Ruby's Corner

Tricks and Treats: Return to Innocence

So, you know what time it is! That’s right, Halloween! When you dress up as a scary ghost or zombie, right? Not for girls my age (I’m 11, in sixth grade). For us, it is dress-up-in-an-inappropriate-way time. And I know I am in that inbetween age, where I’m still a kid and almost something else, but seriously. I love Halloween, I love trick-or-treating with my friends, I love the way the neighborhood turns into a magical place with cobwebs and spiders and everything spooky-safe. And ever since I was 7, it’s been hard for me to find a costume that isn’t above the knee or low-cut or has a choker involved.

Like this year, I wanted to be Elmo and my friend was going to be Cookie Monster but where were the fuzzy costumes? NOWHERE. Instead of fun costumes that I would have a hard time choosing between, I found super-short dresses that aren’t cute, they’re inappropriate for me. How does Snow White turn into a girl in a sports bra that’s blue and a yellow mini skirt and super high heels that are bright red? Tell me, how is that Snow White? I looked at a Little Red Riding Hood costume and it went up really high. I mean, the list goes on and on.

And you know, instead of just telling my mom, “So this year, I want to be a Ghoulish Girl,” and going to the costume store and picking it out in five minutes, we have to search for something and my mom has to inspect it! Can you imagine trying to decide what costume is sexy and which is not with your mom? Do you know how embarrassing that is? Well, believe it. I have to do that every Halloween. Now, it isn’t easy when my best friend and me had been planning to be something together and your mom tells you cant because it is too-something-gross. So this year, I’m borrowing my friend’s old pumpkin costume that her Mom sewed for her (yep, she’s got a Super-Mom) and it is perfect for me, a girl of 11 years old.

It is sad how for Halloween, girls have less and less options on what to wear, that they have to choose between ick and ickier. I used to love Halloween because you could dress up in public  like a fairy and not look weird! Now, when I look for a fairy costume, I look a little too weird. Why do costume-makers want girls looking like this? What is going to happen to the next generation? Maybe the GOOD costumes won’t even be here anymore, the only choice a 10-year-old girl will have is to be something with the word “vixen” or “sexy” in the costume title. Sigh. I can only hope for the best.

I have to search real hard for a good non-weird costume. And it shouldn’t be this hard. Really, the only thing we can do is hope that the costumes go back to the way they were when I was little, when you could be a Princess or a Baseball Player and not look like you were out to be anything else but that. And more appropriate. NOTE TO PEOPLE WHO MAKE THESE COUSTUMES: we are not 25. We are 11. Start making costumes like it. AND FAST.

  • Jessica Sherwood

    You go girl! There needs to be more girls with your mindset in the world today. The one thing I would disagree on is that even 25 yr olds don’t need to dressing like that, I’m 22 and I despise halloween because of the costume choices! Women shouldn’t have to bare their bodies, no matter the age. :) Excellent writing, keep it up!

  • Shawna Dandois

    Ruby! You are awesome, and oh-so-right. My niece has the same problems when she’s looking for costumes, she’s 10. Luckily my mom, her grandma, usually makes her a costume. In fact, last year she dressed up as a Totoro. Definitely no risk of being inappropriate there. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any better as you get older, so I’m going to give you a little advice. Learn to sew and shop at thrift stores for costume stuff. You’ll never run out of ideas or materials and you’ll save TONS of money. :-)

  • Molly M. Halloran

    Way to go, Ruby! My sister (age 24) and I (age 30) went looking for costumes this year (we usually make our own) and could not find any where our bums wouldn’t be hanging out anywhere! It’s really ridiculous when that same thing is happening to little girls like you, too! I am very impressed that you are not trying to grow up too fast and are just enjoying being a kid. Good for you! Enjoy being a kid as long as you can, it was the best time of my life!

  • Kira Farley

    Ruby you rock!! I love how you think and are able to speak your mind in an articulate way. Thank you for voicing concerns and showing that kids don’t want to look that way anymore than their parents want them to. My daughter is 10 and has no desire to look sexy. Thank goodness!!

  • Katherine Costantini

    I missed a lot of costume shopping when I was younger because my grandmother made all of my costumes. It must be a pretty confusing message for young girls if they’re shopping in the girls’ section of the costume shop and are basically finding shorter/smaller versions of the womens’ costumes.

  • Zelina Garza

    share pics after. :)

  • Marilynn Silly-Goose Marie

    I totally agree! I’m 19 and I want to dress as zombie or something fuzzy and fun. Not a skanky red riding hood. I went to the costume store the other day and I saw a pimp costume that was child size. CHILD SIZE! I was so upset…Who would dress their child as a pimp???

