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Creepy & Inappropriate Children’s Costumes

Inappropriate prostitute pre-teen halloween costume

I’m going to resist going on a long rant about some of the inappropriate Halloween costumes I’ve seen advertised for little children lately. I’m hoping parents will have the good sense not to dress their children like a little hookers and pimps.  Perhaps I give parents too much credit? Somebody must be buying them, right? Yikes.

So in an attempt to comfort myself I went online to look up photos of kids costumes from the past. I assumed they would be sweet and cute… and I’m sure their parents thought they were at the time. But if any of the kids in these vintage Halloween photographs rang my doorbell late one night I’d probably scream like a little girl. Just sayin’

So what do you think? Have Halloween costumes for kids gotten too racy and inappropriate? And what about the old ones? Do they just creep me out because they are in black and white? Honestly look into their vacant little eyes. They look like cartoon zombies in search of sugary brains to eat. Or maybe that’s just me?

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  1. Nikki

    I think alot of times kids want to wear costumes like above in the first pic and the parents are weary but say okay just because its innocent and childlike so they don’t think it will be an issue. but honestly, I agree with you in that if we had a child I wouldn’t let them wearing stuff like that just because I wouldn’t want them to be imitating hookers/pimps because being a real hooker/pimp is really horrible (lol not that i know, but you get the idea) – like will they take this imitation and associate it one day with being a real hooker/pimp and then associate it with fun because they had fun being it on halloween? it sounds funny but I think the things kids do when they’re young effect when them when they are older, like the feelings they associate with certain things. For example every christmas having pumpkin pie, so when they get older, they love having a pumpkin pie at christmas. It would be bad if they associated dressing up as a hooker a fun thing! So if its being a hooker vs being a lion, i’d say they should be a lion.

    1. Michael Schmid

      (Jumping on for a moment during my lunch break.) I think it’s a valid concern Nikki. Kids do a ton of role modeling as it is. As a kid I wanted candy cigarettes so I could be like my dad. Fortunately I don’t smoke, but I’m sure it’s more likely among kids whose parents smoke. And how many people have become parents and suddenly realized they’d turned into their parents? Personally, my mom dressed me as a clown when I was at an impressionable young age, and look what happened to me!!!

    2. bluedragonfly

      WOW, Thank you, i was going with the cute factor when my son asked to dress as a pimp this Halloween. I just happen across your website viewing images to get an idea how to put it together.
      Sorry i just realized this is a Daddy site, you just helped out this Mommy :)
      All the Best
      A Single Mommy who thinks Daddies are VERY important in fact critical to a childs well being

      1. Michael Schmid

        Well, I hope I didn’t offend with my opinion, but yeah, I’d stay away from pimps and whores as a kids costume. Plenty of heroes (fictional and real, e.g. fireman, police officer) to choose from. :)

  2. Jennifer

    I am certain there are parents who would buy those costumes for their kiddos. I am totally not one of them. I for one have greater aspirations for my children than to be Heidi Fleiss.

    The old time photos remind me of a creapy scary movie. Like its late at night and you suddenly wake and see three small children in creapy masks standing in the middle of your room silent. Then the girl from the ring crawls out of your tv! If i wake up tonight and those creapy kids are in my room i will blame you!

    1. Michael Schmid

      its late at night and you suddenly wake and see three small children in creepy masks standing in the middle of your room silent

      Oh, no, Jennifer you really didn’t need to plant that seed in the back of my already creeped out mind. Yikes. I know I’m going to wake up screaming tonight. They do look like that though, don’ they??? That’s what I thought when I saw them, too. Thinking about fluffy bunnies and unicorns now.

  3. Lindsey

    So, I’m guessing I shouldn’t resurrect Grandma’s old costumes for the enjoyment of my kids?

    1. Michael Schmid

      Well, if your kids are going to be visiting us from Virginia and trick-or-treating at our house… then yes, leave grandma’s costumes at home. Otherwise you’ll be subjected to hearing a grown man scream like a little girl. Aren’t some of those old photos creepy? Like Jennifer said up above, what if you woke during the dark of night saw those three small children in creepy masks standing in the middle of your room silent? It does seem a bit like a scene from a scary movie.Thanks so much for dropping by!

