Writer’s Block: A little more fabric please

Halloween is a little more than a week away and the excitement is mounting.

Kelly Johnson
Kelly Johnson

The kids have scoured the costume selections online and picked their character of choice.

Purchasing and selecting costumes this year was relatively easy compared with other years when they insisted on a trip to each store to view the costumes with their own eyes and compare their options.

Every year I suggest some homemade costume options, which are usually rejected in favor of the store-bought choices.

Next year, however, I might push a little harder to get the kids – or more specifically, my daughter – to opt for a Halloween costume of the homemade variety.

Why my daughter’s costume and not my son’s, you might be wondering.

The answer comes down to fabric or the lack thereof when it comes to Halloween costumes for girls.

As most parents do, I buy Halloween costumes a size larger than my children are to allow for an extra layer or two of clothing underneath to keep them warm while trick or treating.

Well, that means my daughter will be moving into the “tween” sized costumes next year. And that is the problem.

Our online costume search had us checking out the tween costumes as well as the costumes for younger girls. The results were less than impressive.

The vast majority of them featured short skirts and sexy pictures showing the costume modeled by a “tween.”

Her costume this year is aimed for younger girls, with her size being the largest available.

It features a jacket/dress and boot covers. The model on the package is certainly not a young girl as this costume is aimed for.

I am not pleased with the depiction but agreed to the costume because rather than wearing it as dress, as suggested in the picture, she will be wearing it as a jacket with jeans underneath.

Halloween dress costumes have always been a pet peeve of mind given the weather in Minnesota when youngsters go trick or treating.

When my daughter was in her princess phase, we constantly battled wearing pants underneath her dress when she went through the neighborhood.

“But Mom, Cinderella doesn’t wear pants under her dress. She wears tights.”

Thankfully after one especially cold trip trick or treating, that complaint faded and she relented to keeping herself warm over dressing entirely like her princess of choice.

My concern is that in the years to come she will see the costumes and their advertisements and think that is the way girls her age should dress, despite what she hears from her parents.

Why does a tween candy corn costume need to include a short skirt? What’s wrong with putting a little more fabric on the bottom of the dress so that it sits closer to the knee? That certainly wouldn’t make a candy corn costume look any less like that orange and white sweet treat.

What happened to the innocence of Halloween and its costumes? Why do costumes targeted toward this age group need to include short skirts and sexy models on their packaging?

What kind of message does this send to the girls who see this? Worse yet, what message is it sending to some adults?

These costumes and others like it are labeled tween, which includes girls nine through 12.

Tween girls are not sexual objects.

They are girls whose bodies are starting to mature and change. Some are doing so at a faster rate than others. While they are starting to look like grown women, a nine-year-old – or a 12-year-old for that matter – is certainly not the same as their older counterparts.

Let’s start treating girls as girls and save sexy for the adults.