Annoying ‘sexy’ costume trend inappropriate for children

Sean Irwin

Does anybody else find the supposedly ‘sexy’ Halloween costume trend annoying? Even a little bit depressing? It’s understandable that some people might find it boring to go the traditional ‘scary’ route, and that others might not have the time or creative ingenuity to come up with something funny or clever. But ‘sexy’ costumes just strike me as lazy.

There’s something to be said for coming up with a personalized, homemade ‘sexy’ costume variation to show off at a college party, but retail stores have started selling these things pre-made. And if the volume of their stock is any indication of how well they are selling, it seems that even as highly commercialized a holiday as Halloween is susceptible to selling out.

It’s a marketable holiday already. It’s the twenty-first century, and we’ve long had access to commercial costumes that transcend the usual rigmarole of uniformed jobs like firemen and police officers and traditional monsters like vampires and mummies. Every new iconic cartoon, superhero, celebrity, and horror movie cliche has some form of costume for sale. Thanks in part to a new creative wave of horror movies from Japan and Korea and their American remakes, horror movies are enjoying a resurgence in popularity, if not necessarily quality. Television shows, especially kids’ shows and cartoons, almost always have some episode surrounding Halloween. Candy companies cry collective tears of joy when October rolls around.

And somehow despite the strong and popular Halloween traditions, Halloween marketing clearly reflects a focus on these ridiculous ‘sexy’ costume variations.

It should be taken for granted that nothing will stop college girls from pouring money into this market. This is fine of itself, and college boys certainly aren’t complaining, but trends tend to transcend their original target audience. High school girls wear these costumes. So do middle schoolers. You can see where this is headed. Walk into the local costume shop today and there’s an even chance you will see ‘sexy’ variations of kids’ costumes. Little kids.

Possibly parents possess the miniscule amount of responsibility it takes to NOT purchase these abominations. To NOT let their eight-year-old children dress up like hookers. Yet these extra-extra-small ‘sexy’ costumes remain in stores, so somebody must be buying them. What is wrong with these people? What line of pseudo-logic leads PARENTS to the conclusion that ‘sexy’ and ‘pre-teen’ should ever even be present in the same sentence?

One of the old favorites for little girls’ costumes was to be a Disney Princess. Then somebody decided to be ironic and make themselves a ‘sexy’ Snow White costume with the top cutoff just below the ribs and a gold miniskirt. Pure as the driven snow, right? Now you can find the full Disney catalog in ‘sexy’ form at the local costume shop. In kids’ sizes.

Possibly this is the ranting of an prude made old and cynical before his time, but back in MY day, the proper adjectives used to describe Halloween costumes ranged from scary to clever to funny to cute. We walked around wearing capes, fake fangs, wigs, makeup, and masks. We carried props like fake swords or sickles in one hand and a bag of candy in the other. And we walked uphill both ways. Now we can’t even leave the house because those six-inch heels give us blisters.