  4. Tammey

    I totally think pimps and hookers are inappropriate costumes for kids! And I have never seen a kid dressed like that for Halloween. (or at any other time of the year) Maybe the costume companies are trying them out. Seeing if anyone will buy. I don’t think there are many parents that would buy them. I don’t think….

    1. Michael Schmid

      I hope you are right, Tammey, but I do seem to remember seeing these in past seasons. I think what happens is they design something for adults they think will sell, and probably tend to also make mini versions of most costumes, and don’t really think (or care?) about how inappropriate some would be for kids. I saw some targeting pre-teens that were ridiculously sexual, and I think they are just mini versions of sexy adult costumes. I just hope you’re right and parents don’t buy them. Thanks for dropping by from Facebook!

  5. Liz

    I agree that the costumes for kids are ridiculous. Who are these marketing execs? Do they have kids? Do they have any sense?
    On another note I know that halloween costumes are supposed to be scary but have you seen some of the gruesome and morbid stuff out there? It’s very alarming and makes me concerned for our youth.

    Liz
    Thriving and Surviving with Twins

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi Liz. Thanks so much for dropping by. How are you and the boys (all three of them, counting the hubby)? Yes, it’s crazy some of these costumes are ever made, but the thing that scares me is any businessman even if he had no problem with these types of costumes would stop making them if they weren’t selling. So someone’s buying them! As for the gruesome ones, my wife was just saying last night that she took our two year old to a Halloween store and they had these horribly scary masks and stuff on the isle right next to the kids costumes. The worlds scary enough sometimes. Let’s bring a bit more love and whimsy to it instead. Thanks again for visiting. Have a great night!

  6. Mitzi

    Oh I totally agree that they have definitely gone out of any logical parent’s comfort zone where Halloween costumes are concerned. Of course, that is the norm though, as it appears that clothing trends seem to be more mature than they should be for nearly any childhood age. I do remember those masks though…they made you talk funny and you were always breathing your own breath when you wore them.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I guess that’s true, Mitzi. It’s not just these costumes, but kids fashions are also edging into inappropriate places. You can thank people like Miley Cyrus for that. Oh, and yes, I remember those masks, too. But they seem to look creepier than I recall. Perhaps it’s because they are in black and white?

  7. Scott aka This Daddy

    Yeah I can see the kids now asking the moms and dads “can I be a pimp this year please?” Seriously. Parents need to let the kids pick out the costumes. I guarentee that they would pick out children coustumes. My kids want to be Super Mario characters. I do not want my 3 yr old daughter wearing something I want my wife to wear before we get busy.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I do not want my 3 yr old daughter wearing something I want my wife to wear before we get busy.

      Eloquent as always. It is ridiculous the things they sell to kids. Well, sell to parents really, as you point out, since kids would never tell their parents please can I dress like a crack whore this year? I’m sure my daughter would pick “Tinkerbell” or maybe God forbid “Dora the Explorer”… don’t get me started on Dora. I’ve written of my love for her before. Thanks for dropping by. Have a night.

  8. liz

    Oh you are SO right! I think most costumes for school aged kids are ridiculous.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi Liz. Thanks for dropping by. Great blog today, bty. Yep, it’s a bit crazy. I think some parents have been blinded by what they see in the media and don’t realize how not-age-appropriate some of this stuff is.

  9. Nicole

    Costumes now are just a little bit racy to me. I can’t believe some of them! Oh have you seen the jeanie (sp?) one? Basically a little bitty top with stomach showing and see through pants! UM… NO!!!

    So glad that Mad wants to be an Iron Man princess! lol
    She has an iron man mask and wants to wear her princess dress too! Silly gurl, but I’ll go with that over the top 2 pics!

    Yes those old masks are freaky!! It’s not just you!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Mad wants to be an Iron Man princess!

      That’s so precious, Nicole. Can’t wait to see those photos!

      Yeah, I’m gonna have nightmares about those old masks.

