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When a Halloween Costume Crosses the Line

Should a pre-teen go as Twilight's Belle?A Massachusetts mom asks whether she should let her daughter, a pre-teen, go as a sexy vampire for Halloween. The costume idea is a riff on the Twilight series and involves a short skirt, a tight top and lots of make-up.

The expert Mediatrician, Dr. Michael Rich, tells “Belle’s Nemesis” that it’s normal for her girl to want to dress up in a way that is more mature and powerful than real life. After all, this is why little boys often want to go as Superman (or Iron Man). But in talking with the daughter, Rich recommends she reframe the discussion.

He says the costume tells the world something about herself, even if she doesn’t dress this way year round. He says the mom should focus the discussion on self-awareness and self-respect and how she wants people to see her and whether she’d be comfortable being seen by her friends, strangers and men her father’s age.

He also says they could work together to modify the costume in a way that references the young adult series without totally objectifying her.

Good advice, ideal talking points. But here’s my question: what if the girl insists that, “no, Mom. I’ll be fine!” Can Mom pull rank and say, “You’re not going out in that without a jacket. You’re too young.”

Is the Belle costume tolling for anyone else this Halloween? Any worries?

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