What's popular in Halloween costumes for preteen girls?
Anything racy, skimpy, revealing, and suggestive.
From the Washington Post:
Bawdy Halloween costumes...have become the season's hottest sellers in recent years. Not just for women, but for girls, too. And parents such as Cirenza don't like it.
...Now, Halloween is big business. Americans are expected to spend upwards of $5 billion this year on candy, ghoulish decorations and costumes. And the hottest trend in costumes, retailers say, is sexy. And young.
Fishnet tights, once associated with smoky cabarets or strip joints, now come in girls' sizes and cost $3.99.
Joe Thaler, head of TransWorld Exhibits Inc., runs the annual Halloween Expo for big-box retailers. He said suggestive costumes for girls burst onto the scene about three years ago and the phenomenon is so big that he's had to create a separate fashion show. The costumes have since moved to the plus-size market for adult women and now come in teen and preteen versions. Even little girl costumes show more leg and tummy than they used to. "They're just good sellers," Thaler said.
When it comes to Halloween costumes, boys can still be ninjas, doctors and mad scientists. A box of popcorn, even. Men can still be bananas or beer cans. About the most risque it got for men at Party City was the Big Daddy self-adhesive hairy chest kit for $6.99.
Kathy Grannis of the National Retail Federation blames Halloween's loss of innocence on baby boomers who can't let the holiday go, with their adult parties and costume contests at bars. "Halloween is no longer a child's holiday," she said. "It's no longer about handing out candy and putting on a witch's hat and walking down the street hand in hand with your kid."
That makes no sense to me.
Baby boomers celebrating Halloween has nothing to do with little girls dressing up in risque costumes.
So what if there are adult parties?
There are adult Christmas parties and those don't translate into kids giving up on Santa and toys.
For Cheryl Cirenza, that's what Halloween is still all about. But for her daughter, she's not so sure. "I really don't know why these kinds of costumes appeal so much to her," she said. Cirenza knows that prepubescent sex appeal is rampant. But the family doesn't have cable, and she limits Gabby's TV time. There are no trashy teen or celebrity magazines in her home. And they keep an eye on her Web surfing. "I don't know if it's just in the air."
There's nothing in the air.
It's the legacy of the Baby Boomers and their choice to relate to their children as friends and peers rather than fulfilling their roles as authority figures.
The lines between childhood and adulthood, innocence and experience, blurred.
It's sad that preteen girls want to dress like whores for Halloween.
Even sadder is that so many parents allow their young daughters to go skanky.
...No one does scary costumes anymore, Megan [Smith, 16,] said. Blame that on the teen movie "Mean Girls," she said, quoting a line verbatim: "Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it."
Her father laughed nervously. "They're all a little risque, and I don't like that," he said. "She'll be wearing shorts underneath."
Megan rolled her eyes.
A movie is not to blame.
Weak-kneed parents are at fault.
If all these parents truly disapproved of their preteen daughters' inappropriate Halloween get-ups, the phenomenon of skyrocketing sales of slutty costumes for preteens wouldn't so huge.