It's Outrageous, I Tell You! Simply Outrageous!

I think I am almost as offended by the lack of imagination as by the sexual objectification manifest in the current trend of slutty costumes for young women.

I mean, if sorority girls want to flaunt their bodies in what would be considered underwear the other 364 days of the year, let them have their fun. It seems a bit silly and chilly to me, but whatever. And if some of these young women have the courage to go out in public in these skimpy things even when their bodies are not, shall we say, model-thin, well, a part of me says: more power to them. It's vanity more than modesty that keeps me from exposing my thighs unnecessarily.

This is one of the strange things about living in the south -- it's actually still warm enough on Halloween night that you can wear next-to-nothing outside without risking frostbite. Discomfort, yes; health-threatening exposure, no.

But the thing that bugs me about these college girls in their body-hugging, skin-revealing costumes is the sheer commercialization of it all. Unless you are a skilled seamstress, which I'm thinking most of these girls are not, the only way you're going to get a costume that fits that well is to buy it at a specialty Halloween store that rolled into town just for the occasion. Where's the imagination in that? What happened to the days when people crafted their Halloween finery out of $5 worth of cardboard and crepe paper?

I think even the men in our little Halloween excursion among the teeming masses on Franklin Street last night would agree that it was more fun to come across someone with a clever homemade costume (like the crew of Tetris Pieces, or the man emerging from a framed, painted canvas as a living portrait) than the adolescent eye-candy in their matching off-the-rack frocks.

But like I said, the adult (if only just barely, and only in the loosest of definitions of the word) young women can do what they want. (Or can they? To what extent are their choices determined by the social pressures and marketing messages they've been absorbing all their lives?) I'm more judgmental of the fad when it trickles down to the younger children.

Before heading down to the biggest Halloween party in the state, which consists almost entirely of several thousand people milling around looking at each other and several hundred police officers standing by to keep the peace, we handed out candy at my friend's house in a high-traffic residential neighborhood. A girl of maybe 14, looking a little self-conscious (who isn't, at that age?) came by in a sexy Raggedy Ann get-up. She was a little shy and perfectly polite. Close on her heals was a girl who looked to be about eight -- EIGHT! -- in one of those costume-shop monstrosities of sexiness. Eight! I don't recall what she was actually supposed to be, but it wasn't anything appropriate for an eight year old. Her mother was trailing her, as one too young to go out alone. Appropriate parental supervision, no? But what on earth possessed that mother to buy that costume?!?!?

Not that I have an opinion on the subject, or anything.

I wanted to say, no, sorry, no candy for little girls in skanky getups. Go put on a strawberry shortcake costume or something and come back when you're reasonably clothed.

I'm almost as disturbed by this year's proliferation of the fake plastic muscled torsos in little boy's super-hero costumes. It's not bad enough that we inflict unreal body standards on little girls (EIGHT!), let's set little boys up for eating disorders and steroid use while we're at it. I saw a four-or-so year old boy in a superman (or maybe spiderman?) costume puffed up like a Mr. Universe. It wasn't cute. It was disgusting.

Can't we let the children be children for a while?

Oh, no, I remember; the adults are too busy being childish, so we have to rush the little ones into adulthood before their time.

End screed.

1 comments:

Sarah said...

Hey! You can't complain about other people's outfits without copping to what *you* wore!

What did you dress as?

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