Halloween: Fun, Candy, and No Girls’ Costumes

Teachers, police officers, firefighters, oh my! Halloween costumes for girls, especially with occupations, tend to be more “sexy,” even for costumes for younger girls.

Selina Fluty, Columnist

Halloween is my favorite time of year. The candy, the cosplay, the squads all rushing out to get as much loot as they can, and the little kids who have better costumes than I ever hope to achieve. But one thing that I can’t stand is the way that costumes are marketed to people and kids. It’s a common occurrence that many are aware of, but a lot of people actually are not aware of the true problem. It all depends on whether you’d rather wear the girls’ version of the cop costume or the police costume pandered to boys.

If you take a look at different costumes, you’re well aware that the girls’ versions of occupational costumes tends to be more about dresses, cute hats, and a lack of a realistic replication of the outfit of any occupational worker, from firefighters to business workers. However, with boys’ occupational costumes, there’s accurate and much more detailed renditions of occupational jobs. And, to me, they appear to be of a better quality.

Some online retailers don’t even have a section for career-based female costumes, while they do for boys. And, even if they do have a career option, they have a much smaller selection to choose from. Usually, it’s full of skirts, modified versions of the occupational outfit, leggings, and then – oh no – there it is. The “Bad Cop” or “Sexy Cop” outfit. It’s a dress that would mean you can’t pick up anything you drop, it’s low cut and uncomfortable for everyone, an okay-looking hat, and your choice in an extra feature – handcuffs, or a whip. And the model girl is attempting to give the impression of being “sexy,” and she couldn’t be older than 11. Then, take a look at the boy’s costumes – their cop costumes have actual pockets (instead of sewed-on fabric), a legitimate feel, and the boys modeling get to pose like they’re actually cops.

It’s not fair. Surely, there’s got to be a little girl out there who wants to dress up like a firefighter but without the skirt. In Spirit Halloween’s online tween options, there is a single costume – an army girls’ costume, and it was just a dress with camo tights. In other teen options, like Party City, there’s not even teen boy’s costumes – and all the girls’ ones are all labeled “sassy” or “sexy” or aren’t even proper representations of outfits of any type, so they can make little “Heartthrob I.V. Nurse” jokes. And, because of the difference between male and female bodies, it can be very difficult or even impossible to simply buy a boy’s costume. It’s both highly annoying and extremely infuriating that women are very restricted in costume selection.

This is why so many girls have gone to making their own costumes, because girls don’t sexualize their own bodies. It’s more than okay if women do enjoy these costumes, and I encourage that people who want to wear those outfits go right ahead and wear them. However, if I want to wear a Batman costume and I don’t want to show off my cleavage, then I have to make my own costume. Little girls rarely have that option, and so they’re forced to look at the only costume options available. Some parents won’t let their kids even take a glimpse at the boys’ options either, so they can’t see how their SWAT costume looks less shoddy than the girls’.

In all of this whole costume mess, there are girls with parents who work in the Armed Forces, or work dangerous situations like firefighters, and they would want to look like their parents. But, when there’s a “Burning Hot Firefighter” outfit, complete with a flimsy skirt and an uncomfortable hat, it’s not exactly an option.