Thursday, October 24, 2013

Truly Scary

Halloween is my least favorite holiday.  This surprises no one who knows me, as I've never been a big fan of dress up, although I enjoy indulging my girls' love of glitter and tulle.  

We don't do the scary/gory/occult stuff in my house.  I try to steer the girls toward literary or TV character-related costumes (within reason, of course).  Maddie was going to be Pippi Longstocking but instead opted to be Saige, the American Girl of the Year.  Ava started October wanting to be Rapunzel but switched to Doc McStuffins (a female doctor from Disney Junior) instead. No problems there.

But costume choices for little girls are getting worse every year.  Pick up a costume catalog or party store flyer and try to find something appropriate for your 8 year-old daughter. Here's what I'm talking about. 

Image taken from

Scary stuff. When did Halloween become such a sexualized holiday?  Dressing up is a fun and creative activity.  So why all the sex?  

I grew up in a Catholic home, so Halloween often included putting together a costume of our favorite saint for the feast of All Saints Day on November 1. I dare you to try to be sexy while dressed as the Blessed Mother or St. Joseph.  

Halloween has somehow become about "good girls gone bad" for one night each year.  For college girls or the occasional mom's night out, I suppose I understand the draw (but I don't support it). Trouble is, I'm not sure why my 4 year-old needs to "go wild" for a night.  She's 4, wild is her default setting.  

But the deeper question is this: Why is my child's sexuality such a commodity?  Why would we choose to put her body in the spotlight, when God created her to be so much more? 

Can't I just get my peanut butter cups and Kit Kats without having to be half naked (and probably freezing)?!

Oh yeah, about that chocolate...

Here's my other problem with Halloween.
Child labor chocolate.  Read about it here:

I like chocolate.  But a few years ago when Ava was diagnosed with a tree nut allergy, I began being more ingredient- and label-conscious.  That's when I discovered chocolate's dirty little secret.  

As the above article explains, Hershey, Mars, and Nestle--which account for nearly all the Halloween chocolate in your child's trick-or-treat bag--get their cocoa beans from farms in West Africa which employ many children, some of which have been sold into slavery, in terrible working conditions.  Hershey, Mars, and Nestle do not own the farms and therefore do not assume any responsibility for the conditions there.  They are only concerned with getting their beans at the lowest possible price so they can make a profit on you, dear consumer.  

So this year we went with non-candy treats to pass out at home.  They are little coloring book packets with crayons and stickers. Best of all, they cost exactly what I would have spent on candy.  

If this speaks to you, here's a link to an article with tips about how to have an ethical Halloween:

I don't mean to take away from anyone's Halloween fun (too late?).  But I've learned that my desire to have a good time shouldn't oppress someone else's rights, either.  

How does your family handle the sexy costume problem?  And what treats will you be handing out this year?  

1 comment:

  1. I am right with you on this Christina!! I kind of wish Halloween would just disappear all together...


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