Several weeks ago, my husband and I were discussing what our daughter should be for Halloween. We tossed around a bunch of ideas and got excited about her being a doctor. We wanted to find a white lab coat rather than scrubs since we thought the white coat would be more practical if Trick o’ Treat Night was cold. (BTW: It’s a Midstate Pennsylvania thing to Trick o’ Treat before Halloween. Most of the townships in our country Trick o’ Treated last night. As someone who grew up in the NY Metropolitan Area, I really don’t understand why they feel the need to Trick o’ Treat early. However, if I want my daughter to participate in the festivities, I have to go with the flow, so-to-speak.)
I searched online for a doctor costume for Isabelle, but came up empty-handed since the costumes were in 2T sizes and up. (She wears an 18 month size.) Therefore, I took to the stores. Imagine my horror when the only doctor costume I could find was in the boys’ section. (It was also too big!) Really? Since when are doctors only male? When I think about the doctors I have, they’re an even mix of men and women. What kind of message are girls supposed to receive when the find a doctor costume only gets sold in the boys’ section.
I was unable to find a white lab coat in Isabelle’s size so I gave up on having her dress up as a doctor. Instead I headed to Carter’s and purchased her a ladybug costume. It was reasonably priced, warm, cute, and in her size. However, there was a piece of me that was upset I couldn’t dress her up how we originally intended.
Peggy Orenstein tweeted two interesting links in the past two days. One was to two licensed Cookie Monster outfits. If you click on this link, then you’ll see a boys’ Cookie Monster outfit that looks a lot like the furry monster we see on TV. The girls’ costume is a too-short dress with cookies on it. It also comes with a Cookie Monster tiara. Personally, I would never put my daughter in a Cookie Monster dress if she wanted to be Cookie Monster for Halloween. That’s a complete disconnect.
The second link Peggy Orenstein tweeted was to a slide show of Girls’ Halloween Costumes: Then and Now. It left me aghast! I know costumes have evolved through the years, but I didn’t realize how overly sexual little girls’ costumes have become! It makes me cringe to think this is what I’ll be up against as my little lady bug gets older.
How are we supposed to guide our girls to make age-appropriate choices for Halloween when they’re faced with party shops that make fun costumes for boys and slutty costumes for girls. (And don’t even get me started on the princess costumes!) It makes me I am going to have to work hard to make my daughter realize it’s okay to wear the “boys” costumes (or get really creative / learn to sew)! Why does Halloween, a time that used to just be about dressing up in a simple costume and getting candy, have to be so complicated?