Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Look how far we've come

As a kid, I hated dressing up on Halloween.

I never like to be told what to do, and I think the idea that we HAD to dress up on Halloween always bothered me. Especially as a kid when not admitting you didn’t want to dress up would have made you almost as popular as you would have been if you had asked for more homework.

Some of my dislike with dressing up on Halloween stemmed from my dislike of dressing up like a girl, whether it was for school pictures, for holidays, and—worst of all—for tea parties. I completely loathed being forced to wear a dress and jewelry and makeup—YUK!—when I was young. To me, there was nothing worse. And to express my disgust, I even went so far as to wear jeans under the plaid Pilgrim dress my mother made my sister and I wear one Thanksgiving.

Then a funny thing happened . . .

. . . I grew up.

And I fell in love with dressing up.

Dresses, heels, make-up? Love them. And I’ve got the overstuffed closet to prove them.

But I always wonder, if I love it so much now, why did I hate dressing up so much when I was a kid?

Like I said, I think part of it was a control issue. I always hated doing things I was told I HAD to do or HAD to want to do.

But another part of it was about gender. I didn’t want to wear dresses because that would make me a girl, and when I was growing up, it was still acceptable to teach kids that boys were smarter, boys were faster, boys were better. So, of course, I was the quintessential tomboy—wanting to be as boyish as I could.

I suppose that changed when I grew up and realized how ridiculous it was to think boys are better than girls. And, thankfully, around the same time I learned to like my body a little bit (it would be years before I would fully accept it), making me want to wear more feminine attire.

Since then I’ve been all in favor of wearing clothes that make you feel womanly and even hot.

But what I still don’t get is the desire to dress like a prostitute on Halloween. Sure, I like to look and feel sexy, but I respect myself too much to wear a skirt that barely covers my southern hemisphere or a neckline that plunges to my equator.

But I must be the only one who feels that way because everywhere I looked on Sunday night, I saw young women—even girls!—dressed in “slutty” costumes. As another blogger pointed out, the female trick-or-treaters were dominated by sexy schoolgirls, dirty nurses, “Captain Booty Pirates,” "Sexy Scotty" (pictured above), and the “Playboy Touchdown Team.”


When did Halloween turn into a parade of tarts-in-training?

Yes, I grew up in an era of boy power, but I’m not sure I like the other side of the coin—girls empowering themselves to fulfill male fantasies—and I worry that growing up this way will make our young girls even more obsessed with body image thany they were.

Kind of makes me want to be a tomboy again.


  1. I completely agree with you! I hate seeing all of these slutty costumes. I feel like I'm in the minority when I want to dress up as something gruesome or scary. When did Halloween costumes for women and GIRLS turn into this? It makes me scared for my daughters sake when she grows up. She is only 10 months old now, but the way beauty is perceived these days is to be as slutty as you can. I sure hope that I give her the confidence to realize she is beautiful without having to show skin. Sorry if I got off topic a little. I love your blog!!!!

  2. Thanks, Mommyof_2! I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by the current trends in Halloween costumes. One of the things I haven't yet talked about is how girls are taught to dress like women these days and how sad that is. But I think that trend also contributes to the Halloween costumes and the Miley-i-zation of our kids.