Spirit Halloween, a company that has hundreds of stores nationwide, has been getting a little bit too creative with descriptions of their online costumes–particularly ones aimed at tween girls. Not only do they seem to think that teens should look sexy, but that they should act sexy as well.
Yes, it is no longer enough to dress girls in revealing and skintight getups for Halloween. Now they need to know how to behave in the costumes as well.
Here’s the initial description for “Rag Doll”:
The mini pinafore dress is whimsical and girly but you are all grown up now so why not find out if BIG BOYS like to play with dolls!
Whoa! It is one thing to advertise arguably inappropriate dresses for underage girls, but it is another thing entirely to tell them to experiment sexually with older boys or men.
The “Major Trouble Tween Costume,” which features a ghastly brown-and-blue camouflage minidress and matching cap, was originally accompanied by this descriptor:
No need to pull rank because boys will surrender and follow whatever orders you issue. Be gentle–they’re only boys and you shouldn’t pull rank!
Aside from the double entendres here, girls are also being told that they shouldn’t get too comfortable in a leadership role. And there’s more, such as the “Drama Queen Major Flirt Girls Costume“:
Make any soldier with an attitude drop and give you 20 when you suit up as Major Flirt, the highest-ranking Drama Queen in the army! This classic girls costume comes with military green dress, vinyl studded belt, Major Genderal’s hat and matching glovettes–all you’ll need to get them to stand at A-tten-tion!
Again with the double entendres, and again a girl is encouraged to use her power only to flirt or create drama.
Outraged by the implications of these costume descriptions, the National Organization for Women(NOW) started a petition to stop the marketing of sexy children’s costumes. In response, Miss Representation has also started a Twitter campaign to get people to boycott the Spirit Halloween with the hashtag #NotBuyingIt.
The good news is that Spirit Halloween has actually changed some of their online descriptions for the costumes. The bad news is that the sexualized costumes themselves have remained unchanged and are still for sale.
Screenshot of Rag Doll Costume via Spirit Halloween.