Friday, October 30, 2009

Are You a Trick or a Treat?

You Are a Treat
As a kid, you didn't cause too much trouble, and the adults adored you. Now that you've grown up, not much has changed.
You know that a little sugar is the way to get what you want in life, and you are as sweet as they come.

You like to make things better in the world, and you don't mind following rules... no matter how silly they may seem.
You are a truly good person, and there's very few of you in the world. Anyone who knows you is blessed!

What Halloween Costume Matches Your Personality?

You Should Be a Ghost for Halloween
You are painfully shy. You don't really care much for socializing, and you prefer it when people forget all about you.
When you get dressed up for Halloween, you're just trying to hide a little. It's the one time of the year it's okay to wear a mask.

To be honest, Halloween makes you want to lock the door, turn out the lights, and wait for it to be over.
It's a huge step if you even hand out candy on Halloween. Sometimes you're too shy for even that!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Crazy Pet Costume Ideas

I don't have pets but have noticed for a few years  now the costumes that have sold for pets. Just about every idea available for humans has also gone to the dogs (so to speak) now and possibly also to the cats). "Star Wars" characters,  Batman , Superman, Raggedy AnneZelda Rag Doll Dog Costume and Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz" costumes all Taco Pet Food Dog Costumecome in pet sizes, as do generic characters such as clowns, witches,  vampires, pirates, angels, and devils, pimps and just about everything you can imagine.   Even food costumes come in pet sizes, everything from tacos, hot dogs, and bananas.  Dogs can also pretend to be other animals Over the summer the store I work at had a candy corn costume for pets. 

pet_costumes.JPG.jpg

I liked this one (even though I have no dogs!): The Zelda bouffant dog Zelda Bouffant Dog Costume

And whoa! Look at this Elvis for dogs: Elvis Dog Costume

And take a look at thisMailman Dog Rider Pet Costume
 
Looks like pet costumes can get as weird and bizarre as those for humans.  Check out this blog post.


And this year Michael Jackson costumes are also being made for dogs.  Even the world of pet disguises wasn't safe from the late singer this year.  From the San Francisco Chronicle on October 27:
Paula West, opening tonight for a month at the Algonquin in New York, dressed Satchmo, her French bulldog, as Michael Jackson for Saturday's Thompson Square Halloween Dog Parade. He wore sequined jacket, black fedora, shades and one bootie covered in sequins.
I know a lot of you would like to see pictures, but there are no pictures are in the Chronicle article, since it's a daily column.  However, I did find this link.



I have a sneaky feeling that Billy Mays won't be seen as a canine disguise, however,  and probably not Farrah Fawcett either.  Can you imagine a dog in a red swimsuit?  A blue shirt with the Oxi Clean logo and the requisite beard?  

Here are more dog costume ideas.   Sarah Palin for a dog? OMG!

And again from The San Francisco Chronicle today:
In other travel notes, Paul Kilduff, who contributes to The Chronicle, and his small daughter, Alice, were at Sunday's Halloween dog costume/parade in Healdsburg. Kilduff's pick for best in show: A Chihuahua "peeking out of a gondola beneath a tin foil contraption," the whole "made up to look like the Colorado family's balloon-boy hoax UFO rig," with a "Call CNN" on the side.

OMG!  Now the Balloon Boy for a dog?  I wonder how many humans are going to be doing this one, let alone if others are going to make it for their pets!   Could this be the next worse costume idea this year after Michael Jackson?

I'm not sure what I would do if I had any pets.  Would they ever keep these things on? I've joked with my mom about dressing her tow cats, but she always argues they would never keep them on.  I know that, but I just like joking about it.  

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What I Think of Some Ideas for Costumes...

Here are just a few ideas I've come across that seem bizarre, silly or even disturbing. 

iPhone Costume:  I can understand making a plain, easy one like this:
Homemade iPhone Costume
But can you get more bizarre or advanced than that? Apparently so.  Like this person said, who is going to spend $2000 for a 42-inch LCD TV and car battery and wear an 85-pound costume?  

The Octomom: In a blog entry I posted in August, I ranted about the possibility of the Octomom appearing on Halloween, and how IMHO, this was am much more disturbing idea than Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett or the Oxi Clean guy.  Seeing her standing alongside someone as one of those recently deceased celebrities seems a bit scary, IMHO, but there is something that could be just as scary, if not more so: seeing someone in the guise of the Octomom alongside someone in the guise of another famous mom of eight.

And one general idea that I just can't mention.  If you want to know, just look at this link and at  this one. 


This idea seems a bit funny. See picture below
Unusual Halloween Costumes

Not a bad idea, IMHO. In fact, the only one mentioned above that I would ever consider. 


