30 October 2007


Queen of Hearts (as a Tart) sold separately
Or rented by the hour
N.B. These are not children.

Ordinarily, the trouble with satire is that real life so often surpasses it: how do you make fun of the headlines when the headlines are so funny themselves? The jokes are so obvious that you can imagine schoolchildren on the playground saying exactly what you’re thinking. But in the present case, imagining schoolchildren on the playground is another part of the problem.

This morning, reading the Washington Post, I was inspired by an article. “Preteens Trading Fairy Wands for Fishnets,” runs the headline, and staff writer Brigid Schulte goes on to describe the latest trend in Halloween consumption: erotic costumes for little girls. The parents who spoke with Schulte were unanimously dismayed by the outfits on sale, although the little girls seemed perfectly willing to dress up as sexy nurses and French maids, the kinds of costumes that Britney Spears, when sober, would think twice before buying. And you’ve got to think, if there are so many of these costumes available, somebody must be buying them: that’s capitalism.

The urge to satirize is unstoppable — almost. Because what can one say (and get away with) about a society that dresses its little girls like prostitutes? Especially in an age when the fear of child molesters touches on mass hysteria? I like to illustrate my blog entries with photos, but we’d all be arrested if I posted any image that reflected the subject matter.

Thus I’m left with no option but the dreary jeremiad, which I’ll cut short: What is wrong with you people?! Does anybody really require an explanation why this is a bad idea? If you buy your daughter a Major Flirt or a Sexy School Girl uniform, if you dress her as a Runway Diva or a Mean Girl Slut, you’re going to Hell. I don’t even believe in Hell, but that’s where you’re going. Be sure to say hello to the people who sold you the costume in the first place.