  • Andrew Neblock

    Good article. I was actually just having this same conversation with some of my friends earlier this week. I’ve noticed that every year the “sexy” costumes are edging out the normal ones for girls more and more, even for the younger ages.
    I still think the quote from the movie Mean Girls was one of the most profound observations of the holiday this decade.
    “In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

  • Maggie Burt

    Alright, THIS is awesome. I’m a young adult, and I don’t even go buy costumes anymore because there’s almost nothing with humility. Thank so much for writing this; my friends an I have been saying this for a looong time. And you’re only 11? You ROCK! 😀

  • Jessica Novak

    I completely agree with you Ruby! And its not just for your age that there is a problem, although I understand that brings its own set of issues in terms of age-appropriateness. But, I am 37, and dislike most of the costumes I see out there. And, I’ll admit it, I am a bit overweight. I used to love Halloween! Now it’s just another day where I find myself compared to skinny twenty-somethings in barely there costumes. Since when did Halloween become “dress like a ‘sexy-something’ day”? It’s supposed to be light-hearted fun for everyone, not just eye-candy for men and another competition for women.

  • Kirstin Burke

    You are absolutely right with this Ruby, girls don’t need to look like mini versions of the women costumes, I remember when I was younger (I’m 21 now) where you couldn’t find something above the knee even if you wanted to, which I didn’t just saying. I wish they’d go back to normal costumes for girls too, I’m glad to know that there is at least one girl your age who doesn’t want to dress up a bit…risky shall we say. I’ve seen a bunch of girls wearing outfits these days that if I had tried wearing when I was their age my parents would’ve slapped me and told me to go get into normal clothes lol. It’s just a pity all in all. Keep doing what you are doing girl, you rock!

  • Elizabeth McDonald

    Man, wait til you actually get older, the costumes are just indecent! I saw a sexy Freddy Kreuger outfit the other day. Just… why? “Hey babe, you know what would turn me on? If you dressed up like a slutty Freddy Kreuger” o_O Bloody patriarchy ¬_¬

  • Shannon Humphreys

    YES! I’m so with you, Ruby! It’s so completely inappropriate and TOTALLY missing the point of Halloween! As an adult, I find this is still a problem for me. I’d like to dress up when I take my son (he’s being a pirate AGAIN!) trick or treating, but I don’t think it would be appropriate to wear a costume in which my bum and cleavage are on display! I’m walking around with a 3 year old. It’s completely inappropriate and NOT fun or scary or make believe. It’s just gross. Thanks for another awesome post.

  • Wishpath Healing Centre

    i am sooo excited to read something so fantastic by someone so young! you give me lots of hope! i bet you’ll be the best pumpkin ever. xo

  • Kristen Haynie

    Hey, you’re not alone! I am 21 years old this year, and I feel the exact same way about Halloween costumes as you do! I don’t want to walk around in short skirts and high heels. Not to mention, it tends to be chilly after dark on Halloween where I live. Today’s costumes are ridiculous, so I usually just shop around at thrift and craft stores and make my own. This year, I’m dressing up as Pippi Longstocking (thick leggings, crazy hair, and all)!

  • Melissa Rae Brown

    “we are not 25, we are 11.” believe me, Ruby, we hear ya! even those of us over 25 wish we could go to the halloween shop and find something that didnt look like a stripper outfit!

  • Thu Ngo

    Good on you, Ruby. You give me hope for the younger generations.

    It doesn’t get any easier to find a costume as an adult, either. Sorry to say.

  • Elisabeth Miller

    Ruby, I am so impressed by your strong sense of self as a person and as a woman. I hope I have a daughter as insightful as you!

  • Kayla Kinney

    Being 22 years old with no younger siblings, I was curious as to what you were talking bout, Ruby. “Surely, costumes are not made like this for young girls,” I said to myself. So I had to go on a Halloween costume website to find out for myself. I clicked on the “tween” category and am honestly appalled about what I saw. Ruby, you are so right in how inappropriate this is for girls your age! Let me tell you, the pre-packed costumes made for adults aren’t any better. That’s why I always make my own costume. It’s more fun and I’ve always gotten compliments on them. So stick to your guns, girl!

  • Christina Boucher

    Great to hear some kids still have some sense in ’em to not spend $80 + on prostitute costumes. The other day I was in the store with my sister and we overheard a girl who looked to be just about your age screaming at her mother because she wouldn’t buy her an outfit that basically made her look like Jon-Benet Ramsey. The clothes are getting smaller and smaller and I get it, kids that age just want to wear what everyone else is wearing. But lemme just say this, pedophiles are going to have a field day in the future because I think kids are just going to start going trick-or-treating naked.

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