Stacey Loscalzo

Oct 28

Halloween: Finding Balance

by Stacey

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Don’t tell anyone but I have never liked Halloween. And now I like it even less.

As a child, I found the costumes itchy and I was often disappointed by having to wear a winter coat over the itchy costume for cold, New England trick or treating. It seemed really unjust to suffer through the itch when no one even saw the costume.

When I grew older, finding costumes was horribly stressful. I didn’t want my costumes to look overdone so I tended to ere on the side of caution. I was a witch or a black cat for most of my teen and college years.  And then I would be disappointed when other people looked better and more creative than I did.

There were a few years when the girls were young and I could tolerate Halloween because who doesn’t love an infant dressed as a pumpkin? But then, the girls grew older and actually began to have opinions on what they would wear and it turns out, costumes are still itchy.

This year, Katherine chose a costume pretty early on but Caroline has been procrastinating. She is solidly on my side with this whole Halloween thing (don’t tell anyone else this either) and is really only in it for the candy. Therefore, choosing a costume has been pretty low on her priority list.

Over the weekend though, reality hit and I ventured in to Party City on my own to find something for Caroline to wear. I am so glad that I was by myself because I was able to stare at the wall of costumes and let my jaw drop to the floor. I have been reading articles and blog posts about the over sexualzation of girl’s and women’s costumes for a long time but I think I had forgotten how bad it truly is. The costumes on display were lingerie and nothing more.

Now as I sit and type this, I wonder what I have done to contribute to the problem. I bought a costume. It was the best of the bad. A witch costume with far too much lace but long sleeved and floor length. What I should have done is left the store, taught myself to sew and created an appropriate costume before Thursday. But I didn’t do that (obviously) and also for Caroline’s sake. She is of an age where she wants to do what her friends are doing and I remember that age well.

I struggle to find the balance between passing my values and beliefs on to the girls and allowing them to form their own opinions. For now that struggle takes the form of a lacy but long witch’s costume. Perhaps by next year, I will have a better answer but now, the best of the bad was the best I could do.

 

5 Comments

  1. Lindsey says:

    I’ve never liked it either, for many of the same reasons. And the boy equivalent of the over-sexualized girl stuff, I have learned, is weaponry. Halloween is an excuse to carry a gun. Of course my kids LOVE Halloween with a passion, and now I find myself decorating the front of the house (an exercise I loathe) just because it makes them SO HAPPY. Almost over!!!

  2. Kathie says:

    So glad I am not the only one! We just got our pumpkins – I was delaying as long as I could. Can’t wait ’til Nov 1. 🙂

  3. Donna says:

    Always happy to find another Halloween humbug! This holiday is creepy in so many ways I don’t where to begin. It’s an excuse for bad behavior on levels I only scratched the surface of as a kid. Now that my son is grown, I can just avoid the whole thing and go out to dinner. And hope the restaurant staff aren’t in costume. : )

  4. Shana Norris says:

    Our costumes came from Party City this year, too.  My son is a werewolf and my daughter is a witch.  It’s a very basic, simple, inexpensive costume.  Pretty ago-appropriate for an 8 year-old.  I’d love to make our own costumes.  I wanted my daughter to dress as Holly Golightly (homemade costume) this year, but she was having none of that.  

    My husband bought the costumes, so I didn’t have to go to the store.  I’ve heard the same things you have, but haven’t seen them first hand yet.

  5. I’m dressing up my 3 yr old as a cowboy this year (a hand-me-down costume that was actually my husband’s when he was little, if you can believe it!) but I think this is the last year I’m going to be able to get away with picking what he dresses up as.

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