Sexy Halloween costumes spark outrage; sexy dolls, not so much(Read article summary)
Sexy Halloween costumes for little girls prompt big-time outrage, but when critics call out dolls for being too sexualized, people rush to defend them. What's the difference?
Courtesy of Rebecca Hains
Do you object to sexy Halloween costumes for little girls?
When you compare the âLittle Leopardâ costume for young girls to the adult âSexy Leopardâ costumes, do you cringe?
When you see childrenâs classic Disney Princess costumes placed literally steps away from Sexy Disney Princess costumes, are you outraged?
When confronted with Monster High costumes for girls ages 4 to 14, are you appalled because they are far too sexy for our children?
Then Iâd like to point something out: You should object to the sexualized aesthetic of girlsâ dolls, too.
Hereâs what Iâm thinking.Â The internet is full of objections to sexy Halloween costumes for little girls. Just a few weeks ago, Walmartâs âNaughty Leopardâ costume generated so much outrage that the retailer was forced toÂ pull the costumeÂ from shelves â and rightfully so.
But when critics call out dolls likeÂ Monster High,Â Ever After High,Â Equestria Girls,Â Fairy Tale High, andÂ BratzÂ for beingÂ too sexualizedÂ for girls, people rush to defend them. Sexy dolls for little girls are so common, soÂ ubiquitous,Â folks canât see them clearly anymore.
They say: âStop reading so much into it! Girls see these dolls as cute and fun. Itâs just fantasy. If you think these dolls are âsexy,â then wow âÂ youâreÂ the one with the problem. Get over it.â
I should know: As a childrenâs culture critic, Iâm on the receiving end of these comments all the time.
But these dolls? They are dressed in outfitsÂ exactlyÂ like the sexy Halloween costumes. There is no difference between what popular fashion dolls wear and the little girlsâ Halloween costumes that everyone objects to.
If anything, the dolls are even worse.
Whatâs going on, then? Why do we object to the Halloween costumes and not the dolls?
When we actually see these tawdry outfitsÂ on our children, we are horrified. We have become desensitized toÂ dollsÂ for four-year-olds that look like prostitutes, but when real children wear the same get-ups, the scales fall from our eyes. Suddenly, we can see the unvarnished truth about childrenâs culture, and it is awful.
So Iâd like to suggest a new litmus test for girlsâ dolls. Would you want to see your daughter, niece, or granddaughter in a Halloween costume based on the dollâs attire? No? Then harness that insight. See the doll for what it is: A sexualized item with no business in a childâs toy box. Just say no to sexy Halloween costumes â and say no to sexy fashion dolls, too.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. Rebecca Hains blogs atÂ rebeccahains.wordpress.com.