Halloween Costumes- Occupational Hazzard for Children

Halloween was always really exciting for me as a kid… as I’m sure it is for every child, but growing up Southern Baptist in suburban New Hampshire (insert your chuckle here) meant that going trick-or-treating was somehow rebelling against the church, and in the name of F-U-N, my parents let us do it, as long as we were quiet about it.

Through the years I was a leopard, a Cabbage Patch Kid, an orange Crayola Crayon, and a downhill skier. Growing up in New Hampshire meant that you always wore footy pajamas or long-johns under your costume, as the ground was always frozen by late October, so you’d have to imagine that French Maid number with polar fleece under it and you get the idea.

I haven’t really thought too much about Halloween costumes until last year when I went to Jack’s Halloween Parade at his Elementary School. He was supposed to dress up for the parade, and his Daddy bought him this heinous Woody from Toy Story costume. This thing was so cheap, and Jack at that point had no idea who Woody was… I had made myself a costume out of an old evening gown and a pair of butterfly wings and a fairy wand. (I was a fairy godmother, naturally!) Jack was OBSESSED with these wings and would ask to wear them around the house from time to time.

So I was a little torn as to what the right thing to do was. Society and his Daddy wanted him to wear the cowboy costume, and I just wanted him to be happy. He looked so cute as a little butterfly….but I folded to avoid conflict.

So today in my Google Reader I came across this site for costumes. I’ll provide two links here. The first one is the girl occupation costume site. Now I’m not gonna sit here and say that the skanky-esque costumes for little girls don’t bother me, they do, but what really infuriates me is that in the dozen or so costumes that they offer for girls under the occupational heading, there are five or so “entertainers”, a maid, a nurse, a flirty officer, a waitress, and a Hollywood Starlet???? (I think that’s code for, I dress up nice and go down easy) Of course under the boys occupational costumes are various forms of police officers, a marine, an air-force pilot, SWAT team member, boxer, and NASCAR driver, and of course the obligatory doctor.

Translation: Little girls should grow up to entertain and take care of us, and boys will take care of business, so to speak. Isn’t it time to stop perpetuating these gender stereotypical myths?? Ask any third-grade girl what she wants to be when she grows up and I’m sure it won’t be limited to American Idol contestant, or candy striper…. no, she’ll want to be president, and a teacher, and a doctor.

So, if the kids aren’t buying that crap anymore why the hell are you still selling it?

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