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25 Horribly Inappropriate Halloween Costumes for Kids

I was more than a little bummed when I found out my first child was due less than a month after Halloween last year. I love the holiday, and I’d always envisioned that one day I’d put a newborn in a peapod, lamb, pumpkin, or some other ridiculously cute getup while they were small enough to just lie there and let me take pictures. After all, it’s only a matter of time before they’re making their own decisions. This year my daughter will be nearing her first birthday, and I can’t wait to put her in a costume based on a classic storybook character — sure, she’ll be fulfilling my agenda, because that’s what babies do. But kid’s costumes can do that without crossing the line, no?

Is it me, or are there way too many inappropriate costumes out there for kids these days? By my definition, “inappropriate” would be anything that exposes children to, or exploits them by having them act out, concepts that should be in an adults-only realm of understanding. We’re talking sex, drugs, and news items that are just too much for little kids. And then there’s the dilemma with ‘tweens and teens, who may think they’re old enough to dress “sexy,” but as parents we have to know where to draw the line.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but sometimes I feel like Halloween has turned into some sort of trampy, overtly violent, exploitive horror show. I get that it’s always been about ghosts and ghouls, and the college kids like to wear next to nothing (Hey, I did that myself in college). But these past couple years, I’ve scrolled down my social media feeds and been pretty put-off by a lot of what I’ve seen. Let’s allow our kids to be kids, no? They can be sexy, dangerously edgy, or super-cheeky about illicit behavior when they’re older. Here are the cringe-worthy children’s costumes I seriously hope I don’t see this year.

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