Posted by: cj2kewl4u | October 26, 2012

Girls’ Halloween Costumes, Then And Now: The Evolution From Silly To ‘Sexy’

Girls’ Halloween Costumes, Then And Now: The Evolution From Silly To ‘Sexy’

I follow the Huffington Post on twitter and they shared this article. The memo that accompanied the article asked if you thought you were being sexualized too early. This highlights the notion that there is (in my opinion) too much emphasis on sexual images and innuendos in the media and not enough on intellect and thought-provoking discussion, especially for women. Miss Representation focused largely on this premise. I think the appropriate question to ask would be “Are women being sexualized too much?” period. Age is definitely a concern, but on behalf of womankind: enough already! Women are consistently limited to the same images and roles. For example, Halloween season is always a frustrating time for women who want to be something besides a witch or playboy bunny. 

In class on Thursday and throughout the semester we have discussed the idea of being programmed by media to think a certain way and do certain things; and those roles are often times validated in our homes and real-life scenarios. It was disturbing to see a blatant example of such programming when comparing the costumes from the past to the costumes now (be sure to scroll through all of the photos). Is your subconscious being awakened? Mine sure was!


  1. I agree with the idea that the whole ‘sexy’ costume trend was brought about by the media. It is a rather idiotic trend fueled by the approval of men and changing standards that would never have been supported in the 50’s. Now, we all want to see the revealing kitty costumes and the attractive witches. Just because standards have changes, it doesn’t mean we should support them.

  2. Aside from addressing the media, just looking at Halloween costumes at this time of year is disturbing. Stores usually designate the girl costumes and the guy costumes. When you go online you can see that womens’ costumes can range from vampire to athlete. The problem is that the majority of the costumes emphasize sexuality. For women, the costumes make sure to show the legs and cleavage. When I was looking for a costume I had issues because I liked the guy costume better. I wanted to wear a boxing outfit, but the guys’ costume was too big for me. The problem was that the girl costume had a skirt instead of shorts. When I think of a boxer, I do not think of someone wearing a skirt. I think that this is an issue because it makes girls feel like they have to be sexy and guys feel like they have to be rough and tough. Check out the website and see for yourself how many costumes emphasize gender differences.

  3. I agree with this as well. I saw a comment on Facebook the other day stating that the person had forgot that this time of year “women think that putting a pair of animal ears on and a piece of sexy lingerie makes a costume.” Something that used to be fun and innocent has evolved into something that is about sexism. Just by looking at the pictures in the article of now and then is crazy and just goes to show that gender differences start at a very young age. I have two nieces that have picked out their costumes this year and wanted the cute ones from the store rather than the homemade more conservative ones. Now they are only 4 and 7 but have already started to show the gender norms.

  4. I think this is yet another example of media’s influence on society, especially the younger generation. This is definitely a battle parents are “losing” unless they decide forgo store-bought costumes and make more conservative ones at home. I also completely agree with Stephanie’s post regarding gendered costumes. It is really unfortunate for younger one’s, especially those who aren’t quite ready yet for the “sexy” costumes (which in reality, none of them should be), but none of them are really given the choice. Back in the day, even when I was younger costumes were more conservative…I know for a fact my devil costume did not look like that. There is a definite pressure from society given the risqué costumes that are offered online and in stores.

    I also fully support Thomas’ comment on, “just because standards changed, doesn’t mean we have to support them”. Very true. Obviously, it’s easier to just fall into the gender norm, but there are ways to avoid supporting it-i.e. creating your own costume at home that is less revealing, and focuses more on the costume not being sexy. I think girls, specifically have fallen into the assumption their costume is mediocre unless it is revealing and sexy…even the younger girls.

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