Some pun-based ideas I've come across (from Costume Idea Zone):
Dr. Pepper: Get a white lab coat or some surgical scrubs, and pin some chili peppers all over yourself.
This is one that has sounded like fun to me, though I have never gotten around to trying it.

Bermuda Triangle: Make a large triangle out of cardboard and use straps to hang it on your body. Then find several toy airplanes, ships, and other things that have been lost and never found (like your car keys!), and attach them to yourself inside the triangle. Optional: dress in tropical-themed clothing.  
Not something I would ever consider, but I just saw this newly submitted idea and it's a god example of the punny types of ideas submitted to the site.

Hall and Oates: Simply take a bag, and fill it with... anything really. Label the bag "OATS" and sling it over your shoulder. When anyone asks you, just say that your Haulin' Oats.  
Just had to laugh at this one.

Spongebob Squarepants: Wear a black sweat suit and hot glue pieces of sponge to your pants. Also, wear a nametag sticker that says "My Name Is: BOB." It works even better if your name is Bob already.  
Very punny and easier than a papier-mache version of an actual SpongeBob costume. See how many will people get this! 


Lawsuit: Wear a nice suit and carry a briefcase. Attach legal documents all over yourself.  
See picture below:


Ceiling Fan: Write "Go Ceilings!" on the front of your shirt. Add other gear if you want (pom poms, big foam finger, etc.) And don't forget to cheer!  
Picture below:



There are far too many more ideas to mention.  Look at the link above for more of these pun-based ideas.  I've been looking a the site for years and have found many fun-sounding ideas, but have never gotten around to using any of them them.  But it's always fun to look and maybe just one year!  And look for photos on their sister site Candid Costume.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What Pumpkin Face Should You Carve?

You Should Carve a Classic Pumpkin Face
You are calm, collected, and together. You are good at following rules and instructions.
You tend to celebrate Halloween in the same way every year. You have a routine down that you like.

You look forward to your favorite decorations, candy, and costumes. You might even carve the same pumpkin face each year.
You love the Halloween classics like little kids in costumes, spooky movies, and candy corn. Why mess with a good thing?

Does Anyone Really Like Those?

Saw this in my hometown newspaper this morning:

...I'm about to tell you all about the ins-and-outs, the do's-and-don'ts of picking your Halloween candy. Oh, sure it doesn't sound like a big public service, but trust me it is. You have no idea what it's like when you hand out the wrong thing on Halloween. Those children who look so cute in their costumes will turn on you like a pack of wild animals when they see you handing out sunglasses or, worse, sugar-free gum. 

I must confess ever since 2005 I stopped giving out candy in favor of pencils, small toys, stickers and such.  I've gotten no complaints.   I saw Halloween as a perfect opportunity to give out those little toys in boxes of cereals and trading cards printed on box panels.  Having no kids of my own and no use for these things myself,  this seemed a good way to get rid of these things.  In 2005, I found a "Star Wars" trading card on a Kudos box panel. The card had Yoda on it and one little boy who came to my door and said "I want Yoda."  A girl that same year was excited over the SpongeBob stickers I had bought to hand out. As of yet, I haven't been saddled with kids complaining that I don't have candy.  

Do not ever hand out toothbrushes.

Look, I don't care if you are dentist. If you have children and you value their lives, do not hand out toothbrushes on Halloween. For years afterward, your children will be taunted and teased with cries of, "Look, there's toothbrush boy," or "Hey over there, it's brushy girl; brushy, brushy, brush, brush." Trust me, you don't want to put your kids through that. It's tough to get over.

At least I haven't tired this one.   And you can be assured I never will. 

Contrary to what the Raisin Board says, raisins are not nature's candy.

This is Halloween. Nobody wants your icky old raisins, which I might add are horrifying, wrinkled up things that are really rotten grapes in disguise - even if you cover them in chocolate. Trust me, I know these things. I grew up in the Raisin Capital of California. We know from old, rotten grapes. They cannot be mistaken for candy on any planet. And I know I shouldn't have to say this, but the same thing goes for prunes. People, these are not a fruit in themselves. They are rotten, old plums that somebody forgot to pick. And they have side effects we won't go into here.


I'm not sure I have any comments on this one.

Do not hand out anything with the words 'all natural' or 'good for you' on the wrapper.

This is very similar to the raisin issue. It's Halloween. Nobody wants to eat anything that is good for him or her, not even the parents. Seriously, we don't. Why do you think we check all the candy? It's not because we're looking for razor blades, we're looking to score all the full-sized chocolate bars before the kids eat them. And even we don't want any all-natural fruit roll things cluttering up the sugar high. 