      1. Nicole

        Yeah she comes up with some crazy stuff! She usually wears it to the library every week!! (well the princess dress and a batman costume!)

        Nope no nightmares of the crazy kids in scary costumes, had a migraine, don’t remember much and was in bed by 9:30p! Nice!!

        No I didn’t see I won!!! YAY! I am so sorry, my spam might have gotten it too. Been having problems with that. It even spams my own replies to my blogs. lol and the addresses are in my address book.
        Wanna try 1 more time to email me so I can send you the info? Thanks so much!! YEA! Mad’ll love it!

        1. Michael Schmid

          LOL. Our wee one loves to put on just about any dress (usually over her footie pajamas) and tell us she’s a princess. And who am I to argue with that? 😉

          p.s. I sent another email with your prize claim info. If you don’t get that, just use the contact us tab at the top to send your mailing info. Thanks.

          1. Nicole

            How cute! Of course I’m not gonna tell her she’s not a princess either! Love how cute they are when dress up!!

            Got it! I didn’t mean to be that much trouble! Thanks for letting me know again, you could have just found another winner! I’m glad you didn’t but you know… lol

            Chat with ya later! Love the bookstore too! Cute! Have you always had it? I didn’t even notice it before. Sorry…. =(

          2. Michael Schmid

            No trouble at all. My bookstore is new. I just enjoy playing with new and different things, and was looking for an easy way to post links to age appropriate books for parents of pre-schoolers, e.g. right now I’m featuring some for the upcoming Holidays… starting with Halloween, with links to Thanksgiving and Christmas books for kids as well. I do get a tiny cut, but that’s not the point.

          3. Nicole

            That is so cool! How’d you do it? lol I would love to do that on my blogs, not for the money, I don’t care about that, but it would be a nice way to share some book ideas with everyone! Oh, sorry, do you mind me asking? lol If you want it to be your little secret then that’s alright.

            I noticed there is a Halloween Fancy Nancy book in your store! Maddie saw it too so guess what I have to get now!?! lol

          4. Michael Schmid

            Here’s the long answer about how to set up a bookstore or perhaps just a widget for your sidebar. To get started quickly, visit Associates Central at http://affiliate-program.amazon.com. You will find a number of options:

            Product Links (http://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/network/build-links/individual/main.html) – Link directly to a specific product on Amazon using the product image or text.

            Widgets (http://widgets.amazon.com) – Build a Slideshow, My Favorites,
            or Wishlist widget to showcase your favorite products on your site.

            aStore (http://affiliate-program.amazon.com/gp/associates/astore/main.html) – Build your own online store (this is what I did) featuring products from Amazon, and organize them into your own categories

          5. Me again!

            Thanks again so much! I played around with it a little bit last night. I added a widget to my other blog. There are a LOT of options! What a great way to share the ones you like and let others find great books!

            Alright, now off to clean! Chat with you later!! Thanks again so much. I hope you have a great weekend!!

  10. abbie

    A hooker and a pimp? SERIOUSLY! Yes I think kids costumes have gotten out of control. But those old ones are frightening!
    My daughter wanted to be a princess this year and the more I looked for a costume the more frustrated I became. They were all too sexy looking for a two year old. I just couldn’t let her wear something that was so low cut, covered in lace or tight fitting. Ridiculous. I wish I knew how to sew and could just avoid the whole industry all together!

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi, Abbie. Our baby girl just turned two a couple of months ago, also. And yes I’ve seen some of those costumes you are talking about. I’m not sure who made the one we are using, but it’s not at all sexual, but she will still feel very much the princess. Really she’s going to be Little Bo Peep, but to her any fancy dress is a princess dress. Her’s is long sleeved, below the knees, with bloomers that come to the ankles and a little hat as well. My wife found it at a consignment store, so probably cost a pretty penny when new. Super cute and age appropriate. Now if we can just figure out how to dress our dog as a sheep? Have a great day!

  11. Nicole Pulliam

    Last year, in our daughters THIRD grade classroom, the administration sent a little girl home for dressing like a Playboy Bunny. Her mother came unglued because she felt it was perfectly appropriate and ‘cute, silly fun’.

