Have you been shopping for girls’ Halloween costumes lately? If you have, you already know that most of the costumes are intended to showcase our daughters as sex objects. So wrong!
Take heart. Modest Halloween costumes are possible!
Whether you want to buy a costume or make one, you can find costume options that are both fun and appropriate for girls. And you can help your daughter understand why choosing a non-sexualized costume is important for your family.
Skip taking your daughter through the racy isles of the local Halloween boutique. There are lots of online options for modest costumes. Here are three fabulous places to look:
- A Mighty Girl, a girls’ empowerment site, has a large selection. This website is full of products for “smart, confident, and courageous girls.”
- Ebay has a listing of modest teen and tween girls’ costume ideas; many ideas include links to sales pages for easy purchase.
- Pinterest is a fabulous place to look for modest costumes. Try this board (which also includes links to Project Inspired, a site with a variety of fun and easy costumes, even for those who don’t sew!) Also, check out this awesome board by Protect Young Minds where you will find a variety of do-it-yourself and ready-to-buy options.
[Keep in mind that each family’s version of modesty can vary, so not every costume on these pages may meet your standards.]
The great thing about Pinterest is you can even create your own board and save your favorite dress-up ideas throughout the year. Then, when Halloween comes, you will have your own catalog of options all in one place. You and your daughter can look through your board together and she can pick a costume she likes that you have already approved.
Here are a few costume ideas I love:
The Protect Young Minds’ Halloween Costumes for Girls Pinterest board has over 300 creative (and modest) ideas!
Add clothing to Halloween costumes
If a costume seems age-appropriate but is still too revealing, add an undershirt, leggings, or sweatpants. Or layer a long skirt under a short skirt. Most immodest costumes can become modest with a little creativity!
DIY Halloween costumes can be fun!
Many mothers don’t want to spend time making a costume, but it can rewarding. Often you save money. More importantly, though, do-it-yourself costumes can turn into fun bonding time with your daughter. Try wrapping your daughter as a toilet paper mummy, or creating a Lego costume from a large box. Working together with your girl can create memories that will last a lifetime. (Don’t forget to take pictures of the creating-a-costume process!)
Bonus tip: Encourage group costumes!
Teach your daughter she can be a cool trend setter when she and her friends wear group costumes:
Help her get creative with ideas that would work for a group of girls and encourage her to suggest ideas to her friends. Halloween is always more fun when you coordinate dressing up with others!
It can even be fun to dress up as a family!
When your daughter doesn’t like your Halloween costume standards
If your daughter does not agree with your standards and/or her friends are wearing sexy costumes, try to see this as an opportunity to discuss your values and why they matter to you.
It’s important for your daughter to know that you are not trying to punish her when you say no to sexualized costumes. On the contrary, you say no because you value who she is.
In a culture where there is already widespread pornography, sexual abuse, and trafficking of children, we don’t want to normalize anyone seeing children as sex objects. The pornography industry deliberately grooms even young girls to think of themselves as objects of sexuality.
Jean Kilbourne, co-author of So Sexy So Soon, and an expert on the dangers of sexualized advertising said,
Girls exposed to sexualized images from a young age are more prone to eating disorders, depression, and low self esteem. Inevitably, the objectification leads to violence. … Turning a human being into a thing is almost always the first step in justifying violence against that person. (Jean Kilbourne, “The dangerous ways ads see women,” TEDxLafayetteCollege, Published on May 8, 2014)
Your daughter is worth it!
Parents, don’t give up– even if it takes a little extra effort, money, or persuasion to help protect your daughter’s dignity, safety, and self respect on Halloween. She is a cause worth fighting for!
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Becky Edwards is a presenter, life coach, and professional organizer. She owns the blog Purpose Driven Motherhood. She loves helping people improve order, mindset, emotions, relationships, and habits. Becky has a passion for protecting families from pornography, and helping girls and women heal their body image. Becky has been married to Mike for 25 years. They have five children and two grandchildren. Becky graduated from Brigham Young University studying parenting, marriage, and counseling.