Halloween Costumes

[deleted account] ( 33 moms have responded )

I'm wondering how much "steering" other parents do with their kids with respect to Halloween costumes. My 3 1/2 year old boy twins and I were looking at a catalog of Halloween costumes this week. I suggested a number of costumes to them, like Batman and Robin, pirates, fireman, etc. I asked them repeatedly what they wanted to be. They saw the pictures of the "girls" ladybug costumes and one boy said he wanted to be a ladybug. He loves catching ladybugs in the backyard, so this isn't really a shock. My other son, who also loves bugs, said he wanted to be a bumblebee. I repeatedly asked them if they were sure that was what they wanted to be for Halloween and even waited two days and asked them again just to be sure. Their answers didn't change. So today I ordered my ladybug red tights with black polka dots and a set of ladybug wings and my bumblebee a set of yellow and black striped tights and yellow wings. I was planning on having both of them wear black hoodies and black shorts (not tutus!). My husband is upset about the costume choices and says they are dressing like girls. I feel they are only 3 and it's not a statement about anything other than them liking bugs. Just to give a further example, they also both like pink and purple and one boy has a pair of pink water shoes he wears in the backyard during the summer. On the flip side, they are both OBSESSED with trucks, cars, and anything that flies.

My question is how far is too far in terms of color choices? I don't like to discourage my boys from picking things they like based on pre-defined gender roles. If they like the pink shoes, IMHO, they can have the pink shoes. They will eventually figure it out on their own and move towards more "boy" colors. I think a 3 year old's Halloween costume isn't anything to get worked up about. Any thoughts?

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Minnie - posted on 09/01/2011

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Besides, ladybird beetles aren't feminine at all- they're voracious meat-eating poisionous tank creatures that spray nasty-smelling gunk if attacked. Seriously, don't mess with the ladybird. I wonder who decided to refer to it as a 'lady' lol.

Mrs. - posted on 09/01/2011

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"Why does your husband dislike women so much?

Or, he likes women, as long as they know their place? "

JuLeah, that's a big assumption on your part. While, I agree with a lot of what you say about gender roles, I disagree that just because her husband feels a bit iffy about his little boy's costumes, that he then doesn't like women and can only tolerate them when they are "in their place".

As you did cover, many men are drilled about not appearing "too girly" when they are young. This doesn't mean they hate women, it just means they may have to be uncomfortable with the idea at first and then adjust. This in no way means this man is a knuckle dragger or something. It just means he grew up with a more traditional idea of what it means to look like a boy at Halloween....that is a far cry from not liking women at all.

Not to mention, none of us really know what it is like to be a little boy. If you have a male partner, they will likely have a better understanding of the experience. It is my guess that a dad might be in protective mode, not wanting his boys to suffer because they showed up to school wearing something that is more girly. As women, we may have less of an idea of what that means.

Not that I think you should then not let your kid dress up like Dora, even if he is a boy. I just think we, as ladies, can be understanding if our male partners may be a bit weary before they see by experience that their "little men" will be okay, even when dressed as "lady" bugs.

Amanda - posted on 09/01/2011

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Last year for a halloween party my kids were dressed as spiderman and a witch.

My daughter is having her 2nd birthday party in a few weeks, my son is 3 and is adamant that he wants to wear pink fairy wings and a tiara.

I quite often find my son playing tea parties and pushing a doll around in a pram and my daughter will be playing with lego and playing with cars digging in the garden.

Who cares who likes what colour or who plays with what toys. Why can't we just let kids be kids.

K. - posted on 09/01/2011

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I don't think there's anything wrong with it at all! It's rather cute. My oldest daughter is five and she wants to be an air mattress this year. Last year it was a crouton. The year before that she was Buzz Lightyear. As long as their costumes are age appropriate and not offensive, I roll with it!

JuLeah - posted on 09/01/2011

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You make a solid point Rebecca. I did make a big assumption. I have a lot of history with this issue. It is a hot button for me.



I have seen far too many men who promise to make a man out of their son, even if he is just four or five.



The things the poor babies endure ... and as men, they are a shell of a human, angry, violent .... they know two feelings, happy and mad. Happy means they are not hitting anyone, mad means they are.



I am not suggesting this father is going to these extreems, but it bumps into a boundry I'd not want him to cross.



The question remains ... what is wrong with dressing 'like a girl'?



If his son wanted to wear a pink dress and a tutu, why would that be wrong?



If his son wanted to be Snow White for Halloween, why would that be a bad thing?



Two men in tights ... one is a professional dancer, one is Superman. The difference is, one will use violence and beats people up more often then the other.