    I beg to differ, not only did it make me angry, but it also forced me to have to explain to my daughter why it was inappropriate, and what in the world a Playboy Bunny was.

    Please parents, PARENT for pete’s sake.

    1. Michael Schmid

      No kidding, Nicole? She sent her daughter to school as a Playboy bunny??? There ought to be some sort of test before you’re allowed to become a parent. Question one, which of these costumes is appropriate for your third grader to wear to school?

      Sadly some would probably say a Girl Scout is more wholesome than a Vampire!

  12. Jersey Diva Mom

    I was playing around with this as a post topic for tomorrow, and kept getting my blood pressure so elevated I left it aside. On the local NY-Fox news shwo this AM, the male anchor hit it on the head. “They all look so slutty.” The female anchor and a commentator said things like, “well, they may seem racy,” and he just blurted. “No, they’re not racey. They’re SLUTTY.”

    I have a 10 & 12 yr old boy, and these pimp costumes have been around sev years now. I wish they were jsut ideas being floated like one poster suggested, but they are big sellers. I saw a 2 or 3 yr old in the pimp one one year. (WTF?) My older son every year would scream and carry on to wear the gangsta one. Um… NO.

    The old ones may look a little creepy, but at least they didn’t look like something you’d see in a SVU raid.

    1. Michael Schmid

      That TV anchor pretty much hit the nail on the head. It’s a shame. As creepy as some of those old costumes look in the faded black and white photos, I am old enough to remember them. It was a sweeter more inocent time. My parents would never have dreamed of buying some of the things they sell these days. Mostly my mom sewed our costumes herself. I’m not saying her dressing me as a clown one year didn’t do irreparable harm to my psyche, but years of therapy have gotten me over it. Mostly.

  13. Laura

    Michael I could not agree more!! I took some photos at a local Target of the ridiculously slutty costumes for little kids and sent them to Shan. It is totally disturbing! It’s like that show Toddlers and Tiaras that makes me want to smack the parents and send child protective services to their homes. We read all about how kids are growing up soooo fast and how society puts pressure, blah blah blah….bottom line….if people stopped buying those costumes, companies would stop making them. Just say no should refer to more than just drugs. Just say no to costumes that are every pedophile’s dream….just say no even if the child pitches a huge embarrassing fit in the store. Better the fit or missing trick or treat than going door to door getting the wrong kind of attention at an early age. Let them be cute….let them be KIDS. The creepy old-timey masks are sooooo much better I think.

    1. Michael Schmid

      bottom line….if people stopped buying those costumes, companies would stop making them. Just say no should refer to more than just drugs. Just say no to costumes that are every pedophile’s dream….just say no even if the child pitches a huge embarrassing fit in the store.

      Even though you are agreeing with me, I really have to say… you’re right! 😉 Let’s let kids be KIDS. Seriously. As you know they grow up way to fast as it is. Why accelerate that process. And if you really need to dress them like adults, why not put them in a doctor costume or an astronaut or a scientist or a fireman, etc…

  14. Jennifer

    O.M.G. I am SHOCKED. How yucky to dress your kid up as a whore or a pimp?

    MOM LOOP COMMENT FOLLOW

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi Jennifer. So nice to meet you. Just left a comment on your breast feeding blog. Oh, and I’m following you on Facebook so I don’t miss any more. Yes, it’s crazy that any parents buy these costumes for their kids, but they must or the manufacturers would stop making them.

  15. JDaniel4's Mom

    I don’t think JDaniel will be dressing as a pimp in the future. We will be sticking to animals. He was a dinosaur last year and he will be a dog this year. If he still loves Curious George, maybe he has a monkey in his future.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Those sound like perfect costumes for a little boy. Our little girl (and me as a boy) loves Curious George, so that’s a good one, too! Have a lovely weekend, D.

