Put Out the Fire

Put Out the FIRE

A week ago I asked my 15 year old daughter what she was going to be for Halloween. She told me not to worry, that her Dad was going to take her out to the Halloween store to buy her a costume. I have been in big box Halloween stores and I know what they have to offer. I am the Mom who makes her kids costumes. Yes, that one, who stays up until 5 am the night before, sewing, to get them finished in time for the school parade. So, when she told me this, I held my breath, and hoped for the best. I called home at 9 to check in and asked her what costume she chose.

“A firefighter.” She replied. 

Whew, I thought, that’s a relief. In my mind I pictured a yellow jacket, boots, and a red helmet. Imagine my surprise, when I came home last night to find the packaging pictured above, laying on my entry floor, not at all what I pictured and certainly not what I wanted to see. 

I am not comfortable letting my daughter walk out our front door, in what is clearly a costume meant for an adult. I am sure to have a battle on my hands when she gets home from school this afternoon, when I tell her we will have to make some serious modifications or she can’t wear it.  

I am not a prude, but what what passes for fashionable astounds me. Toddlers dressed in belly shirts and minis, thirteen year olds wearing six inch stiletto heels, and most currently teenagers dressed like soft porn stars, in role play costumes to go trick or treating. It boggles my brain. I am surely not alone, feeling this way. 

I am not a dyed in the wool conservative dresser, nor a vogue fashionista. I’ve done my share of fashion experimentation. I dappled in punk, turned to the bright side of prep, and lived in vintage clothing for years. I just never chose the sleaze road. It was available, but certainly not desirable. The reverse is now true. Sleaze is the rule, no longer the exception on mainstream clothing store racks. Our culture has sexualized the fashion industry to the point that girls actually strive to dress this way.  

There are no easy answers, though I do believe we hold the power to reverse this trend. Blogs like mine will not change the world, but do hold the power to connect with others who have similar beliefs. The key to meaningful cultural shifts lyes in connection to people, both friends and strangers alike.There has never been an easier time in our history to connect the dots and rally for a common cause.  

As I gathered my thoughts before I sat down to write this, I checked into my Tumblr blog. Coincidentally there was a video posted by someone that pertained to this very issue;  a trailer for a documentary called “Miss Representation”, that aired at the Sundance film festival this past summer. I have not seen it yet, but the trailer was enough to hook me. I will include a link to this film and to an organization to promote cultural change that was formed in direct response to it. 

If you are concerned please comment here. Check out these links. We are not powerless. An opportunity for culteral change is an opportunity none of us can afford to miss. There really is power in numbers. Join me.

Miss Representation Extended Trailer


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3 responses to “Put Out the Fire

  1. I know you don't have to keep your child protected in a bubble, but that outfit needs some pants! My husband works with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders and I believe they stopped allowing costumes at school due to the skimpy factor. Even innocent sounding outfits such as a ladybug or cat were in fact a leotard and quite revealing. I was school shopping in the five year old section last week and could not believe the amount of leopard print. A little school girl should be cute not sexy.

  2. I so agree! It's a problem and it's a bit puzzling how costumes for girls got to be so inappropriate. I hope things do change!

  3. Great post and I couldn't agree with you more! I see how, as an adult, it can be fun to get dressed up like this. But I don't like how it's expected for all women over like the age of 16 to dress up as whores for Halloween. I'd rather it be a choice among many many more options. You know what I mean?

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