Just in Time for Halloween Or…?

Another example of the photos “making” the story. From the 12 September 2004 issue.

Trick or Trick

“They’re not serious,” says Bob Davidson of Brands On Sale, which is selling Halloween costumes on line: several different “pimp” outfits (“Pimp hat sold separately.”) for boys, and a “ho” outfit for girls. No, they’re not just for adults: child sizes go down to age 4. The Cerritos, Calif., company says they’re selling “fine” at $40-50, but admits there’s an uproar over the outfits. They don’t care. “We’re selling them,” Davidson says. “If you don’t want to buy one, don’t buy one. I’m not going to talk to you about it.” Dr. Elisa Medhus, author of Raising Children Who Think for Themselves, says the costumes are degrading. “This is really unbelievable,” she says. “Why don’t you just dress them up as a dog and put them on a leash?” (Philadelphia Inquirer) …I guess she didn’t look through the entire catalog.

Despite the bravado expressed by the company’s spokesman, “Brands On Sale” appears to have backed off — the costumes are gone from their web site. But True has the photos!

Emphasis on the Trick

A Pimp costume for kids as young as 4Mommas don't worry: we haven't forgotten your little girls!
Your own little Huggy Bear! Your youngster can get an early start on forming his stable thanks to this stylish outfit. Pimpin’ — it’s not just for Halloween anymore! And don’t you worry a thing about your little girl: she’s covered too with a little Ho costume of her own.

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8 Comments on “Just in Time for Halloween Or…?

  1. I think the girl’s outfit is more a problem with labeling than the costume itself. She doesn’t look like a “ho”, she looks like a flapper. Of course, most kids aren’t going to know what that is.

  2. The costumes are degrading and likened to dressing a child up as a dog including a leash? Are they in bad taste? Heck yeah! But geeza – what happened to parental responsibility? Assuming things are legal: what happened to ‘if you don’t like it, don’t buy / read / watch / use it’?

    If we as a society need to clamor over this in order to protect some children then we are missing the point – if we protect the children, we protect them from the stupendously idiotic adults (imbecilic creatures not deserving of the title “parent”) who would find these costumes amusing / titillating / (insert something that truly disgusts you here)!

    I’m all for protecting children from abuse and other true threats – personal experience as the very young abusee and the abusee’s non-abusing parent. Let’s protect them from the real threats to life, security, happiness and a healthy childhood.
    But… costumes? If a child is dressed by an adult in such a costume, deal with the imbecilic creature who did that rather than the seller of the costume.

  3. I’d wager to say the boy would see it as a cool, somewhat retro, suit he’d maybe seen in a movie somewhere… and that girls costume looks pretty decent for a “ho”.
    Much worse are the “sexy” costumes in child sizes I’d say (yes, those DO exist.)

  4. I don’t see the problem, frankly. OK, so the costumes have stupid names, but to be honest neither look degrading in any way and in fact, particularly the boy’s one, look quite good. If I could get a suit like that for $50 I’d be very happy.

    He looks like he will be sitting in a large armchair with a cigar and a glass of port telling ghost stories (whatever happened to ghost stories on radio and TV?), she looks like she’s about to do a turn on stage.

    People really should stop seeing sex in everything.

    Well, to be fair, the costumes were in fact marketed as “pimp” and “ho” costumes, which is everything about sex. -rc

  5. I understand why you would possibly think that the stupendously idiotic adult is responsible not the seller of the costume, but if we all stand by and not say anything about this how would the stupendously idiotic adult or future stupendously idiotic adults even realize that their parenting skills could use improvement.

    What if the seller offered Nazi uniforms or terrorist garb, would that be ok too?

  6. Are you kidding? Have you seen the way girls dress these days? The girl’s outfit is much more wholesome than what they wear on a regular day at school!

  7. @Susan from Florida: Halloween costumes are not necessarily restricted to people/creatures that are sociopolitically viewed favorably. If a person claimed to be Wiccan, the person may be a witch/warlock. My (admittedly outdated) understanding of Christian sociopolitics is that Wicca is an “evil” religion (more than, e.g. Hinduism or Buddhism), therefore witches/warlocks are sociopolitically unfavorable.

    I think all rational Americans would agree that Nazis and terrorists are sociopolitically unfavorable. For this reason, I’m of the opinion that costumes representing witches/warlocks, Nazis and terrorists should be treated equally. I’d further opine that the pimp/ho costumes in the OP should also be treated the same way. I think the individual families (including the children) should make this decision on their own.

    Furthermore, the pimp/ho costumes start conversations about rape/molestation/abuse involving children. Paired with an apparent Michael Jackson and a priest, the message can be very powerful.

    I can guarantee lots of kids (and adults) have gone out on Halloween dressed as terrorists. Nazis, however, would likely be shunned, as I witnessed when one adult (blonde hair, blue eyes, even) was when he dressed as a Nazi brownshirt. Of course, he was a social studies professor and wanted to see what the reaction was. He did. -rc


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