Candy corn isn't fun corn, it's icky candy.

Look, even sugary sweets have a hierarchy. And in the Halloween candy hierarchy candy corn is gross. And icky. And quite possibly the only candy nobody really wants to eat. Informal studies conducted in my kitchen have shown candy corn is always the last candy to be consumed. And mostly it's eaten when there's absolutely, positively no other candy left on earth. Yes, that's how icky candy corn really is. 

Really? Why then is candy corn always sold every year?  And now it's being made for almost every other holiday. In dark fall colors for Thanksgiving; in red, green and white for Christmas; pink, red and white for Valentines Day; pastel colors for Easter. I have yet t see a red, white and blue one for July 4th, but could that one be far behind? 

Bottlecaps are weird

Who invented these things? What fool in his right mind said, "Hey, let's allow kids to pretend they are eating hard pieces of metal usually used to prevent soda bottles from leaking? And while we're at it, let's make this candy taste like the kids are eating real bottle caps also." I think I speak for the entire country when I say, "blech."


I only ever recall ever eating these things once or twice.   They are flavored like root beer, orange, grape and other soda flavors. Do they make them flavored like Dr Pepper or Mountain Dew, anyone know? Just wondering here.  


Strange, squishy peanut candy

I don't even know what this stuff is called, but you know that strange, orange candy that's shaped like a peanut? Whatever it is, it's gross. You take the risk of having your house egged Nov. 1 if you serve these things. Don't say I didn't warn you.

This is one of those things that for a long time, I never knew what it is called. Still not completely sure, but the peanut description is quite accurate.  

So what can you safely hand out to the ghosties, ghoulies and goblins on Halloween? Well, anything chocolate (except, of course, the aforementioned raisins) goes over well. As does anything that in one serving exceeds the recommended daily allowance of sugar. But you know, I'd go with the chocolate. You can't go wrong with a good Hershey product.


I guess that's right. ...

Monday, October 26, 2009

"Is Your Home Haunted?" Quiz



Your Home Might Be Haunted



There's definitely something weird going on in your home, and you have the right to be uncomfortable.

A lot of your home's creepiness could be psychological. Do you have some bad memories associated with where you live?



Try to freshen things up a bit. Maybe some flowers or a new happy painting would make your home seem less dead.

Plus maybe if you change things enough, you'll scare some of the "ghosts" away!



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Party City

In between the two thrift store visits yesterday, I went into the Salinas, California Party City store. It was quite crowded for one week before Halloween and there was a long line of people waiting to try on costumes.   People were eyeing the poster of costumes on the back wall of the store. Having read this article two years ago, I began to wonder if I'd overhear parents at party City yesterday having these conversations with their children.  I  can't recall any as it was very loud with the crowds and the music that was playing over the store's intercom system (Michael Jackson's "Thriller" was playing as I entered the store and started again just as I was getting ready to leave).   Are these parents not as strict as those in this article?  I just don't know what I would be doing if I were a  parent, though I would suggest making my own disguises for kids. 

What I did do was pass by the poster in one of the aisles with the kids and preteen costumes photos.  I looked at the Aqua Fairy mentioned the article:

 ....Gabby did like the Aqua Fairy, a vampy get-up with a black ripped-up skirt, black fishnet tights and blue bustier that comes in medium, large and preteen. A medium fits a child of 8.

No.



OK, so this exposes the shoulders and comes with fishnets. Perhaps this is why she opposed this.  But as far as I could see no one at the store was buying this. And I could not hear anyone saying about anything "No, you can't have that," or "This is so inappropriate."

I did see two  girls pointing to the racer costume below:

Now this is one the parents in that article would have opposed as well.  Apparently there were no parents with these girls and I have no idea how old the girls were, though they looked to be between 16 and 21. 


Saturday, October 24, 2009

More Halloween Items at Thrift Stores





Today I trekked over to Salinas after finishing work at Home Goods in Gilroy and it wasn't until 4 o'clock that I got back home to Hollister. Anyhow, while in Salinas I went to the Savers thrift store as I'd been hoping to do. Even though it's a week till Halloween, the store was quite crowded and was quite a mess and there were people still deciding in costumes. Because it carries new and used costumes and makeup an accessories, part of the store looks like an actual costume store. Like in other thrift store, used clothing is mixed in with the costumes. Everything from old fancy dresses (that one might be able to pass off for some costume), medical scrubs and sleepwear were mixed in with used costumes, including a French maid without the apron. And once again, graduation robes were in the costume racks. This is actually the store where, in 2005, I bought a red robe and white one from which I crafted my own half devil/half angel costume that year. A year earlier, I'd gone to this same store to look for peace symbol necklace for a hippie costume, actually finding a necklace with matching earrings. As eesm to always be the case in thrift stores at Halloween time, the navy blue and emerald green robes were present in the store (unfortunately, the blue one looks purple in the photo.


