It’s here. That ghoulish-goblin, orange time of year. I have always loved fall because of the colors, the smells and because there is a reminder that God ordains change. Whether we like it or not, life appears, then it fades in beautiful glory before it reappears again after a long period of quiet.
You and I have seen dramatic changes over the years in Halloween costume styles. Once upon a day we threw an old bed sheet over our children, cut out eyes, gave them a flash light and out into the neighborhood they went. No more. Costumes have become a source of anxiety for children if not parents. Young kids want to be the character that they want and if they can’t be him, well, they might just as well stay home. That’s easy enough to deal with, but when it comes to elementary school and middle school children, we need to be on our toes. Make a sweep down the costume aisle at any big chain store and you will find dresses adorned in black and red which even some pole dancers (maybe that’s an exaggeration) would be timid to wear. Yet, we actually consider buying these for Halloween for our young girls.
Feminist shake their fists because the costumes aren’t “gender neutral” and portray young girls as “too girlie” or as inferior to boys. Seriously? We’re going to argue about whether Spiderwoman should wear pink or black and red? Remember, people, Spiderwoman doesn’t really exist. But I am amazed that few men and women are insulted by highly sexually charge styles of our children’s costumes. Who cares if a girl looks too girlish, she shouldn’t look like a prostitute on Halloween (or any other time of the year.)
I strongly encourage you who are scouring the stores for Halloween costumes to make a few simple rules. First, you choose two or three costumes that you feel are acceptable for your kids and then let them pick one from those. That way, they get to have a choice, but you have control. Second, refuse to buy your girls sexy, skimpy, skanky clothes no matter how much they want them because their friends have them. Do you want other trick or treaters looking at your daughter as a sex object while she picks up her candy at the door? Don’t set her up for that. Third, remember that even though many boys act tough and want to wear ghastly, ghoulish masks and carry bloody heads with them, avoid these. Being goulish and being scary are two different things; so stick to scary. We forget that many boys are very sensitive and bloody stuff frightens them. I see many boys in middle school and junior high having sleep issues because of bad dreams from seeing too much violence.
Halloween can be a time when neighbors come out and chat with one another and kids run around in fun. But stay in charge. Keep a lid on sanity this Halloween particularly when it comes to costumes.