Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

21 September 2009

Repost: And what are you for Halloween? A 10-year-old hooker!

This is becoming an annual event! Ah, sometimes posts never go out of style.

Is that what we really want our daughters to be this Halloween?

I have to admit that Halloween is my favorite holiday. What I don't like is that it too has been pornified in recent years and the pornification keeps trickling down to younger and younger kids.

Take this costume for example #1: Major Flirt. You daughter can be sassy, cute, and of course, sexy all at the same time! And please, don't try to tell me that this is the same as a cheerleader costume. The label is FLIRT! [2009 Update: It's been renamed as Attitude, but the description still says FLIRT.] Flirts have sexual power. But look through the costume aisle at your local store and you'll see that the costumes are sexed up even for girls. AND also notice the gender line that is clearly drawn. I was in Target last week browsing with my daughter and noticed it oh so well. In the boys aisle you can be a doctor, police officer, and of course your general super heroes and monsters. Girls? Super heroes, check. Monsters, check. Princesses, check. Racist stereotypes*, check. Doctor? Police officer? Construction worker? Not in the house.

And if a pornified Halloween isn't enough for your girl, don't forget to make sure she is silky smooth! Remember Nair ladies? Well they're after our daughters now with a new campaign targeted at 10-15 year olds. Maybe I'm old fashioned and no, it's not just my feminist mama in me, but I didn't get to touch a razor until I was about 12-13. Sure around 10 you start thinking about it, but then every other 10 year old had peach fuzz on our legs. Well, us Latinas had a bit more, but that's another post. There is a whole life of shaving, waxing, and plucking. Why can't we just let our daughters enjoy their few years of not worrying about stubble?

When I rant on about things like this, I also ask you to keep them in context with everything else going on. We have thongs targeted to pre-teens. Thongs were designed for strippers! To get around no nudity laws. We have 8-year-olds hospitalized for eating disorders. All this in a world where rape survivors are still blamed for dressing like sluts. Even 10-year-olds are asking for it.

Yes, dear readers, I'm pissed. Mad as hell and no, I'm not going to take it anymore.

* Those are your geisha girl and Indian princess costumes.

4 comments:

This may be the reason why, in my family, Halloween costumes were never purchased. They were either made by my grandmother, or pieced together by me or my mother from all the costumes we had at home (my parents were into theatre), depending on what I wanted to be that year.

When I was a toddler, I was a daisy, dressed all in green with gloves made to look like leaves and my face painted into a daisy, and the following year I was Little Orphan Annie. When I was five, I was Wonder Woman, and when I was ten I was a purple Crayola crayon (complete with a purple cone-hat). Other times I was Guinevere from Camelot, Laura Engalls from Little House on the Prairie, and the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera (for which I made a mask out of paper mache).

As you probably know, I never suffered from gender stereotypes in my house. My parents simply would not allow it. They couldn't control the outside world, but they could at least control what went on inside their own house.

In 7th or 8th grade I was a sexy pirate, but it was sexy since I got permission to wear fishnet stockings. But I did sew my costume myself!

I was Harpo from the Marx Brothers for quite a number of years. My sister then inherited the costume - rubber chicken, horn and all.

I was just looking at the flier that came in the mail for the Halloween store, and I could NOT BELIEVE the costumes they had on there for young girls. Jesus --- they had them looking like little prostitutes. The Geisha costume (besides being wildly inaccurate) had a SHORT skirt, shorter than anyone should wear, let alone a 15 year old. Just gross.