  16. Ann Gorman

    so as I walked to college this moring at around 8.00am I had to blink my eyes a few times cos a giant rag doll walked past me followed by a nurse and a pumpkin, when I entered the class room the others said they saw a giant grape, a sandwich and a melon. And I know my two nephews were going to school today as Ninjas so far no pimps….

    all I know is my other little nephew in the UK I tried and tried to get him a costume when I was over there couple of weeks back ie superman, spiderman, buzz lightyear and all I got told was ‘I dont do costumes’ this four year old that wasnt going to look ‘silly’ I was told, now where is the fun of that at Halloween?! Well his Nan is arriving there at the weekend and there is a costume in the suitcase for him and goodluck trying to get it on him! :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      a giant rag doll walked past me followed by a nurse and a pumpkin

      I want some of what you were drinking. 😉 I’ve yet to see anyone in costume here. Maybe that’s a Dublin thing? As for your nephew not wanting to look silly by wearing a costume, surely he’s getting that attitude from an older child or adult? What kid doesn’t love the sugary goodness that is Halloween. Hope he will wear the costume his Nan brings him. Have a great weekend!

      1. Ann Gorman

        Last day at school before mid term break they all had to dress up in most of the schools, it was great brought a smile to my face at that hour of the morning usually too asleep to do so otherwise lol :)

        Sister has tried to…he just no interest, brother got him a police outfit and got it on him for a little while but then he gets embarrassed I think and especially when the camera comes out :) so patiently waiting for Halloween photos to see if his nan was successful!

        1. Michael Schmid

          Yes, “a giant rag doll walking past followed by a nurse and a pumpkin” would be whimsically smile inducing, even at that hour. That’s kinda fun. I don’t think anyone here is going to dress since it falls on a Sunday. I did buy a cheap Johnny Depp style pirate hat for our Halloween/birthday party at the house, but didn’t end up wearing it. I bet your Nan has here ways. We’ll have to wait for the photos. Hope you feel better soon and can get rid of that red nose. Later!

  17. L. Eleana

    If I had to choose, I’d go with the modern day ones that you show above. I’ve just never been into masks, you know? But I do think costumes are inappropriate and far to racy for children these days.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I’d probably skip all of the above. LOL. If I had to dress our wee one as an adult, rather than pimp or prostitute I’d pick a doctor, fireman, astronaut, scientist, etc. Oh, and yeah, those old photos of kids in masks are kinda creepy.

  18. Jenn

    Very inappropriate! I try to make my kids costumes… I don’t mind scary… in fact I think that is the whole point of the holiday… but agree some of those vintage looks make my skin crawl!

    1. Michael Schmid

      It’s cool you sew your kids costumes, Jenn. My mom used to do that for my brother and me. It’s funny how those old vintage photos (which I guess makes me vintage, since I remember those costumes) strike so many of us as creepy. That may be popular media conditioning. Loved the sound of your pumpkin pancake recipe in your recent blog. Yummy! Have a good weekend.

  19. rose

    Recently a halloween store opened in our town.I went to check it out. The costumes were either too weird looking or too old ,sexy for younger children. If I had a young child i would look carefully at the costume i purchased.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi Rose. One of those went in where a closed grocery store had been near us. Shannon said she had to shield our wee one’s eyes because gory stuff was right across the isle from the little kid stuff. And I agree the stuff the target at younger kids is in the words of another dad, are “too slutty” for even older teens. Have a great weekend!

  20. Lori

    I think Halloween costumes should be fun and even scary is fun, but looking trampy is not appropriate in my opinion.

    Granted you are talking about kids here, but even tweens and teens get caried away. I’ll never forget Halloween 5 years ago and our neighbor and my son’s friend came over Trick-or-Treating. Our neighbor was dressed in a very fun scary costume and her frined, 12 years old, was dressed as Marilyn Monroe, who is one of my favorite actresses by the way. We live in Colorado and it must have been 30 degrees out that night and this little 12-year old had no coat on and she had ‘everything’ sticking out. I mean I was totally embarrassed to look at her.

    Hope you all have a very fun weekend!

    1. Michael Schmid

      It’s ridiculous what some parents dress their kids in for Halloween… or allow them to wear. Sometimes I wonder whose idea it is, and worry that often it’s the parents. What are they thinking? Having a great weekend, despite stormy weather yesterday. My wife threw a birthday/Halloween party yesterday, but many couldn’t come due to the weather. Have a great Sunday.

