Halloween season is upon us, complete with ghosts, goblins, scary clowns, giant spiders, candy overload — and, oh yeah — row after row of sexy girl costumes lining the shelves at your nearest store.
Sure, girls can dress up as police officers (after all, we teach our girls they can be whatever they want to be, right?). But more likely than not, a girl “police officer” costume will include a short skirt and fishnets and be labeled “sexy.” What do boys get? “Police officer.” That’s it. And writer, TV host, and social media star Carey Reilly is fed up.
Carey, who’s also a mom of two (including a 12-year-old girl), recently made her annual Halloween costume shopping trip with her kids.
“I couldn’t believe how almost every girl’s costume was so overtly sexualized,” Reilly tells Babble. “Apparently, if you are a woman, you can only be a naughty cop, a hot firefighter, or [a cat] named ‘Purrfect Playmate.’ I almost thought maybe I should shield my kids’ eyes when they were looking at the pictures! Almost all the women costumes came with either a bustier or fishnet stockings. Seriously? My only choices are a nurse’s costume called ‘Hospital Honey’ or a French maid costume called ‘Sassy Maid?’ Then when I saw the SEXY Ronald McDonald, Goldfish and Pizza costume, I thought WOW — this is REALLY messed up.”
Reilly is also quick to clarify that she is not criticizing women who dress up sexy for Halloween. Women should wear what they want.
“I’m not putting down sexy costumes, but I’m saying I think we need more choices!” she tells Babble. Where’s the Susan B. Anthony or Jane Goodall costumes? I’m sure if they did make them, Jane Goodall and her chimp would have to wear a corset and thong.”
Seriously. She’s right. Sexy Jane Goodall would not shock me at this point.
“Where are the costumes celebrating women?” she asks. And I wonder the same thing.
So, Reilly took to Facebook and created a hilarious video (as she does) that sends a powerful message. Dressed in a variety of “sexy” costumes that are ill-fitting and horribly uncomfortable, Reilly rants about the lack of options.
“There’s only one lane for Halloween costumes for women. And that’s the sexy lane,” she says (dressed as a sexy cat).
And talk about a double standard. “When did Halloween become the new swimsuit season?” Reilly asks. Men don’t have to put Spanx on and lose 10 pounds for Halloween. They put on a mustache and bandana and say ‘I’m a rockstar!’”
How about “Sassy Maid?” Um, no. “I’m a cleaning lady 365 days a year,” she responds.
I feel the exact same way. There is nothing sexy about cleaning. Especially after scrubbing the toilets and floor when my boys miss the bowl, which I do. All the time.
So where are the “real mom” costumes? “Hi! Real mom over here with a muffin top. Proof I had a baby!” Reilly shouts.
I hear you, Carey Reilly. Because last thing I want to do on Halloween is fast and squeeze into a bustier and Spanx. And THEN eat a bunch of candy?! Nope.
But here’s the thing. This isn’t just about us. As Reilly says at the close of her video, “I don’t want my daughter to think she has to be something sexy for Halloween.”
Because newsflash: It’s not just adult women’s costumes that are being sexualized. Take a gander down the children’s aisle at your local costume store, and you’ll see young girls’ costumes that are overtly sexual. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WORLD.
My 6-year-old daughter actually WOULD dress up as Jane Goodall because she idolizes her. And don’t you dare try to add a corset and a thong to that outfit.
“We can do better,” Reilly says at the end of her video rant.
I agree. And we NEED to. For us and for our girls.