Too Sexy Too Soon: Sexualizing Kids
KATU Portlans

Last week, a small group of distraught parents with the power of social media, caused a big ruckus over a tiny toddler Halloween costume—inappropriately named, Naughty Leopard.

Walmart responded by immediately pulling the tot-sized offensive costume.

The tiny black tutu, with purple trim and cute little headband with kitty ears, doesn’t shout “sexy”.

But it is a beginning. The "sex sells" marketing mantra, comes to fruition every Halloween. As is usually the case, women are the ones that unleash their exhibitionism during adult-themed parties.

This has led to increasingly more provocative, sexy costumes every October.

And since the costume manufacturers know that eye-popping styles sell best, young girls have also been introduced to these sexy costumes for their trick or treating adventures.

But let’s not be fooled. Provocative styles aren’t just for Halloween. The tumult caused by a todder’s tutu should be used to rail against retailers that continue to market sex to tweens, teens, and young adults.

The mass-marketing is all the same—girls learn their worth and value can be found in provocative fashions.

Young girls see acceptance in a skin show and their sexiness approval ratings go higher with increasing more incendiary fashions. Check out the “selfies” on social media modeling their sexy attire.

Some argue we can’t return to the modest female fashions of the past—styles that weren’t scandalous, but were respectful. But why not?

If the largest retailer in the nation pulls a toddler costume because of the raucous outburst caused by some concerned moms, then why can’t our collective voices shout down the likes of Abercrombie & Fitch and Aeropostale? Why should junior clothing boutiques resemble brothels?

We can’t underestimate the power of our collective pocketbooks. Let’s stand united against exploiting girls through fashion.

Halloween costumes are just a timely reminder that we’ve let marketers use sex to sell us styles that continue to rob young girls of their self-respect. And when young girls don’t have respect, they stand to lose so much more.