Halloween Trend Toward Racy Get-Ups Vexes Parents

Gabby Cirenza wanted to be a referee for Halloween. The outfit she liked had a micro-mini black skirt and a form-fitting black and white-striped spandex top held together with black laces running up the flesh-exposing sides. She looked admiringly at the thigh-high black go-go boots that could be bought as an accessory. And she thought the little bunny on the chest was cute.

“Absolutely not,” said her mother, Cheryl. “That is so not happening.”

Gabby is 11.

And the Playboy Racy Referee costume was only the latest that her mother had vetoed one pre-Halloween-crazed afternoon at Party City in Baileys Crossroads as too skimpy, too revealing, too suggestive .

Bawdy Halloween costumes, however, have become the season’s hottest sellers in recent years. Not just for women, but for girls, too. And parents such as Cirenza don’t like it.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch

18 comments on “Halloween Trend Toward Racy Get-Ups Vexes Parents

  1. Words Matter says:

    This puts me in mind of the scene in Apollo 13 where the daughter and parents argue over her Halloween costume. What was that? 1970? Some things never change. 🙂

  2. deaconjohn25 says:

    Halloween is a sick, disgusting holiday. One of my wife’s ancestors (Samuel Wardwell) was hung for being a witch in 1692. And today the greedy, immoral merchants and politicians of Salem (I live next door in Lynn, Ma.) exploit the deaths of honorable people who would not lie under oath–they chose death instead. For if you confessed to being a witch, you were let go. For the most part, it was those who would not sell their souls and their honor and tell a lie to avoid the noose who were executed.
    Yet Salem today has an official witch (Laurie Cabot) and puts a witch flying on a broom on all its city vehicles, emblems, and offices–wallowing in the lie that Salem was the home of people who were somehow into a witch cult or sect. Then they give a big welcome to the people on that comedy show “Bewitched” to further make comedic what happened to the victims there.

    [i][edited to remove off-topic portions][/i]

  3. DonGander says:

    Over the last 100 years existentialism has robbed the culture of anything resembling beauty. All that remains, after beauty is gone, is sex.

    Add to that that parents have no confidence in being parents and we have what we read in the article. Totally logical. Totally sad.

  4. TACit says:

    From the article: “….she thought the little bunny on the chest was cute”.
    Cute, eh? Let me tell you, where I live, them l’il ‘bunnies’ adorn many truck decals, baseball caps, styled black jackets – hope I don’t have to get more specific – any parent that recognizes why a bunny might be on this costume needs to also be aware of the message its wearer may be inadvertently sending.
    Call it ‘fashion conditioning’ if you like.

  5. Sherri says:

    Over the last 100 years existentialism has robbed the culture of anything resembling beauty.

    That is so painfully true, Don. And it’s sad because I think a yearning for beauty is kin to our yearning for God.

  6. Jim the Puritan says:

    When I first tried to open this Washington Post story this morning from a link on another site, I got a porn warning from my spam filter. I guess the story has enough of the buzz words to set off the alarm.

    Speaks volumes about our culture.

  7. Crabby in MD says:

    I read it this morning – the actual paper edition – and all I could think of is, “I’m glad I have boys!”

  8. Br. Michael says:

    Our culture is addicted to sex. It worships sex and it glories in it. As Christians we are counter cultural. It may be a hard thankless fight and it may, or will, get us labeled as prudes, but it is a fight we must make.

  9. Larry Morse says:

    Don Gander’s trenchant remark really needs exaimination. He is obviously right, that value has been leeched away until sex alone is left, but why? We have read again and again tht the issue of homosexuality is not that important with the TEC issues, and yet, it is at the heart of the matter, isn’t it? And rightly so, but the suborning of a culture by an obsession with sex is at the very heart of American values. But why? Why now has sex subsumed virtually all aspects of American culture beneath it? AS to dress for Halloween, provocative clothes for little girls has been an issue for years. Parents have been dressing 6 year olds as tarts; you have all seen it. But why? Don, where did this come from and why, after yers and years of obsessing over sex, does the compulsioon not go away? Is it simply that all our values have been so eroded that the only values left are those hard wired in the genes? Larry

  10. Canon King says:

    The place to start, Larry, would be to move away from “values” altogether. Values, of all kinds can and do inflate and deflate according to the cultural “economy”. There is simply no stability there.
    What we shold be looking for instead is virtue. Virtue is fixed by God and, therefore, immutable…which is why, of course, most people rebel against it. Virtue judges me rather than I, it.

  11. Brian of Maryland says:

    My daughter searched through many stores before she found a dress she thought suitable for her high school homecoming dance. Shopping for several hours was frustrating, at least that’s what she told me when she came home with her mom. “I don’t do that slutty thing” she told me. Good for her. She went with a group of friends and we took pictures before they headed off. In a group of 15 she was the only one of two not dressed like a street walker. And you know the sad thing? Maybe I’m biased (ya think?), but she presented herself as a young woman. The rest looked like … well … you get the idea.

    What I don’t understand is why all the MOMS are letting this happen, especially professional women. After all the work to open doors, do they really want their daughters to understand themselves only as sexual objects? Crap.

    Maryland Brian

  12. Franz says:

    Brian –

    Congrats on having a daughter with a brain. Mine are a little younger, but aging rapidly into those perilous years. My wife and I have endless talks with them about what is appropriate and what is not. They seem to get it, and I hope they keep that up. Your story of your daughter gives me some hope that the lessons can stick. As can good parenting.

