Saturday, October 11, 2008

I weep for the girls of America

I know, I know: two posts in one day, right? Get a life, Phoebe. But I just HAD to share this story.

My aunt, cousin, and her 9 year old daughter (that would be my first cousin once removed for all you genealogy buffs out there) were out visiting for the day, and we were at the giant Toys-R-Us in Times Square. They had Halloween costumes out, and my little cousin was flipping through them. She pulled one out, whirled around, and exclaimed, "I like this one!"

This is what she picked out:

Get this: It's even called "Major Flirt."

Words could not describe my horror. This should have been a key teaching moment, but I think all I could manage was "Oh my god...that's not...put that back."

DO NOT even try to argue that this is not "supposed" to be sexy. Yes. it. is. EVERYTHING about it suggests sex. The name alone disqualifies it from being innocuous.

Little girls ARE NOT sexual objects. Their purpose in life is not to look pleasing to men. Their purpose is not to flirt, or tease, or tantalize. They are not, as Humbert Humbert would say, "nymphs." They are CHILDREN and they are PEOPLE. They have BRAINS AND POTENTIAL. That potential is not to serve you in any way, shape, or form. That potential is for them to do really great things for themselves and for humanity. And when you put them in these skanky little outfits, because it's so fucking "cute," you INSTANTLY tell them that their real potential lies in a sexualization and objectification.

The little boy costumes we saw were firefighters, superheroes, astronauts, pilots, ninjas, pirates, and zombies. They sent messages of strength, skill, and assertiveness. Many were actual professions to which one could aspire.

The girls' costume options: "Twinkle pretty witch", Fairy, "asian princess", "pirate hottie", "pink batgirl" (short skirt, knee-high boots), and monster bride. They sent messages of weakness, passivity, and sex. They ALL had skirts. None were actual professions. Oh wait. You CAN have sex for money. I forgot.

Apparently the costume that my cousin actually got is no better. Of course, it's from Wal-Mart, the family-friendliest company ever (Because family-friendly=making sure women know the importance of looking sexy)!

If you feel like wanting to blow your brains out, scroll through Wal-Mart's selection of girls' Halloween costumes. This Lolita culture is not okay. Shit like this is why women aren't taken seriously, starting from childhood. Shit like this is part of the reason why we experience rape, abuse, lower pay, fewer educational options, and higher rates of depression.

I'm always on the fence about whether I want children or not (largely because stuff like this scares me), but I do know that if I have a daughter, she will be my first action towards correcting these problems. She will NEVER be dressed in such a degrading Halloween costume. She will not own Bratz dolls. She will not have Hannah Montana as a role model (or whatever demeaning show Disney is shitting out that particular decade). And she will know exactly why not.


White Trash Academic said...

I remember being a pirate but we sure didn't dress like this!! WTF??!!

Lucy said...

I love the scene in the movie 'Mean Girls' where Cady (played by Lindsey Lohan) shows up at the Halloween party dressed up as a scary, ugly bride and everyone just stares like 'is she nuts?'. In addition she does a voice over as she is getting ready stating that in the U.S. it is actually a Holiday now used for an excuse for girls to 'getaway with dressing like sluts'. That scene soooo nails it on the head.

Stick to your guns on raising your kids! You are on the right track!!!

Phoebe Caulfield said...

@ WTA: I know, I was a twinkie one year, for pete's sake. What happened to funny/scary costumes?

@ Lucy: Loved that scene in Mean Girls. I didn't know that girls dressed that way for Halloween until my first year of college. My dormmates convinced me to dress like a whore two halloweens in a row, and then, never again.

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