Sunday, September 26, 2004

Putting the trick in "trick or treat"

Here's another reason to be glad my kids aren't into dressing up for Halloween anymore: Apparently, one of the big trends in kiddie costumes this year is to dress the younguns up as pimps and "hos." Unlike the wholesome good old days when kids wanted to be ax murderers and witches, these days sex has supplanted violence and supernatural evil as the scare factor of choice. So girls as young as age 4 can wear fishnets and short skirts instead of princess dresses, and boys can wear fur bedecked hats and coats instead of pirate gear, and pundits such as myself can moan about how America's going to heck in a handbasket. Defenders of the racy costumes suggest that kids see pimps being glorified in rap videos and so naturally want to dress like those cool cats when costume time rolls around. I'd personally suggest that this sounds like an excellent reason to keep your kids from ever watching MTV, but then, as someone who once threw her kid into his father's supermarket uniform and said, "Hey! You're trick-or-treating as Mr. Produce Guy!" I have to admit I'm not really a costume-intensive mom. Judging by what some parents let their kids wear to school, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they let their kids trick-or-treat as workers in the sex trade. What I want to know is: How do you explain to that 4-year-old girl what exactly it is she's going as? If sending your kid out for candy necessitates that you first have "the talk," maybe it's time to rethink.

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