I was sadly unable to get any pictures of the cashiers who were in costumes. One was a woman in a purple cape, and another was a man in a clown suit and another was a man in a taco suit. I know this sounds like a sad missed opportunity and I agree, but the store was so busy and it never seemed like the lines would end. On the other hand, I got to see how busy a store can be just one week before Halloween. I'd gone not only to find blog material, but also to look for a 50s dress fro sock hop on November 7.  I did not find one, unfortunately and will be looking again later, probably at another store. 


Later on, I went over to the Salinas Goodwill.  Unlike those in Hollister or Gilroy (both of which are in the Silicon Valley store district), the store in Salinas doesn't carry items from Target, but still had plenty of used costumes.  Like at the other stores, several racks of used costumes were in the front area of the store and other clothse presumably passable for some sort of costume, and again those emerald green graduation robes. At least two of these robes were present in this store location. Strangely, all season, I haven't seen any graduation robes at the Hollister store.

And I found what appears to be Joker costume (see photo below), one of the popular ones from last year. In one of the adjacent racks is a red-and-white checkered shirt (a bit blurred in the photo). Upon seeing this shirt, I thought of those of farmer girl costumes made with shirts like these.   Someone would be in luck if they wanted to make one of these. And next to the Joker is a burgundy velvet dress that appears to be a used vampire costume.  


Like at the Savers store, there were quite a few people looking for a costume a week before the big holiday.   A couple were in there holding a used girl's costume with web-like sleeves to their little girl suggesting she could use it for a vampire.  She apparently didn't want to do that, as they put it back on the rack.
I saw something I'd half-expected to be thrown in with Halloween items at some thrift store somewhere, a sombrero from a nearby Mexican restaurant.  I'd gone to the said restaurant for my birthday one year and was given one fo these hats, which I eventually donated to charity.  
Trying to photograph this hat was impossible as I apparently wasn't aiming my camera correctly. (I'm still getting used to a digital camera and have trouble aiming at some things) so I just gave up on it.   Not much to see, however,  just the logo from this restaurant chain. 

I didn't make it toe Salinas Salvation Army store unfortunately, but in between my two thrift store visits, I made a trek to the Salinas Party City store, which I will be writing about tomorrow.  

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Candy Apple Test




You Are Colorful and Flamboyant



You're the type of person who wears a really crazy, outrageous costume. Seriously, you push it to the limit.

You're likely to dress up in something that is both hilarious and revealing. Halloween is the one night you can get away with murder, and you fully intend to.



Your favorite Halloween celebrations are totally unpredictable and wild. You want to wake not knowing where you are... next to a hungover clown.

Candy and booze are a dangerous mix, and you like to live on the edge. Just remember to pace yourself while the night is still young.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Cute Monster Test




Your Cute Monster Says Your Inner Demon is Sensitivity



You are a giving, open, loving person. You truly want the world to be a better place.

You appreciate what you have in life. You are very content.



You are very sensitive, and your sensitivity can be a double edged sword.

People think you're cute because you're generous. You are easy to love - it's part of your charm.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Graduation Robes in the Halloween Racks at Thrift Stores


A lot of odd clothing comes up in the racks of Halloween stuff in thrift stores alongside the used costumes with missing pieces.   The blue dress mentioned in my October 1 entry is one such item of clothing.  T-shirts and sweatshirts and men's shorts decorated with skulls and pumpkins are  placed in these racks, as well as shorts or sweatshirts with these designs.   Long black dresses that could easily be used for any gothic costume also turn up in these racks.

Another thing that seems to appear yearly in these racks is old graduation robes.  One year when I began noticing this, I wondered what these have to do with Halloween.  Does anyone ever go as a graduate on Halloween?  Then one year I decided to be the half devil/half angel, and it hit me that graduation robes would be perfect to make it myself. I got a red robe and white one and cut them in half.  Since the robes zip in front, I only had to sew the two robe halves down the back. I made a devil cape from the other half of the red robe.   

