Halloween costumes have gradually become sexier especially for younger girls
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
Have you noticed anything about the trend in Halloween costumes?
The generations are evolving and the outfits are getting sexier.
But there's a bigger factor weighing in on this change.
Society is seeing shorter hemlines and smaller outfits.
It's a gradual change, that the University of Illinois said it’s is happening relatively a lot faster than it may seem.
Halloween is a time to dress up, or down.
Shipra Gupta, UIS professor in Marketing, with a master in fashion retailing said it's becoming disturbing.
"What I have seen,” she said. “Is there is a change with the dressing; Halloween costumes, for example, have become much sexier, they have much more been sensualized, a lot more for the female."
She has a 13-year-old daughter.
"As a mother, I don't think it's a good way,” Gupta said.
She said the impact is seen with even younger age groups.
"Younger females,” she said. “So far getting as advancements as a sexualized identity, which was not that much as we were younger maybe twenty years down the line, but this is increasing at a very fast pace."
Gupta said superhero costumes are getting smaller and young TV characters, like Eleven from the popular show Stranger Things, are being mimicked by sensual outfits.
Other parents say they've seen the change before their eyes.
"I’m not happy with it,” said one Springfield mother. “I don't want that for my children as they grow up."
Shorter hemlines, more mesh, and more skin are all evolving aspects, but Gupta said this is where the internet plays a big role.
“So, all the young generation is on Instagram right?"
Professor Gupta said social media is a major factor for the changes and some high schoolers say, they're living in it.
"With people wanting to be popular wanting to fit in,” said 16-year-old Grace Lansden. “They feel like they have to kind of conform to what everyone else is doing."
Grace is a high school student with two sisters.
"The likes, how many comments you get, the number of followers,” she said. “It's just a number to me somehow but some people think it's really important."
But others see any change as a chance for creativity.
"I think it has a positive influence on Halloween,” said Whitney Jokisch of Spirit Halloween. “Because everyone is dressing up as somebody else, like from a TV show; just its evolved into a simple ghost and sheet, to like complicated costumes."
These complicated costumes can be taken well, as one college student, Claire Lansden said, as long as the one wearing it, respects themselves.
"As women grow older, it's more popular to wear less as possible, with costumes following that trend,” said Claire. “I feel confident in myself, no matter what I wear I feel like it's going to be appropriate. I'm not going to do what everyone else wants to do, I think having that sense of empowerment is all you can really do, more clothing less clothing, anything like that."
"Clothing is a medium to show the culture,” said Professor Gupta. “Of the society is changing, and it's changing every year."
Gupta said the fast trend needs to slow down, and that starts within the home.
"Talking with your kids is a very good thing to do,” she said. “I don’t know how much on a macro basis, negotiate with the retailers and make them understand."
Professor Gupta said social media isn't the only thing to blame.
Retailers continue to advertise sexier versions of costumes throughout the year.
"Trying to celebrate Halloween in a positive way,” Gupta said. “And not have any of these negative effects to that, that would be great."
She said the raunchier trend may be something that will get worse before it can get better.