  13. The_Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    I was in the store the other day with a friend of mine who was looking for a costume for his 10 year old daughter. He didn’t want to go the bloody-ghoul-with-an-ax-in-his-head route, so he was forced to look for something else. He ran pretty much into the problem that this article presents.

    After an ongoing search, the sale clerk came up and asked if he could help. “What about this?” he says as he pulls out this (extremely revealing) princess costume. My friend replies, “That’s be great if I wanted my daughter to be in a flapper harem!”

  14. chips says:

    I hardly consider myself a puritan – but even I paused at the grocery store last week and considered the Bunny costume for a child under 12 off putting. I am also amazed at what the Jr High school aged girls are wearing to Church – nearer beach wear. Though I am sure in 1969 the mini skirt caused quite an uproar – the pendulum will swing back – but parents – especially ones with enough fortitude to get the kids to church – need to hold the line.

  15. libraryjim says:

    Two words:
    Sewing Machine.

  16. Larry Morse says:

    The comments are interesting but you haven’t answered my question: Why NOW? And why has this become an obsession? Sex is as imporant as it always has been, but what we are looking at is rather different: It is not The Act that is at stake, but the Invitation to The Act, and invitation that is likely to turn out to be not an invitation at all, but a sham invitation, a kind of advertisement for a product not on the shelves. Why? Is this mere exhibitionism, yet another case? Is us that one sex and one’s self have become so identified that egotism is synonymous with sexual display? Wht is going on? And is there a connection between the subject of this blog and the pandering to homosexuality? LM

  17. libraryjim says:

    I think it has a lot to do with mass media (not newspapers, but tv and movies in general) and recordable media. In the past, if you wanted to see an X rated movie, you had to drive to the seedy part of town and either buy a 8mm film or sit in a dingy theater to watch one (or so I’ve been told). Same with printed porn — it just wasn’t that readily available (which is why the Sears’ catalog was so important to a teen-ager’s life).

    Today, all you have to do is turn on the TV to choose a program on network tv that if released into theaters 20 years ago would have been rated R. Cable expands that possiblity, and then there is pay-per-view!

    And then there is the constant Cable News coverage of Madonna, Brittany, Christina, etc.

    Models on billboards and in the mall windows (Victoria’s Secret is in most malls now), only add to this allure of the once-forbidden.

    In other words, we are saturated with it. That’s why now. The question is now “Can we do it” not “should we do it”.

  18. DonGander says:


    You ask, “But why? Don, where did this come from and why, after years and years of obsessing over sex, does the compulsion not go away?”

    I want to try to answer that – even though I can’t see why God would given me any more insight than anyone else. Before commenting I want to set the stage with a couple of corrections:

    First, we are not seeing the pendulum swing – there isn’t one. This is a one-way cultural movement that has been going on for over 100 years. Pendulum swings occur over a few years or a generation.

    Second, other places in history have seen similar moral depressions. As long as God’s grace endures there is hope.

    Now to the question:

    I want to illustrate another time (pre-compulsion) by using my grand-father as an example. He was born in the 1890s and he told me with great gravity that his youthful indiscretion as a teenager was going off to Iowa and buying a watch. He thought mirrors in bathrooms was the height of vanity, he distrusted any feeling that he had (submitting it to Scripture and prayer), he married a young lady that he met while delivering fuel to the parsonage and had 8 kids who all grew up to love and respect him. He had dozens of Grand-children who still talk of him in reverent tones. His life was a logical construct based on the real world and a real God. His life was not easy though he was constantly thankful. Where did he get those virtues and convictions? He did not get them from his own grandfather for that grandfather was a drunken, angry, atheist Irishman. Though I’ve no room for evidence here, I assure you that he got them by a logical discipline from God, Scripture, and conflicting ideas; and logically working with those three things.

    My grandfather, like most everyone in his day, approached the difficulties of life logically. They were trained to do so. Failure to do so in those days had radically and visibly horific results.

    Now I want to take you back to the Garden of Eden. All is in harmony with God, nature, and Man. Satan debates Eve, trying to convince her that the forbidden fruit, in her best interests, should be eaten. Look at Eve’s conclusion that led her to eat the fruit:

    And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat,..

    She saw, she was pleased at its appearance, she desired. Please note that what she did was not a logical construct. She “felt” her way to her conclusion. She was led on that route of thinking by Satan.

    To contrast the two types of thinking we have Eve, who “felt” her way to a conclusion, and my grandfather (and most of his generation), who listened to a God who says, “Come, let us reason together.”

    Do these parents, who allow there daughters to skank their way into adulthood, do so out of a logical progression of thought or are they “feeling” their way to their conclusions? They must be led by their feelings as there is nothing logical about their decisions! There are but two choices.

    Now I finally get to your question, where did this come from; our contemporary problem? To me, based on my view above, the question should be, When, or how, did we move from a society based on logic to one based on feeling?

    My answer, unfortunately, will not give instant gratification but will require you to study further. My answer to the question of why we have had a continual depression of morals for over 100 years is because in the 1880s a way of thinking was introduced into colleges and universities and it spread very quickly. It allowed arguement based on personal conviction (feeling) rather than truth and logic. It was called Existentialism.

    From my first post (#3), beauty is based on logic, beauty is defineable. Sex, at its foundations is based feelings. Neither is evil of its own and both can be used in evil ways or with evil attitudes, but they are merely thermometers of the culture that we are immersed in. You read them correctly. Can you now tell us what that reading means?