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Gender-biased Halloween costumes?

I was at Wal-Mart last night picking out Halloween candy, and there were two women looking at the costumes with a little girl. One of the women went off on a serious tirade about how the outfits for boys were superheroes, and the girls got pretty princesses and fairies. I sort of agreed with her in a way, but I would have liked to ask her what she thought should be done about the issue, since what the girls mostly seem to want--whether it's a flaw in society or not--is princesses and fairies. So what do you all think? Is the difference in costumes for boys and girls a problem? If it is, what could be done? If you have little girls, do you let them dress up as princesses? I would, but my daughter is going to be a purple Pegasus. I didn't stick around long enough to find out what the kid at Wal-Mart ended up choosing.


Asked by Ballad at 8:45 PM on Oct. 24, 2013 in Holidays

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Answers (19)
  • my DD (5) is going as Wonder Woman this year...girly and a super hero! i had to order it online to find it which is sad, cause you'd think she'd be everywhere. DD is in LOVE with Wonder Woman.

    i think its important to let little girls know they can be/do anything, no matter what. and if they choose something girly, thats okay too! i hate the "feminism is a refusal of femininity" thing...its so backwards and stupid!

    Answer by okmanders at 10:21 PM on Oct. 24, 2013

  • I let my DD decide. At age 4, she went as Amelia Earhart. Last year she went as a princess. This year she's going as Elvis.

    I usually get stuff off Amazon since there's more variety.

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 8:48 PM on Oct. 24, 2013

  • Pick your battles. Put your little girl in the army uniform if that's what she wants, you know?

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 8:51 PM on Oct. 24, 2013

  • you have the option of buying either one, just because you have a girl does not mean you have to buy princess, we have iron man, spider man and then girly stuff too.

    Answer by luvmygrandgirl at 8:53 PM on Oct. 24, 2013

  • My daughter gets to choose. She wanted to be Superman this year, I made her a superman tutu dress. It's Halloween my children can choose whatever they like, the point is to be something you are not. I do think my husband would have an issue if DS wanted to be princess and probably wouldn't let me get him a princess costume. We will cross that bridge if it comes, he isn't even 2, I bought him the only costume that looked like it might fight...batman (probably still be too big).

    Answer by AF4life at 9:05 PM on Oct. 24, 2013

  • We have always made our own costumes mostly for that very reason. I have four girls, and none of them has ever wanted to be a princess. One of the girls went as a toilet one year!

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 9:00 PM on Oct. 24, 2013

  • Of course there is some gender bias...they are little boys and girls dressing up to be something or someone important to them. And, most little girls have a time they want to be the pretty magical princess, or rainbow pony, etc. While little boys want to be super heroes, soldiers, etc. The trick is, if your little one doesn't fit that majority stereotype, then they can choose out of the box, so to speak. My kids always choose things like Dracula, Frankenstein, or Robin Hood. Never an actual cartoon character

    Answer by Nimue930 at 9:03 PM on Oct. 24, 2013

  • I let my kids decide what they want to be. MY hangup is how skimpy the girl costumes are. I remember being able to go trick-or-treating in just my costume, clothes underneath if it was cold. My daughter's costume, however, NEEDS clothes underneath just to keep her modestly dressed. I almost wish she'd choose a boy costume, they cover so much more.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 10:52 PM on Oct. 24, 2013

  • My dd is batman & no it's not like that at all. Our stores all have a ton of super hero girl costumes.

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:15 PM on Oct. 24, 2013

  • there is no rule that says only boys can wear the super hero stuff...
    you can always make your own too...

    *I've seen girly super hero costume stuff *maybe not at Walmart, but I've seen it

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 9:37 PM on Oct. 24, 2013