Pictured at right are two robes sighted today at the Goodwill in one of the Halloween clothing racks.  One is emerald green and another is navy blue.  Though it's not visible in the photo, the blue robe has the pinned-on white collar.    The navy blue and emerald green robes seem to turn up a lot in these stores each halloween season.  I'm wondering what you could make with robes of these colors.  Black ones are perfect for witches and other gothic characters, perhaps also for Judge Judy.  White  robes can be for angles and red ones for devils.   I even saw an orange robe in a thrift store one year.  What could that one be made into? 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween Episodes

I didn't put a lot of Halloween movies in my Netflix queue this year.  I did already have the SpongeBob Halloween DVD in the queue (along with two other SpongeBob DVDs) so I moved it toward the top.  It's alternately been on "Available  Now" and "Short Wait" the last week or so and is currently "Available Now."  It's in slot 2 right now.  

I also added the first Disc of Season Eight of Friends to watch their only Halloween episode. Yes, in 10 years they had several Christmas/Winter Holiday  and Thanksgiving Episodes, but only one Halloween episode aired the day after Halloween in 2001.  The disc is in  slot 1 of my queue and I'm guessing it will arrive on Tuesday at the earliest.  

Unfortunately "Family Matters" isn't on DVD, or else I would queue it to watch the Halloween episode from the 1990-1991 season, "Dog Day Halloween."  The title refers to the 1975 flick "Dog Day Afternoon," and involves Steve Urkel and Laura being among the people held hostage during a bank robbery on Halloween.  The robber is a man disguised as Abraham Lincoln.   Laura's disguise as Tina Turner becomes a running gag as the robber thinks she's every other African-American female singer out there (he misses Gladys Knight somehow).  The episode is on YouTube , as is the "Friends" episode for those who don't want to rent or buy the DVD.  I wish I could buy the DVD right now. 

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Rest of My Decorations


Unfortunately, I accidentally hit "publish post" on my last post before I was done and went to edit it, but before I  got the last photo uploaded, my electricity at home went out for about a minute.   So here are the rest of my photos.  First is another shot (without the camera flash on) of the window in the photo in the previous entry.   I shot each scene twice, once with the flash, once without.  I shot without the flash to get a spooky effect. 
In 2005 I made some papier-maché ghots by pasting strips of newspaper to small paper bags with eyes and noses cut out (I stuffed the bags with crumpled newspaper while applying the strips, then removed the stuffing after the paste dried).  I also made a black cat by papier-maching an empty soda can with balls of newspaper added on for the head, ears, legs and tail attached by the paste-drenched strips.   ever since then, these have been displayed each Halloween in the large window ledge above the kitchen sink, with more of the hanging ghosts taped to the window.  Wrapped around the curtain rod and taped to the window is a long strand of orange lights.

On the porch in front of the window by my computer center, you can see a large pumpkin bag and some smaller pumpkin bags and a large spider bag.  I've had the smaller pumpkins for several years now, but recently purchased the larger pumpkin and the spider along with the light decoration and a skeleton at a local thrift store (mentioned in the previous entry). Standig behind the rails is a scarecrow.  The skeleton is hanging from the rail with a piece of a torn black trash bag behind him.  Fake spider webs hang over the rails.  Taped to the window are still more of the hanging ghosts and on top of the computer center are two plastic lighted jack-o-lanterns.  

My Halloween Decorations


I've actually had these up since the last Sunday in September, enduring a a very hot day to put them up.  I wanted t get them up by the fist, but with the first being on a Thursday, I decided to start the preceding weekend.  My hands got dirty from crumpling up newspapers to stuff my pumpkin bags and giant spider bags with. The smaller pumpkins I've had for about four years, but the larger pumpkin and the spider I got in August a thrift store run by the local hospital.   
Also acquired from the above-mentioned thrift store is this light decoration.  Unfortunately, it has to rest on the window ledge because I've been unable to get suction cups or anything that could hold it up (just one of those things that slips my mind when I've got other stuff to think about). I have this  in the window near the kitchen table (this window faces the driveway).  Also taped to the window are those little hanging ghosts. I got the idea to tape them to the window because I was too lazy to stuff the head and find places from which to hang them. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thoughts on Costumes: Gender Stereotyping

In last Saturday's entry,  I wrote my thoughts on the trend of sexy costumes aimed at women and even young girls, something that has parents riled every year. Though I'm not a parent, I still see stories about this in newspapers and on the Internet.  In that blogpost,  I quoted the following from this news story :

When it comes to Halloween costumes, boys can still be ninjas, doctors and mad scientists. A box of popcorn, even. Men can still be bananas or beer cans. ....

I then stated the following:

I always thought food, beverage, inatimate objects and various humorous costumes were designed for both genders!  A girl I used to work with even came as a banana two years ago, when the above article was written!  Apparently people think that these are now for men only.   But I see no reason for that. All of you women out there who've been bothered by the lack options other than "sexy this-or-that" did you ever consider this: If I went into a store and bough a banana or beer can, would someone tell me I can't wear those because I'm a  woman? Would they tell me to get a  "sexy___" instead?  If I want to do this ever, I will!  If a man can humorously put on a dress, then there is no reason a woman can't wear a beer can costume.  