So, a pink dress and a tutu would be okay if the child promised to knock someone lights out while trick-or-treating?



I have mentioned this before, but again ... in this culture: THIS cutlure we have basically two words for gender, male and female - we also have the less accepted Trans option



In SOME cultures, there are as many as eight defind genders



How we do things in THIS culture is just one way; not the only way; not the best way; just one way



In many culutres around the globe, people who are gay, lesbian trans ... are thought very highly of - very respected - elevated in society and being above and beyond the norm



Our kids are people first, gender second

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Jan - posted on 09/26/2012

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I love this time of year. I usually go online and let my kids sit down with a long list of costumes and pick out two-three that they like (with a price limit). Then we narrow it down from there. A lot of sites will categorize the costumes for girls and boys, so that might help you to just show them certain options. Here is the site we love: http://www.partyallready.com/costumes.ht... I think they have a 10% off coupon code on their homepage for all the costumes right now. Good luck! Happy Halloween!

Brittany - posted on 09/09/2011

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"So just because I am a lady bug, that automatically makes me a lady?" - A Bug's Life

They are three...it is fine. Let them be what they want to be. I do not push my children to sway one way or another. My boys have turned out just fine. They play will dolls, crayons, and even have shirts with pink stripes and they are just fine.

I get a lot of bull from people because, I allow my kids to do as they wish. I do not oppress my children and to be honest my children are VERY WELL behaved. It is few far and in-between I have to "get" onto them.

People have gotten onto to me about my oldest son because, he is 5 and has what is called a "emo" haircut. His hair is short in the back w/ a long side bang that he likes brushed off to the side. My daughter, who is 4, believe she is Lady Gaga and tells people she is Lady Gaga. I have spent countless hours watching YouTube videos and reading because, she likes when I do her hair like Lady Gaga. She also wear fairy attire, out in public. My youngest son, 3, is obsessed with football. People say I am trying to push him into something he does not like. When the kid starts screaming and going insane when he sees the Auburn Tigers logo saying "WAR EAGLES MAMA WAR EAGLES!" I am failing to see how I am pushing him.

Reassure dad that his boys will be just fine. Bugs come in both sexes! He should be happy that they are thinking outside of the box :)

Jaime - posted on 09/04/2011

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Every halloween since my son was born, his costumes have been given to me as hand-me-downs from friends and family. First he was a pumpkin, last year he was a pirate and this year he will be buzz lightyear. There is no rhyme or reason to the costumes...just something fun and something that fits. If by next year, my son wants something specific, then I will do my best to acquire it for him. I was pretty creative with my costumes when I was younger so I'm hoping that he will have adopted this as well :)

As for your kids wearing 'girly' costumes...I guess that's the great thing about them...they're just costumes. Hopefully your husband will warm up to the idea and appreciate the boys' passion for bugs, rather than focusing on the fact that the outfits were intended for girls.

April - posted on 09/04/2011

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My son wanted to be the lady bug too!!! Honestly, I was hoping he'd make a different decision, but now I'm okay. He must have sensed that I didn't really want to buy him a girly costume because he ended up choosing the monster costume.



The ladybug costume wasn't the first girl item he's asked for. It was a shock at first to hear him ask for a dress, a purse, and "pretty shoes", but now I realize that he is just experimenting and finding his way in the world. I didn't buy the dress or the purse, but I did buy a set of toy high heels.



I want him to know that he can be whatever he wants to be and he can like whatever he wants to like! He loves dirt and trains and airplanes but he likes headbands and his "pretty shoes" . In all honesty, we've been talking a lot about about how much we want a daughter and we think he heard some of it. We think he thinks it must be better to be a girl if Mommy and Daddy keep talking about adding a sister to the family.

Minnie - posted on 09/01/2011

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Not to hijack the thread, but thanks for your response, Cassie- I remembered the girls had seen an episode of Kipper when he went to a costume party- so I told them it was like that (we're going to a homeschool Halloween party next month) and they got excited. They'll be wearing wizard robes and hats that I'm going to sew up in fabric they picked out. :)

JuLeah - posted on 09/01/2011

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Yes Rebecca and I apologize to your husband- and you for if he were all my assumptions made him out to be then we would question your being with him. I doubt you would choose to be with a person such as that.

