Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sexy Chucky: or, I had a rage fit at the Halloween store

A few weeks ago, I took the kids to our local pop-up Halloween store. We already had a costume for Terza -- Max from the Wild Things, handmade by my grandmother years ago. Primo had decided to make his own costume, as he is won't to do. Seconda had decided on her costume, too -- Princess Bubblegum, the royal scientist from Adventure Time, which I OKed. We popped into the pop-up store because she'd seen the costume in their window but alas, they were sold out, and we'd need to wait a day or two for them to replenish their supply. I was ready to leave, but the kids, of course, wanted to browse. They wanted to see what was on offer.

Since this isn't my first time at the rodeo, I know what'll be on offer. For the boys, there'll be all manner of monsters and homicidal maniac costumes, lots of blood dripping and exposed brain matter and demonic grins. For the toddlers, there will be animal and princess costumes. And for my seven year-old daughter, there will be a large assortment of shit.

Because she's only seven, her store-bought costume options are not exclusively shit yet. They are mostly shit, with a slim selection of non-indecent choices, like Princess Bubblegum, or the Athena costume we got last year. She rocked that floor-length number, swinging a large silver foam sword (Athena was the goddess of battle strategy, in addition to wisdom, you know). Since she's big for her age, and likes her apparel loose and roomy, she wears size 8 or 10 and when you get to size 8, and definitely size 10, you are staunchly in sexy costume territory. Lest you think I am exaggerating, check out this piece on the Huff Post which compares the "child" version of costumes with "tween" versions.

So, walking in the store, I know what'll line the aisles. There'll be the popular cartoon character costumes, lots of My Little Ponies and a whole bunch of Monster High ladies (don't get me started on these, just refer to this piece I wrote for Babble last year about the dolls). There'll be a few select historical options, like Cleopatra. There will be a handful of animal costumes, though these won't be full-body plush suits, of the ilk available for the two year-old; instead they'll be headbands with animals ears adhered, leotards and adorable, tutu-style mini-skirts chockful of furbelows. I've never seen a mouse wearing a tutu, but that is clearly beside the point.

And then there's the rest. Seconnda pretty much aged out of the regular princess category - Cinderella ate my daughter when she was three and then, at about age six, she spit her out. Princesses are still an option for her at Halloween time, though in her size, we are faced mostly with Sexy Princesses. To make a Sexy Princess outfit, you just take a regular princess gown and hack off three feet of material so that is reaches to the child's mid-thigh. The knee-high boots don't come included of course, but the packaging suggests they'll be the perfect accessory. The packaging also shows you how to rock the sexy princess look - a hand on the hip is good, hip cocked up is even better. Don't forget the alluring smirk, the hallmark of all sexy princesses.

But wait! It's not just princesses! You can be a sexy ANYTHING. Just elevate the hemline and stick the hooker boots on and bam, Minnie Mouse is now . . . Streetwalker Mouse. 

Look, I was prepared for the shockingly over-sexualized girl costumes. But being prepared did not prevent me from being mad. I was irate. I fantasized about grabbing all the floozy kid costumes and flinging them to the floor screaming to no one in particular: "YOU ARE SELLING STRIPPER OUTFITS TO CHILDREN! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! HAVE YOU NO DECENCY?? REMOVE THIS APPALLING SHIT IMMEDIATELY."

Then Seconda interrupted my fury reverie by gasping: "Oh, Mommy, look! It's a Sexy Chucky Costume! That is SO inappropriate!"

I thought she was joking. It's the sort of thing that I'd thought you could only find on SNL or, maybe, Jon Stewart (did you catch the segment last year with the vagina costume? Hilarious). But, no, in fact, she was right. There was a package clearly featuring a very buxom woman with a I'm-going-to-devour-you-by-which-I-mean-your-dick-of-course look on her face. She was sporting a kind of apparel that I'm not sure there's a word for -- an overall dress so short it barely covered her ass. Knee-high stockings, obviously. And stitlletos. Oh, and the ax. 

It wasn't a kid costume (not yet, at least) but the sheer ridiculousness of a sexy Chucky costume just whipped my fury to a climax. The thing about parenting though is, you can never have the rage fit you want, when you want it. You annoyingly have to pull your shit together . . . until such a time, at least, as you can write a blog post about it.

So I laughed, and said,"Honey, that's inappropriate in so many ways I don't even know where to start." I didn't want to make a huge deal, didn't want her even paying too much attention, cluttering up her beautiful brain with so much fucking noise.

But as we walked out the store - me fuming, my daughter laughing - I thought: "How dare you, costume company? How dare you suggest to my seven year-old daughter that the thing that makes a woman of interest, what makes her worth paying any attention to is a pair of tits and a pair of legs and a hideous leer that, frankly, is going to give me nightmares. Go to hell please -- and take your abhorrent, piece-of-junk costumes with you."

This Halloween, I think I'll dress us as something really scary. I'll dress up as "Enraged Mother Costume Shopping for Her 7 Year-Old." Hell hath no fury like that, I tell you.