At least most people believe the tourist costume is a unisex one.  Almost ever site that sells this one has both a man and woman modelling it, with the woman on the left side of the photo:

Tacky Tourist Adult Costume

Tacky Traveler  Adult Costume

If you want to make this yourself, it's quite easy. Just get a tropical-print, beige shorts, sandals, a hat and some leis and you're good to go. However, look at this do-it-yourself idea from this site:

The American tourist: Guys loud Hawaii shirt, shorts (if weather permits), Large straw hat. Gals bright loud dress, flats, big sun hat, straw bag. Don't forget to have a camera, and maps hanging out, and that look of being lost. Guys can use a tourist bag, (like you get from travel agents, and gals can use the straw bag for their treats. 

Wait a minute!  I thought girls could wear shorts, too! I've been wearing shorts since I was kid! I actually made this one myself a couple years ago and I used beige shorts, almost like those in the pictures of the store-bought versions.  Stating that girls should wear a tropical-print dress is just one of the stereotypes costumes today seem to be perpetuating.   Pirate costumes for women often have skirts instead of pants--have costume makers forgotten that women wear pants, too????

I thought that costumes representing food, beverages and inatimate objects were supposed to be gender-neutral.  I've been noticing these for sale for a few years now, but it was around that time that the sexy trend began emerging.   But is there really any reason that women can't wear a beer-can costume or a banana? I actually saw a girl (whom I used to work with) wearing a banana one year.   The banana costume shown Banana Deluxe Child Costume from buycostumes.com contains five reviews, four of which were from parents who bought it for their daughters.  

A box of popcorn costume just for boys?  Um, they show a girl modeling this one.Movie Night Popcorn  Child Costume

A New York Times article from 2006 stated the following:

“Decades after the second wave of the women’s movement, you would expect more of a gender-neutral range of costumes,” said Adie Nelson, the author of “The Pink Dragon Is Female: Halloween Costumes and Gender Markers,” an analysis of 469 children’s costumes and how they reinforce traditional gender messages that was published in The Psychology of Women Quarterly in 2000.

While researching “Pink Dragon,” Dr. Nelson found that even costumes for little girls were gendered. Boys got to be computers while the girls were cupcakes. Today, there are bride costumes for little girls but one is hard pressed to find groom costumes for little boys. Additionally, Dr. Nelson said, the girls’ costumes are designed in ways that create the semblance of a bust where there is none. “Once they’re older women it’s just a continuation of that same gender trend,” she said.

Again,  why shouldn't an inatimate object like a computer be for girls as well?  Girls use them, too, what are these people thinking?   On the other  hand, a boy in a cupcake costume is likely to get teased.  As for a boy trying to be a groom on Halloween: all grooms wear is a plain old tuxedo--how can you  convince everyone you're supposed to be a groom?  Put on some nerdy glasses with a tuxedo and you might be able to pass yourself off as Bill Gates.  Put on a tux, do your hair right and you can be Pee Wee Herman.  But really, how can you convince everyone you're supposed to be a groom?  

One of the biggest gender stereotypes perpetuated by Halloween costumes are those of the doctor vs. nurse. It's as if costume  makers have forgotten that both professions are held by both men and women.  As this blogger stated:

I thought the whole girl = nurse/boy = doctor thing was so last decade?? Guess not. Not to say there is anything wrong with being a nurse, because there isn't. But to lead girls to believe that they don't have the option to be a doctor and boys to believe that they cannot be a nurse is outdated and damaging. 

Very right!  Almost all of the nurse costumes sold are for women and are of the sexy variety and look nothing like a real-life Pink Nurse Costumenurse in gender-neutral scrubs.   Doctor costumes, on the other hand, look like their real-life counterparts, and there's no reason a girl should be allowed to buy and wear one.  Some may just want to do so.  Most boys, on the other  hand, would not want to wear any of the nurse costumes available.  Although this nurse costume looks more like real-life nurse uniform (pictured above),  most likely it made in pink to get men to not want to wear it.  Same with this vet costume for children. It is likely in pink so boys won't want to wear it.  Pink Vet Child Costume

And here's an interesting  quote about costume stereotypes (the full story is here):

Their costumes reflect the gender stereotypes we and Hollywood have been trying to instill in them at an early age. The girls dress up as princesses and fairies and anything else pretty. We give the boys guns and capes and encourage the machoism out of them. If your girl wants to strut her power she has Catwomen, Supergirl or Violet from the Incredibles to choose from. And your pretty much out of luck if your boy wants to be an angel. 