[deleted account]

I definitely think JuLeah made some jumps and assumptions about my husband that are unfounded and totally undeserved (and in this case, totally untrue). That being said, I think she raises some good points, which are the same reasons why when my son liked the pink water shoes, I had no problem with him wearing them. He recently asked for a pair of pink, sequined flip-flops, but I told him no to those. The reality is, he likes them because they are sparkly, not because they represent "girl," "boy" or anything to him. He also wanted a cat backpack that happened to be pink because it was a cat, not because of the pinkness of it. None of these things are things to get worked up about IMHO. I think my husband is coming from the position of not wanting them to be teased at school, not from a concern about "making them gay". For the record, my husband's brother IS gay and my husband is particularly sensitive about the boys being teased about being gay because he's been through it himself and knows how hurtful it is. I think his feeling is why give others ammunition. I'm not worried about them being teased -- they are 3, for crying out loud. I doubt the 3 YOs at preschool are going to notice or care. The moms, maybe, but not the kids. The strangest thing to me is that he is OK with black tights, but not striped or polka dot tights. I guess I don't really think striped tights are "girl" clothes, but he clearly does. Now if they were dressed in a tutu as well, then I would say they were dressed as girls, but tights?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/01/2011

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Maybe call the one boy's costume a sir bug or gentleman bug?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/01/2011

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I don't see what the issue is with your sons wanting to be bugs for Halloween. I think your husband needs a time out to consider his feelings IMO. Dressing in a 'non traditional' boy costume is not going to turn him gay. If your husband had a better option he should've voiced it beforehand.

That said my older daughter is a girly girl who keeps trying to have her Barbies marry eachother (it's legal in Canada and her Ken dolls are in New York and have probably been sold at a garage sale. She always wants to be a princess or a cat for Halloween or a witch. But she does like trucks and running around.

Rosie - posted on 09/01/2011

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this year was the first year lucas got to decide on his own, i did let him have input last year, but kinda guided him to the costume cause it was friggin adorable. he was a little skeleton. :) this year he's a fireman, and he's so excited!!
grant and vinnie haven't picked out their costumes yet, although they have hinted at GI joe.

as far as gender differences, i would have no problem with them choosing girl costumes, but i do think my husband would discourage it a little. he wouldn't flat out refuse...but he'd try to get them to wear something else.

[deleted account]

My son has always gravitated towards the traditional "boy" stuff, but I still would have no problem if he wanted to dress up as something considered more girly. He's just never shown an interest. He always picks out his costumes. At 3 1/2 he wanted to be a Clone Trooper. Then for the next 2 years he wanted to be a Red Power ranger. This year he wants to wear his karate uniform and be a ninja.

Amanda - posted on 09/01/2011

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When your husband says they are dressing like girls, you tell him its just halloween! I think its great you allow your kids to pick their own customes. Halloween is my fav holiday, and all my children pick their own outfits, only rule in my house is you have to dress up! No matter what your age is!

JuLeah - posted on 09/01/2011

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they are kids who have not yet developed and understanding of our uptight, miss guided, oppressive gender roles... PINK used to be the color for boys BTW, and Blue was for girls



When I hear comments like that it makes me so angry ... they are dressing like girls ... what the hell is wrong with being a girl?????



You are right that they will eventually figure out on their own and move towards more 'boy' colors and things .... but in the process, the learn girls are less.... all things girl are to be avoided. Anything 'girl' is worthy of contempt.



And, why is it cute, for girls to be 'tomboys' and like trucks but boys can't like dolls?



And why can't girls be girls who like trucks instead of being called 'tom boys'?



Why it okay for girls to wear pants, but boys can't wear skirts?



In many countries and cultures, boys do wear dresses and skirts



And any boy who is going to be a good father one day ought to play with dolls



I can't believe in 2011 we are still dealing with this crap



Why does your husband dislike women so much?



Or, he likes women, as long as they know their place?



Some people think if their son wears pink he will be queer ... yahhh, that's good logic - color choice can alter your sexual oreintation - but, again, what would be wrong with that???



This topic makes me so angry because I work with youth 'at risk' Boys in gangs ... I see everyday what we do to your young men and I say, shame on us.



We are so very very mean to our boys. We raise them to hate themselves, hate a large part of who they are, raise them to stuff their feelings, to lie to themselves, to use violence when affection is called for ...



It feels to me like men don't ever get to experiance the full aray of human emotion, they are shut down shut off ... I think it is criminal, what we do to little boys -

Cassie - posted on 09/01/2011

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Lisa, maybe you could just tell the girls that Halloween is a day when kids dress up and get to pretend to be different things. Then you can look through a magazine of halloween costumes together to give them an idea of what it means to dress up. From there, you could either buy them a pre-made costume or you could work together to make their costume.

