Hitting the streets on Halloween, dressed for action

Oct. 7, 2004, midnight | By Dan Greene | 16 years, 8 months ago

Look! There's little Randall in his Batman outfit! And Katy is just adorable as Sleeping Beauty. But what's Jimmy's outfit? That's a nifty cane; he sure looks...fly. And cute, little Janice looks just like...oh no.

Oh yes. Thanks to those marketing geniuses at the online store Brandsonsale.com, we now have the privilege of seeing the youngster trick-or-treaters of 2004 decked out in 1970s blaxploitation style "pimp" and "ho" costumes. We have another holiday scandal in the making, perhaps on the scale of the gladiatorial death-match style competitions for Tickle- Me Elmo.

Reactions to these racy outfits have been mixed: There's the liberal "C'mon, it's Halloween" side and its angry neighbor, "This filth will destroy our communities, same as that hipping-hop music." Despite this controversy, sales have shot upwards, with many web sites selling out their entire stock. Clearly, these costumes won't be going away until well after Oct. 31 or until the Brandsonsale.com headquarters are burned to the ground, whichever comes first.

He's such a cute little ax-murderer!

Halloween started, like many other bizarre traditions, in ancient Ireland, where the natives dressed up in animal skins to scare away evil spirits. How this tradition evolved into some punk in a cape TP'ing my car is beyond me, but I do know two things: one, these spirits must be pretty weak if we're scaring them off with thousands of little-girl fairy princesses; and two, I'll be waiting with the hose this time, kid.

Halloween has always been the most risqué member of the holiday family, not like that goody-two-shoes Arbor Day—clearly, any event that encourages threatening your neighbors for candy will cause a little friction.

This latest Halloween costume fiasco is just another step in the holiday marketing evolution. What these angry parents don't realize is that they've been encouraging bad Halloween role models for years. I'm sure most mothers don't see "werewolf" or "ninja" as viable career choices for their babies.

"But it's degrading!" you cry. "These sinful outfits are debasing the childhood innocence of Halloween." Oh, but it wasn't degrading for me to be a pumpkin for three years straight, after which I graduated to bumble-bee. That was traumatizing, but at least I was moving up the food chain—I got some self-respect around kindergarten and have been a Cyborg Space Ninja ever since.

And don't talk to me about the spoiled innocence of Halloween—or have you missed the ever-popular "butcher knife in the chest complete with realistic squishy intestines" look or the charming "faux screwdriver in the side of the head"? If you ask me, we need to get our priorities straight: I'd rather hang out with the guy from Superfly than the one from Jason XXI: The Disemboweling.

Calm down, have some Milk Duds or something

Everyone involved in this debate needs some perspective. On the one hand, that $40 costume is designed to make a fourth-grader look like a call girl, and parents who buy it for their kids should put at least a little thought into the kind of example they're setting. On the other hand, I can confidently say that this will not trigger the Apocalypse. Now, Chicken-Dance Elmo—there's something you should worry about.

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Dan Greene. Dan, alright fine, VJ, is proud to be a senior at Blair and a member of the best paper. Ever. He's really funny, trust him. As managing sports editor and ombudsman he enjoys sports and ombudsing. Dan also enjoys literature, soccer and crude humor. One … More »

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