Good point about angels for boys.  Angels are almost always personified as females.  and girls have plenty of opportunities to be devils, even though many she-devil outfits fall into the racy variety. 

And from this blog:

I hope she answered the "where's the monsters" query with "Apparently Target thinks only men can be monsters -- isn't that stupid?" (referencing this article)

Very stupid indeed!  And another commenter says:

...I'll add that there's no reason this woman (or the kids' dad) couldn't buy her kids a boy's costume -- a monster, or gorilla, or what-have-you. Or even make her kids a costume.

Yeah, there is no reason she couldn't do any of  this!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Se7en

I first saw the movie Se7en  just four days before Halloween in 2007.  I later got the DVD at Best Buy--and it was a good buy indeed. I have a Best Buy membership and was sent a coupon in December 2007. I got $5 off the DVD which was on sale for $8.99; thus getting the DVD for $3.99.  I plan to watch it sometime before Halloween.  The subject of the Seven Deadly Sins is what prompted me to rent this film from Netflix two years ago.  It's one of the few scary movies I've been able to watch--I'm not much for the scary genre.  And this year I've only got one Halloween movie in my Netflix queue--the SpongeBob Halloween DVD.   When I first got Netflix in 2007, I had several Halloween movies in my queue that year and a few more last year around this time.  Can't find any I want to see this year.  

Monday, October 12, 2009

What Does Your Favorite Candy Say About You?



You Are a Zany Trendsetter



You are energetic and full of inspiration.

You never slow down, and you're constantly leaving people and ideas behind.



You are a true visionary. You are constantly thinking about the future.

You love living, and you stay flexible. You're open to going wherever life takes you.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

My Thoughts on Sexy Costumes

I don't even know how to begin this post and I'm sure you've seen rants about this topic every year for about five years now, since the sexy costume trend never seems to end.   Well, let me start by saying, why is the only choice for us women? I always wonder about those in extremely cold climates.  I live in California, where the late fall weather can be unpredictable. I can recall a few years ago, it was very hot during the last week of October, then on Halloween, it suddenly got cold.  Right now, they're expecting rain sometime during the coming week. 

Even though I'm not a parent, every year I expect to see articles on how costumes for young girls seems to be following the sexy trend as well, and how parents become angered over this trend. This article from the Washington Post two years ago looks at this trend.   

Gabby Cirenza wanted to be a referee for Halloween. The outfit she liked had a micro-mini black skirt and a form-fitting black and white-striped spandex top held together with black laces running up the flesh-exposing sides. She looked admiringly at the thigh-high black go-go boots that could be bought as an accessory. And she thought the little bunny on the chest was cute.

"Absolutely not," said her mother, Cheryl. "That is so not happening."

Gabby is 11.

Such an awkward age.  Many 11-year-olds are too big for one thing and not big enough for another.   Too old for one thing, but not old enough for another.  At 11, I was too big for kids clothes, but had no desire to wear small women's-sized clothes just yet.   And I shudder to think what would have happened if this sexy costume trend had been around then. When I was that age,  I wore a homemade Miss Piggy costume.  

And the Playboy Racy Referee costume was only the latest that her mother had vetoed one pre-Halloween-crazed afternoon at Party City in Baileys Crossroads as too skimpy, too revealing, too suggestive . .....

No referee outfits other than the Playboy one were available?  But then again, if others were available, they probably would have been sexy ones as well.  

.....Cheryl Cirenza shook her head in exasperated disbelief. "This is all so inappropriate. It's really disturbing," she said, eyeing a wall of such girl and preteen costumes as Major Flirt in army green, the bellybutton-baring Devilicious and a sassy, miniskirted French Maid, pink feather duster included. She'd just turned down her 13-year-old daughter's request for a Sexy Cop outfit. "When I was their age, I was a bunch of grapes."

Ha, she needs to see this costume!   

Something from the Washington Post article that has always bothered me:

When it comes to Halloween costumes, boys can still be ninjas, doctors and mad scientists. A box of popcorn, even. Men can still be bananas or beer cans. ....

I always thought food, beverage, inatimate objects and various humorous costumes were designed for both genders!  A girl I used to work with even came as a banana two years ago, when the above article was written!  Apparently people think that these are now for men only.   But I see no reason for that. All of you women out there who've been bothered by the lack options other than "sexy this-or-that" did you ever consider this: If I went into a store and bough a banana or beer can, would someone tell me I can't wear those because I'm a  woman? Would they tell me to get a  "sexy___" instead?  If I want to do this ever, I will!  If a man can humorously put on a dress, then there is no reason a woman can't wear a beer can costume.  

