Take Back Halloween! Girls Should Have An Empowered Choice When It Comes To Costumes

Fall is in full swing (seriously, you can’t take a step into a grocery or department store right now without tripping on a pumpkin or over a witch’s broomstick). Though Halloween can be a fun time for the whole family, it can also be a season of increased sexualization, particularly of young girls. Costume trends over the last decade or so have seen gender-neutral costumes, such as animals, and render them female with the addition of bows or tutus, or, worse still, to take a traditional female costume like Little Red Riding Hood and needlessly, yet blatantly, sexualize it.  As a result, there’s a whole lot of costume chaos to wade through to get to the decent All-Hallows Eve dress-up outfits for young girls.

Don’t believe us? Take one step into your local party store (or do a quick Google search) and see what kinds of costumes they have to offer. Sexy fairy, sexy bunny, sexy witch, sexy ghost and, yes, even sexy SpongeBob are things that are actually out there. Honestly, it’s enough to make your head spin.

Since we’re all about empowering girls and women here, we are thrilled that the geniuses at A Mighty Girl have come up with a way to circumvent the sexist Halloween mess.

Our friends at A Mighty Girl think that all girls deserve more interesting and imaginative ways to express themselves through dress-up than what is typically offered at department and toy stores. We couldn’t agree more! The “costume box” that our girls have been put in recent years, forcing them into arcane gender stereotypes, includes few creative options. That’s why we love this innovative compilation of over 200 empowering Halloween costumes for girls that A Mighty Girl put together. Here, you’ll find powerful girl character costumes like Hermione and Madeline, as well as fabulous gender-neutral ninjas, pirates, police officers, and doctors. From Amelia Earhart to a modest Wonder Woman costume, this list has every outfit a young girl could ever dream of wearing for hours of empowering fun on Halloween, or really, anytime she feels like dressing up. We especially love the animal costumes. From giraffe to dinosaur to panda, they’re all fur and no bear no unnecessary bows, tutus, or glitter. They’re just plain dress-up fun with plenty of room for imagination.

This year as Halloween draws near, let’s all approach our daughter’s and our own costume selections with this in mind: Our girls are receiving messages through media and retail outlets that no age is too young to be sexy. The popular costumes today are also sending a harmful image to young boys of what girls their age should dress and act like. Let’s commit to talking to our girls about what is and isn’t appropriate for Halloween, and let’s buy or make them costumes that showcase their creativity and protect their dignity.

Do you agree that Halloween costumes for girls have become increasingly sexualized over the last decade? What sorts of things are you doing to help the young girls in your life make empowered choices for their costumes? What sorts of things have they expressed interest in?

Image courtesy of A Mighty Girl

  • I completely agree. Even at this young age, my wife makes sure that my daughter dresses in a very classy, modest fashion (much like my wife dresses, non-coincidentally). I hope this doesn’t sound bad, but my one year old daughter is going to be a cow for Halloween (she LOVES dairy products). My wife and son are cowboys and I’m going to be the native american.

    You know, I was thinking this morning about the story I’m currently crafting and it’s like YOUR voice came into my head and said “You need more female influence in this story!” Granted, the most POWERFUL character in the story is a woman but she’s the only one…I’m constantly reminded that without enough feminine to balance out the masculine elements of a story, warping occurs.

    • Ashe

      Um, you’re still being a bad influence on your children if you do something as blatantly racist as dressing up as a Native American.

      Being anti-sexism isn’t enough.

      • Sorry. THANKS for calling me out on that. I should have explained more. I was actually a member of the Order of the Arrow Boy Scout organization where we explore the native american culture with a deep respect. I also went to a lot of Mountain Man Rendezvous reenactments as a child so I have a lot of authentic clothes I hardly ever use. Even further than that, I recently found out that I have Native American blood in my ancestry. My respect for their culture runs DEEP (If I had a kilt I would have also considered wearing that to celebrate that faction of my ancestry). So not being a halloween guy, I often just dress up in those clothes. They aren’t even close to the “stereotype” at all but I have to thank you for helping me to think more carefully about what I wear around my children. Thanks and SORRY again!!!

  • kammi

    Yikes. I was with you until you said you’re going as a ‘native american’. Sorry, I don’t mean to be too PC here, but that is kind of offensive to me. It’s part of the problem I have with Halloween; it’s so easy to play on stereotypes and I don’t see it as anything particularly productive; at least for Christmas I can help those less fortunate than I am or make a difference. However, this is just my opinion; everyone is free to make choices as they choose. Have a great day!

    • brendachapman

      Oo. I missed that one. I have to agree with you there. Thanks for spotting it!
      You have a great day, too!

    • Kammi, so sorry to offend. I explained my initial choice a bit more in the comments above. Between the comments from you and Ashe, I’ve decided to NOT dress in my Native American attire this year. I don’t blame you at all for your reaction, I was a bit too careless as I expressed my thoughts. I also agree with you about Halloween – Christmas is a much better time of year for me as well. Thanks!

  • sianychick

    totally agree. I have two boys but if I had a girl I would totally want her to make empowered choices!

    • brendachapman


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