fun vs. madness

As this rant begins, please understand that I like to have fun. I like to dress up. I’ve bought my share of Disney costumes because “nothing else” would do.

We’ve handled Hallowe’en different ways. We’ve just gone to a “holy” Hallowe’en party at a church (aka “Harvest Party” or “Trick or Trunk” which takes the holiday and plasters it with Bible characters.) We’ve been at a friend’s house. We’ve walked our kids around the neighborhood and socialized with friends… and we’ve gone away for the weekend. I’ve sewn elaborate costumes, and created simple ones. This year I have done nothing to help the girls with their costumes… they both had their own ideas. One is dressed as “Polly” from “An Acceptable Time” and the other one is “A Paradise Lost” (A pair of dice- lost). I am going to be “Miss Understood”. Tiara, scepter and regal banner across my chest.

It was the article in the Washington Post yesterday on the highly hyped and sexied-up costumes for our girls that first got my thoughts whirling. Though I don’t know what took so long to get people’s attention, because I have been distressed by some of this “tarting up” of Hallowe’en (not my favorite holiday, anyway.)

I wonder why we feel the need to give in to these whims of our kids, especially our girls. Why we let them bare their bellies or wear fishnets and high heels. Yes, it is only make-believe. Yes, they can pretend. But do you really REALLY want your 10 year old to be dressed up as a “french maid”? Or as some kind of “fairy-licious” creature who is showing more skin than they do in a bathing suit? Why is it that boys don’t seem to feel the need to accentuate their various body parts?? Google “pre-teen Halloween” and see what I mean…

There is a line between being a prude, being creative, and being exploitative. I don’t know as I have figured that one out yet. But there’s one thing I do hope becomes clear…

I hope parents will finally realize that most of the costumes out there are market-driven, product placement cheap “made-in-prison-factories” outfits. They are not creative. They are not fun. They sell movies. They capitalize on games. This is all OK, I guess, as long as you can see yourself as a market-driven pawn.

I really dislike it. (That summation was in case I wasn’t clear…)



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