Ah, Halloween costumes. The time of year where children get to dress up like ghosts and witches and adults get to dress up like sexy ghosts and sexy witches.
Dear God, Halloween dance Friday night-- five French maids, about five sexy witches of some sort, a sexy nurse, two schoolgirls, a sexy 1920's gambler, a sexy angel, a sexy Hogwarts witch, a few sexy pirates and at least four prostitutes, or as I like to call them, "sexy sexies."
Which I actually don't mind because there weren't any kids there, though I do wish more people had been creative about it, or that there was at least more options in stores (my best friend Vivacia had HORRIBLE luck finding one and finally went with the pirate idea, though she wears pants with it). Don't get me wrong, though, I like sexy Halloween costumes. They're fun and they let people get away with letting down their repressions. I only wish that guys had sexy costumes, too. I have seen "Muscle Man," "Breathalyzer" (guess where you blow), and "Hefner," which count as adult costumes, plus couples costumes, which are rarely anything BUT dirty.
The only objections I have towards the sexification of Halloween is a) People who wear sexy/revealing costumes around their kids or to hand out candy-- come ON, set a good example! or b) when the KIDS are wearing sexy costumes. Honestly, when we went to the Halloween store to get Ryter a Byzantine soldier costume, they had one labeled "Child's French Maid." Child French Maid? Then "Preteen Girl Firefighter" which was really a "sexy firefighter" for kids, and pretty much half of all the girl's costumes-- for YOUNG girls, not even TEENAGERS-- were basically smaller versions of the adult women's costumes. The high school cheerleader costumes bared the midriff. REAL high school cheerleaders don't even show their midriff!
For that, I partially blame parents who can't say no to their kids (which is why they would buy that sort of thing) but also, I blame the manufacturers. What designer thought, Oh, let's make the kids French Maid costumes! and got away with it? I mean, maid costumes, maybe, but these are like SHORT skirts. And why does a female prisoner costume have to have a skirt? Is there anything wrong with making it pants? Or a firefighter, referee, police woman or army officer in camouflage? Why do we have "harem girls," can't they just be an "Arabian princess" or a "genie," and come on, cover the stomach, chances are she's going outside in cold fall weather anyway. It wouldn't be hard and it would make a world of difference.
Plus, in Halloween stores, they should have a kid's section, and then a separate, clearly marked (more than just a sign hanging over it, I'm thinking like how Barnes and Nobles has an arch over the one entrance to the kid's books section) adult section, with the normal costumes in one area and the "sexy" or suggestive ones in another. That way adults can dress however they want and have fun with it, and kids won't be exposed to the more obvious innuendo costumes.
Letting a child make their own choices does not mean letting them become sexualized at a young age. If they say "I want to be a prisoner!" and point to the striped dress, is it that hard to say, "Oh, great idea! But that will be really cold for trick-or-treating, and prisoners don't really dress like that-- why don't we get you a costume that covers more of your legs?" And if they whine, tell them that you could always MAKE them a Halloween costume-- either you're a good enough clothing maker that they'll love it, or you aren't, and they'll shut up.