What Your Kid’s Halloween Costume Says About You

halloween costumeAre you Halloween shopping for the brood yet? The Internet has no doubt produced a variety of horrifying costumes for you to choose from and not exactly in a Halloween scary kind of way. Seeing your 11-year-old daughter decked out like a highly sexualized goldlilocks can leave many a parent frightened for this holiday. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that she was dressed as a simple cat or a ballerina or maybe even a super hero. But, alas, culture and maybe even some peer influence has her looking to throw on some sexy pigtails and high heels all in the name of dressing up.

But regardless of what kids want this season, it’s usually and ultimately parents who are throwing down the credit cards. You’re the ones making the decisions about your kids dressing as Native Americans or cowboys and you’ll definitely be getting the criticism for whatever your kid turns down the neighborhood corner wearing. In keeping consistent with a lot of parenting themes, you’ll be judged for your kid’s garb — from sexy candy striper to simple witch outfit. So let’s beat all those other parents to the judgey circle and say what everyone is going to say — or at least assume — anyway.

(photo: waldru/ Shutterstock)

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  • LiteBrite

    I would’ve loved to have done #3 on my kid, but he opted for a safe, sane fireman costume. C’mon kid. Where’s your spirit?

    Although I suppose I could make him a zombie fireman. That might be pretty cool.

    • TheLily

      That might be the greatest zombie cross over ever.

  • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

    THANK YOU for pointing out the racism on the ethnic costumes. I see far too many “Pocahottie” and “Chief” costumes. I’m not Native, but my husband and son ARE. IT IS hurtful and we will teach our son to stand up for himself against racism like this! Feathers are earned, not bought.

    • bumbler

      the geisha costumes are pretty bad too, if you care about that kind of thing. It’s also pretty questionable since most westerners associate geishas as japanese prostitutes so…your tot is an asian lady of the night? Interesting. Our family is japanese and we’re not offended by those costumes, but I can see how others might be.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Thank you for understanding. I do care about any ethnically charged costume it’s just that the Native ones are the most personal.

    • Morgan

      I did a Native American costume when I was in Kindergarten. As cool a costume as it was, and as “relevant” (Disney’s Pocahontas had just been released, and that’s a whole other racism rant!) as it was, it was still racist. :/

    • NativeHistory

      I would like to thank you all for realizig how demeaning and racist this is. Native American women are THREE times more likely than women of any other race to be sexually assaulted or raped. They are twice as likely to be severely beaten or murdered in the transmission of these crimes. Also, that Disney film makes me sick. It is perpetrating a LIE. I am also Native American, and through one of my tribes (Powhatan) I am a direct descendant of the REAL Pocahontas (Matoaka).

    • Morgan

      Those statistics are terrifying. As for the costumes, I think it’s about realizing that cultures aren’t something that are just jokes, but they are very real and meaningful for people.

    • Shea

      I too dressed up as a Native American one year, when I was maybe five or six. Too young to know better, maybe, but it that doesn’t make it any less inappropriate and racist. I shudder with embarrassment and shame when I think of it now.

      Fortunately I was a nerdy, bookwormy child and moved on to dressing up variously as Jane Goodall (complete with stuffed chimpanzee toy), Artemis and Gollum by late elementary school :-p.

    • NativeHistory

      Don’t forget, also, that women NEVER wore headdresses, and that the feathered headdresses were a Plains Indian thing, along with tipis. We didn’t all live in tipis, ride horses, have totem poles, etc.

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      Exactly. My husband is an enrolled Comanche, one of the plains people. He grew up with the history and the culture. He and his grandmother were super-tight, he talks about her all the time. She used to take him to powwows and told him all about the racism she experienced growing up.

    • CW

      My DD went as a Chinese girl one year because our next door neighbors at the time were immigrants from Hong Kong and their DD was my DD’s best friend. The neighbor girl was wearing a traditional Mandarin dress for Halloween and my DD wanted to wear one too. We went into Chinatown and bought her an outfit from one of the merchants there. She was very excited to go ToTing dressed similarly to her best friend. Don’t automatically paint everyone as racist without knowing the facts behind the decision…

    • http://www.facebook.com/courtney.wooten Courtney Lynn

      It is one thing to buy from the real deal. Your daughter and her their daughter were friends. It’s quite another for a drunken sorority girl to be dressed as an “Indian Princess” or a geisha.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jen-Clark/100000568225513 Jen Clark

    I can’t understand why some of these are so popular, every Halloween I see at least 20 native american costumes and twice as many “sexy alice” or nurse costumes. Very rarely do I ever see a mad hatter, a super hero or villian or anything else besides the generics, like zombies or the antagonist from scream. I’m half native myself, so I feel a bit uncomfortable with all the parents parading their kids around, as if culture is just a fun thing to dress up as and pretend to be. I mean, how would people feel if I painted my skin and went out dressed up as an african? I’ve seen some costumes so convincing, it looked as if the children were wearing legit war bonnets. It probably doesn’t help that there are numerous sites selling items from native american culture, some of it is phony while some of it is the real deal. Kind of depressing.

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