At least most people believe the tourist costume is a unisex one.  Almost ever site that sells this one has both a man and woman modelling it, with the woman on the left side of the photo:

Tacky Tourist Adult Costume  

Tacky Traveler  Adult Costume

(More on unisex and gender stereotypes in costumes in another blog entry later.)  


"Youth isn't being lived through anymore. It's being rushed through," Stephanie Terrazas, 20, said as she watched her 11-year-old sister pick out a "deluxe" sequined Dorothy dress that, unlike the chaste, high-necked one in the little girl size, was lower cut and had two strategically placed poofs of fabric.

Megan Smith, 16, perused the costumes at Party City with her father, Dan. She first tried on the Prisoner, a slinky spandex number with a little button at the throat and open chest like a '70s disco halter dress. She settled on Raggedy Ann, a blue mini dress so mini that the lacy underskirt barely dusts the bottom of the fanny.

See how short and sexy these things can be?  And once-innocent characters such Raggedy Ann, Goldilocks, Red Riding Hood and Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz" become "sluttified" as many have called it.  

No one does scary costumes anymore, Megan said. Blame that on the teen movie "Mean Girls," she said, quoting a line verbatim: "Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it."


Think witches can't be sexy? Think again.  Almost everything for girls is either "pretty or sexy and even itches and vampires are often 'pretty-princess-ed' up."


And when Lindsey Lohan's character goes as some Bride of Frankenstein knockoff to a party, the other girls who are wearing lingerie and animal ears ask her why's she dressed so scary. She replies that "It's Halloween."  Yeah, why does no one do scary costumes anymore, but still put up scary decorations and displays and play scary sound effects? 


Another article on sexy costumes for young girls stated the following:

Dana and I were searching online for a Halloween witch costume for Emmeline, and we noticed that while boys have a lot of simple, innocent options -- cop, fireman, astronaut, Rosie O'Donnell -- girls, even very young girls, are left with slightly more disturbing options.

Witch slut. Witch whore. Baby witch cheerleader slut. From hell. Who dresses their kids in this crap?

...It got worse as the girl costumes got older, as if every year in a girl's life means another inch of skirt above the knee.

And it had me wondering.

"Would anyone ever sell a Chippendale outfit for young boys? Would a parent ever buy one?"

Of course not.  

Um, maybe they don't sell them, but take a look at this.


In this op-ed piece from the New York Times in 2006, the author stated the following:

I noticed that on the outside of every package was a photo of a woman modeling not only the costume, but teetering heels and bras of the push-up variety. The First Lady costume was not, as one might expect, a red business suit, but a pink crepe mini-dress. At least it had the matching pillbox hat. The angel was dubbed “heaven’s hottie.” Even the witch had a slit up her tattered skirt.

My girls were confused. “Where are the monsters?” they asked. “Where are the superheroes?” I pointed weakly to Wonder Woman and her thigh-high boots. “She’s pretty,” said my 4-year-old. Before adding, “You can see her breasts."

See how long this has been going on? 

A series of costumes for the Seven Deadly Sins was released last year and while you'd think only the one representing Lust would be sexy, think again.  Sloth contains midriff-bearing pajamas with slits in the legs.  And Greed seems to be showing more midriff than monetary desire.   Does anyone Envy this midriff-bearing person?  Pride has a short skirt with corset-like laces.  Shouldn't Gluttony be fat and not sexy? And Wrath bears the midriff as well?  Last year I did the Seven Deadly Sins (all of them at once) and the only sexy part was Lust, naturally, represented by fishnet stockings and lacy garters.  

Someone wrote the following in response to this blog entry:

I have noticed the lack of appropriate costumes for women, so now I always make my costumes. And "making a costume" doesn't have to involve any sewing or hard work! I would definitely suggest shopping for halloween costume clothes at a thrift store. Last year my boyfriend and I went as Jack & Jill (after falling down the hill). I just wore a long skirt, tights, a sweater, a sign that said "Jill" and I carried a "pail of water" that was actually full of candy! We also added some fake gashes and stuff using wax & latex! Then we went to a party full of "sexy ___" and everyone was so jealous of my costume! Especially the fake wounds! And the fact that I wasn't freezing my butt off!!! This year we are going as Rachel Maddow & Keith Olbermann from msnbc.

Yeah, to those who were complaining about freezing their butts off, it should be obvious why that was happening!  

This is only scratching the surface of what I want to say on this topic. There's so much more to say about all this.  Not only sexiness, but gender stereotypes, which I plan to rant about in another post later.