The serious side of Halloween dress-up

We never seem to get out of the Halloween season without at least a few incidences of people protesting the types of costumes

We never seem to get out of the Halloween season without at least a few incidences of people protesting the types of costumes both worn and available for the spookiest night of the year.

We tend to think that some of the outrage gets a trifle overdone.

Other people irked by some of the dress-up clothes mass manufactured for Oct. 31 have a point.

Sometimes things that were once considered OK by the masses aren’t any longer.

We imagine that many a child of yesteryear dressed up as an “Indian” for example — something that has since fallen clearly (and justifiably) under the heading of cultural insensitivity.

Then there was the ill-considered “Tranny Granny” costume that’s been pulled this year already from Amazon and Wal Mart, for obvious reasons. Having seen pictures, we can’t imagine this would have been a great seller anyway, quite aside from its perpetuation of outdated gender stereotypes.

And speaking of outdated gender stereotypes, past years have, also justifiably, seen parents of little girls upset by a couple of legitimate issues.

These are, one, a lack of superhero costumes for girls, and two, a plethora of really inappropriately suggestive get-ups.

On the first, why shouldn’t a girl get to be a superhero if she wants to? She shouldn’t have to be relegated to the sidekick role. There’s plenty of little girls who will want to be princesses for Halloween, but for those who want to be Spiderman, or Superman or Batman, it should at least be an option.

On the second, who wants to send their seven-year-old out in fishnets, or a naughty maid costume? And yet, these are actually sold for young girls.

It’s not cute, it’s just really uncomfortable. Let’s stick with age-appropriate.

But by far the worst thing we’ve seen so far this month is the press release from Children of the Street Society, begging parents not to send their children out trick-or-treating a pimp or a ho.

It’s horrifying that there are enough parents encouraging and/or allowing this that such an organization felt the need to send out a media release.

What parent thinks it would be fun to send their kid out dressed as someone in the sex trade?

It’s not funny or clever or edgy. It’s just sad.

And beyond bad taste.

“Sexual exploitation and human trafficking are crimes that rely on individuals being unaware or misinformed on the issue. Wearing Halloween costumes that stereotype or make light of these harmful forms of exploitation, only contributes to the problem,” says Diane Sowden, executive director for Children of the Street Society.

We couldn’t agree more, Diane.

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