It's fair to say that many teens love getting something for nothing. Free candy? It fits the bill. And every October 31, they fail to disappoint, showing up at the door, thrusting a bag in the direction of unwitting participants, sometimes without even uttering the agreed request -- sometimes, the words "Trick or Treat" aren't even mentioned.
These three, blonde, 20-somethings were dressed as cotton pickers and had painted their faces in the most offensive, unrealistic mud black I've ever seen. They said absolutely nothing, only smiled, mouth closed. Here before me, like never in my life, were three white people targeting us, the non-white people in the bar.
I'm not buying the "if you don't like it, don't buy it" argument. Images have an impact whether or not you allow them into your home. The more we normalize corseted costumes and Daisy Dukes, the more our girls will be attracted to them. I can tell my daughter that the "firefighter goes to the fetish club" costume is inappropriate, but when she sees a happy girl her age on the packaging, she's getting mixed messages.
We quickly located a firefighter costume for boys, complete with a bright red jacket, a traditional helmet and an axe. The girl's version, on the other hand, is a skin-tight, short, shiny dress that's surely flammable. It includes a fascinator (in lieu of a helmet) never before seen on a real firefighter.
In reality, Halloween produces more boos, eeks, screeches and ding dongs than we should tolerate. From the toxic candy, to the phthalate-laced costumes and the insane amount of waste generated, it's challenging to consider it good, clean fun. Thankfully there are a few things we can do to make sure our kids don't hate us, and our neighbours, family and friends don't ridicule us.