  21. Eric

    Stopping by from the blog hop. Glad to see another dad blogging! Stop by my blog Happy Birthday Author.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Ditto, Eric. I like the theme of your blog. Enjoy what’s left of your weekend!

  22. Jill

    This is one of those times where I have to be glad that I have boys. Kind of (because they look at the girls).

    I think clothing as a whole has gotten a lot more risque. I mean we’ve always had short shorts i.e. daisy dukes and halter tops but it has become mainstream for young girls to wear this stuff. I almost used the word acceptable but I think many would agree that it’s not acceptable, it’s just more “frequent”.

    I was at Target the other day and we saw prison uniforms for kids. At a certain age this can be funny if you’re pairing up but kids?!?! Or what about the pimp daddy?

    Ugh, what happened to clowns and sheet ghosts and cowboys? :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      Ugh, what happened to clowns and sheet ghosts and cowboys?

      No kidding. I guess you could do the Pimp costume one year and the prison inmate the next? Life lessons and costumes at the same time! The latest trends in kids costumes. Thanks for your comments, Jill. Have a great evening!

  23. Rachel

    Is that a Daisy Duke outfit on a five year old?!? Oh my! Yeah, that would not fly over here. Another pet peeve is when they make clothes with cute written over the bum… and it is sized 5T. What are they thinking?!?

    1. Michael Schmid

      It’s ridiculous what they make for young kids. And scary that there must be a market for them… or they’d stop making them. I agree, I don’t care for any outfit with big letters across the bum, as you say… even on older girls it’s just a big sign saying “look at my @ss!”… and that they make them for toddlers and pre-teens is horrible. Bah humbug… I’m just a grumpy old daddy.

  24. Nancy @ el vigilante

    Let’s face it – parents are in charge of the costume. If’n it’s creepy or inappropriate, blame the parent. They bought it.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Yep. As with almost everything related to kids, the buck stops with the parents. I enjoyed your blog, btw. Can’t believe you guys are still having 69°F temps up there. Have a great night!

  25. Chaplain Donna

    I don’t even know what to say…

    1. Michael Schmid

      It does rather leave one at a loss for words.

  26. Kristina Ruth

    Hi,
    I’ve been following you for awhile and on twitter. Love reading your posts. I thought the same thing actually when my 2 year old and I were in target the other day searching for her costume. Even the tinker bell costume we got you would have to wear clothes underneath, because it would show a lot of skin. We live in Lake Tahoe, CA so no matter what costume we got she would have to where thermals underneath. Ha! I was very surprised by the type of costume for kids and toddler’s. Great Post.

    Mountain Mum
    (Kristina)

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hello again, Kristina.

      I used to have family in the Lake Tahoe area (Incline Village), but they have since moved down to the valley. I imagine you would need to wear warm cloths up there at the end of October. Our little girl was Tinkerbell last year, and she did were a cute pair of stripped tights under it. You are the second person that mentioned Target had questionable toddler apparel. I’ve not been, so can’t comment. You guys stay warm and have a safe and Happy Halloween!

      –Michael

  27. Kristina Ruth

    I’m also grabbing your button and putting it on my blog.

    1. Michael Schmid

      That’s so sweet, Kristina. THANK YOU! I’ve been meaning to set up a place I can list all of my favorite blog buttons/links. I’m still pretty new to all this, and getting my blog set up. I’ll definitely include your button when I do!

  28. Hollie

    What’s so wrong with being a pimp or prostitute for Halloween!?? They make an “honest” living, just like Superman or Spiderman! lol Kidding! I almost peed myself when I was reading your post, I raced down to our local Wally World and was very disappointed not to find the pimp costume. I guess my son will have to settle with being something boring like a cowboy. :)

    1. Michael Schmid

      LOL. Bummer for your boy, Hollie. Sorry they were out of Pimp costumes at Walmart. I think I saw them originally at Target (that’s not a shopping tip). 😉

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