Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Could a Halloween Costume Be Sending the Wrong Message?

posted by Linda Mintle

girlHalloween is not my favorite holiday. I don’t like all the creepy costumes associated with darkness. But it is not just the creepy costumes that bother me. Too many of the costumes, regardless of how you feel about Halloween, send the wrong message to young girls.

Have you looked at the offerings for young girls. Like most fashion, the costumes sexualize the girls. Short skirts, fishnet stockings, revealing body parts — a sharp contrast to the boys. Take the pirate costume for example, eye patch, baggy pants and top for guys. Same for the girls except the girl pirate wear a short skirt.

Maybe you are thinking, really, Dr. Linda, now you are harping on costumes!

I am, and here is why. I like to take every opportunity to point out the messages to young girls about their bodies.

Media help move this message. Think back on the movie, Mean Girls, and the line the mean girls give, “Halloween is the one night a year you can be a slut and get away with it.” Then, the mean girls make fun of a girl who doesn’t dress like a slut. It’s not just Miley Cyrus swinging on a wrecking ball, but also a fashion industry determined to sexualize girls at a young age.

 

Why do I care?

Because the message that it is all about your body continues to be fed to our girls. And we know that sexualized images of girls and young women in advertising, merchandizing and media are harmful to girls’ self-image and healthy development (American Psychological Association, 2007).

Halloween is a huge merchandizing holiday, filled with naughty and sexual costumes for fun! But the message to have fun and be noticed is to sex it up. And I see the fall out of this message in middle schools, high schools and colleges–Girls who think they have to look like prostitutes to get noticed, and guys who think they have to score to be popular. Record rates of eating disorders and body dissatisfaction along with negative self-image are consequences of an over emphasis on physical beauty and sexing it up.

Parents, talk to your kids about their choices in costumes if they participate in dress up. Find something that doesn’t demean or sexualize them. Reinforce the message that your child is more than a sexual object or physical beauty.

 



Previous Posts

Treating Binge Eating With Medication?
Every day Sally vows she will not eat herself sick. But today is no different. She is distressed, eating past full and feeling as if she has no control. Sally suffers from Binge Eating Disorder (BED) which has been recognized as a psychiatric disorder. To date, there are no medications approved f

posted 6:00:35am Jan. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Is Binge Drinking Just College Fun?
In the throws of January, college students begin dreaming about Spring Break. Those plans often include partying on a beach with nonstop drinking. Binge drinking is "a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for w

posted 6:00:57am Jan. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Does the Cold Make You Catch a Cold?
My mom used to tell me to put a hat on my baby when the weather was cold. I used to argue, "Mom, babies don't catch colds from the cold. They get them from viruses. I'm not putting a hat on the baby." But now it seems that my mom could have been on to something. Could the cold weather actually p

posted 6:00:36am Jan. 21, 2015 | read full post »

How Often Should I Weigh Myself?
We all know that the number on the scale isn't suppose to define us, but that doesn't stop us from thinking about how much we weigh on any given day. And the number often influences our mood. So how often should we weigh? Every day, once a week, once a month? The answer depends on your goal--t

posted 6:00:28am Jan. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Do Professional Women Have a Place in the Church?
It was a usual Sunday and time for announcements. The Associate Pastor announced the women's meeting at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday. The focus was on decorating the church for the holidays. The men were meeting Friday morning at 6:30 am. to discuss marketplace ministry. I looked at my husband and whispere

posted 6:00:30am Jan. 16, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.