attract the attention of the opposite sex is nothing new. What’s new is that it’s become OK to do that by dressing not like a princess, but like a prostitute. Literally. According to the National Retail Federation, one of this year’s best-selling costumes is a “woman of the night,” USA Today reported.
Whereas there was a time when fathers would never let their daughters out of the house in anything remotely revealing, mothers are now buying French maid costumes for their toddlers, turning their pre-pubescent angels into little sex objects.
It is one thing for your average college Halloween party to be filled with sexy devils and nurses. But when it has become acceptable for girls below the age of consent to draw attention to themselves by sexually arousing males, something has gone awry. If we cannot distinguish between young, single women trying to attract a mate and little girls being sexually objectified, then the culture needs a corrective whap on the head.