[deleted account]

J's birthday is no Halloween, so naturally, it's HUGE for us. I've always let him pick since he's been old enough to do so, and thus far, he's always picked boyish stuff for Halloween. That said, he did wear a princess dress EVERYWHERE we went for three days straight in May of the year he was 3--about the same age as your boys.
He's still as boyish as ever now, no harm done.

Minnie - posted on 08/31/2011

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Why can't boys like some things that traditionally only girls are supposed to like?



My five year old is into legos, airplanes and trains and her favorite past time is catching toads in the back yard. Hardly girly at all. Oh, and she loaths dresses. But loves ballet too.



Why can't we have a wide range of likes? Silly gender expectations.



We haven't done Halloween yet since we've had the kids due to our background in the IFB. I'm thinking of it this year, but it's reeeaaallly hard to break out of the old ways. I honestly don't know what to do about a costume. Should I ask them what they'd like, since we're going to a homeschool halloween get together? The girls have no concept of halloween at all.

Amie - posted on 08/31/2011

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Oh and yes my kids choose their costumes.
No, my husband has no issues with whatever they want to choose.

I don't understand why people stress about this.

Amie - posted on 08/31/2011

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Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Captain America, Daredevil, etc. all wore tights or unitards - What's the problem?

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/31/2011

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It’s kind of hard when you have the dad against it. My 17month old is obsessed with balloons…the ones that are already blown up. And so we get one just about every time we go to the food store and there have been times where he picks “Girly” shapes or colors.

I think a parent should go as far as they want, or as far as they can…must make your kid.

Becky - posted on 08/31/2011

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My kids insisted on wearing their rubber boots to the beach last week. It was 29 degrees (C) and there they were in their swimsuits and rubber boots! They looked ridiculous! :) But they're kids. So yeah, if they want to wear something outlandish, as long as it's not to a wedding or something, whatever. People get a kick out of it. :)

Lady Heather - posted on 08/31/2011

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I think Freja might be something "boyish" this year. She's really into fire trucks and hats. I'm just going to let her pick whatever and I don't care what it is. Anyways, a lot of my friends cross dress for Halloween as adults. I rather thought the point of the thing was to NOT be yourself when you put on the costume. May as well go nuts with that.

I don't really care what kids choose to wear unless we're going to something formal. Otherwise Freja chooses everything she wears. Sometimes she puts on some really weird outfits. meh. If I ever have a son and he wants to wear pink, I don't see why that is a problem. Pink was once a "boy colour" and it's becoming trendy again. I don't think anybody should be told they can't wear a particular colour. Just seems unfair.

Becky - posted on 08/31/2011

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This will be the first year I really let Cole choose. He's 3 1/2. We haven't talked about it too much yet, but I think he wants to be something from Cars. He is obsessed with that movie! A couple of years ago, he wanted to be a puppy. I scoured the whole city looking for a puppy costume, but couldn't find anything. (Well, that I liked, anyways) A friend sent me one, but it got here after Halloween, so he was a puppy last year, like it or not! :) Fortunately, he liked it. My youngest will be just over 2 this year and is pretty opinionated, so I'll probably let him choose too. My guess is he'll either be a puppy - although our puppy costume would be way too big for him - or Mickey Mouse, who he is obsessed with. Or they'll be the same thing, because it seems if one gets something, the other HAS to have it too!



Editted to add, I don't think bugs are particularly feminine costumes. I suppose people would associate a ladybug with a girl, but a bee really could be either! And yeah, most little boys are fascinated with bugs! Tell your husband at least they don't want to be princesses!

[deleted account]

I'm with you, I don't see the big deal. Boys like bugs. And a color is just a color. Kids will eventually figure out gender roles...and all too soon.

The first two Halloweens my husband insisted that our daughter dress as something scary. So she was a skeleton then a spider. Year three she wanted to be Snow White. He rolled his eyes, then told her that she looked just like Snow White and how pretty she was. This year she wants to be Cinderella. So our baby will be a mouse.

Jessica - posted on 08/31/2011

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Ha! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has already bought my kids Hallows Eve cotumes! lol. I think there is nothing wrong at the age of 3 with your little guys choices, I actually think it's really sweet! Mine are to young to really care, but my daughter loves the sound of buzzy bees and as such is going as a bee, she is 16 months. My son....isn't born yet, but will be within the next week, lol, and although he will be bundled all warm and snug in his stroller (unless its stupid cold out, I live in Calgary AB) he is going to be a little devil. It's a sweet little red fleece sleeper with a fleece hat with devil horns! lol. Halloween is my fav holiday so I tend to go all out for it!

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