Did you notice it this Halloween and the weeks prior? From the magazine ads and display windows of stores at the mall, to the costume parties across the nation. Halloween has become an excuse for girls to dress slutty.
I think Elizabeth Durand summarized this mindset well in the opening line of her article, Slutty Halloween Costumes for Nice Girls. She said:
“Every hot-blooded American girl knows Halloween is really just an excuse to dress like a tramp without being judged. Duh.”
Today’s sit coms seem to echo this mindset. In the hit show Big Bang Theory (3rd most popular show last week), Penny wore a particularly trampy police-girl outfit. Her friend asks her, “Slutty cop?” Penny replied, “No, this is sexy copy. Slutty cop only came with a skirt and two badges.”
In the brand new show Ben and Kate, Kate’s friend BJ discusses hooking up with a guy during Halloween, assuring Kate that this holiday is the one time a year it’s okay to dress like a whore.
It’s sexualization at it’s finest, and sadly, teenager girls are gobbling it up.
Seriously? “Snow Bunny”? She’ll freeze!
“Unicorn”? It’s just a slutty teenager with a horn on her head!
“Sassy Sailor”? Really? Sigh…
Girls are learning young that being sexy is way more important than other characteristics. And that’s exactly what the American Psychological Association defines as “sexualization.” (Fascinating report.) Girls choose sexy over other characteristics, even as early as 6-years old.
So how can we prevent our girls from believing this lie that sexy trumps other characteristics?
- Positive Reinforcement: Constantly affirm your kids in their strengths, reminding them how they will use that skill in real life. Don’t forget to encourage noticed character traits like honesty, compassion or reliability.
- Raise Awareness about Sexualization: Let them see examples of it, and talk about the consequences that the APA outlines. If you’re watching a show that exemplifies sexualization, pause and have a conversation about it.
- Set Dress-code Guidelines: No, you don’t need to start measuring skirts from the floor, but teach modesty, and create some simple guidelines that involve layering so tops aren’t too low and skirt aren’t too short.
Finally, teach our girls the whole story. Sexy isn’t bad. God made women sexy, and he made sex pleasurable. When our girls meet the man of their dreams someday and commit to him in marriage, they will get to enjoy all the sexy fun that goes along with that. Don’t be ashamed of this truth. Always look for opportunities to tell our kids the explicit truth about sex.
Let’s raise a generation of girls that don’t feel pressured to become too sexy too soon.
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