Tween Cop Costume

It's that "sexy" time of year again: Halloween! Gone are the days of scary, and for many girls and women, it's sexy. Sexy witch, sexy cop, sexy finding nemo. Part of the appeal of skimpy Halloween costumes may be that for one day a year, women can dress scantily and not be shamed or criticized for it. It's a festive occasion where ladies can flaunt their stuff and then put their suit on for the office the next day without fear of judgment.

But what about sexy costumes geared towards tweens?

Skimpy Halloween costumes are being marketed to girls as young as 8 years-old. Children are bombarded with an endless stream of images featuring women as sexual objects These images represent a narrowly defined view of "sexy" and places a focus on how one looks, not on how one feels. Exposed to such images, children quickly learn that hypersexualized appearing women garner attention and praise, thus kids naturally form a desire to emulate them.

Child Witch Costume

But parents can protest! Instead of a fight, a request for a sexy Halloween costume can start a conversation.  The conversation could focus on pervasive sexualized media images, fitting in and the pressure to look a certain way. Parents can then encourage their daughters to explore all their options and find a costume that highlights their creativity or symbolizes something positive.

For more information on how to combat sexualized images of girls in the media, visit sparksummit.com.

About the Author

Kathryn Stamoulis Ph.D.

Kathryn Stamoulis, Ph.D., teaches at psychology at Hunter College, and specializes in adolescent and sexual development.

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