Is anyone else bothered by the tacky and trashy Halloween outfits targeted at young girls? You're not alone. In fact, it's an issue that unites some of the strangest of bedfellows. Would you ever believe that a liberal professor or an activist lesbian would be guests on 'The Glenn Beck Program'? Well, that's exactly what happened Tuesday night as strange bedfellows came together to discuss the disturbing, trashy trend taking over Halloween.
"I have three daughters, and even taking them out to go shopping for clothing is impossible because there’s nothing modest. It’s like I’m dressing my eight-year-old to go out to a nightclub," Glenn said.
The Halloween costumes on the shelves certainly don't send the right messages to young girls. If anything, they reinforce some of the worst ideas kids could be getting.
Dr. Janni Aragon, a professor from University of Victoria, Canada, told Glenn, "I think one of the things that we see, Glenn, here is that boys are able to run and play with their costumes, and with girls it’s about looking cute...I can recall looking for a bathing suit for my toddler, and the bikini top was padded. She didn’t need padding up top. I mean, I don’t even wear the padding for my bathing suit. I don’t want to. It’s not that I don’t need to, but why would I want to have my toddler or my preschooler wearing padded bathing suits? So it’s not just Halloween costumes...it’s hypersexualizing little girls' bodies."
Stephanie Giese, a mother and a blogger who has written for Huffington Post, has written to several big stores about the inappropriateness of many of the Halloween costumes. She said, "I wrote a post a few weeks ago that went viral where I went into Target with a tape measure and measured the inseams on the clothing for the girls as opposed to the boys, and what I found was that when I measured an extra small in the girls department, compared it to an extra small in the boys, the inseam on the girls shorts was one inch, and the inseam on the boys shorts was seven inches."
"And I’ve been on the phone with the PR department from Target. I’ve also been on the phone with Walmart throughout the past couple of weeks, and they don’t really have a great defense for it at all, other than, you know, well, it’s designs. People are buying it. But what I found when that post did go viral was that a lot of moms responded. I had over half a million responses within just a few days, and a lot of moms said, you know, I bought those shorts, but we wear bike shorts underneath of them or I sewed a ruffle at the bottom. One mom said she bought two pairs and took them to a seamstress," Geise added.
Glenn thinks this issue is just the most obvious example of America's larger problem with objectifying and sexualizing women.
"Kids’ costumes for Halloween is the last stop. This is happening through all of our society, and, you know, our parents, you know, the parents are trying to look like 15-year-olds, and the 15-year-olds are trying to look like 18-year-olds, and everybody’s trying to look like the Kardashians. It’s the media. It’s what we consume. It’s that which you gaze upon, you become. And we are gazing upon trash," he said.
Many of the women in the discussion agreed that it comes down to society prioritizing sexualization over sexy.
Pam Rocker said, "I think there’s a difference between sexy and sexualization. So sexualization means that we’re stripping somebody down to one thing which is how they look, and I think like why does any of this matter? Of course it’s disturbing, but when we look at what that leads to, when we look at what that sexualization leads to, it leads to dehumanizing. And anytime we dehumanize anybody, they’re more vulnerable for violence, which is huge."