Erica Noonan reports in this morning’s Boston Globe:
An era when Halloween costume shopping for girls could be confused with exploring a Victoria’s Secret lingerie trunk may be fading. Girls between the ages of 6 and 14 and their parents seem to be gravitating away from revealing costumes this year.
Rachel [age 10] has her heart set on dressing as Hannah Montana, the schoolgirl-rock star character popularized by 15-year-old actress Miley Cyrus. Despite Cyrus’s controversial partially nude photo spread in Vanity Fair magazine earlier this year, [her mother] Britt said she has no particular objection to the Hannah Halloween theme.
But she was thoroughly unimpressed by Target’s $25 version of a costume, a barely-there swath of rayon and matching go-go boots. No way, she said.
In the words of Mrs. Judy Geller on Friends (episode 6-09, The One Where Ross Got High), “That’s a lot of information to get in 30 seconds.”
Let’s start by applauding parents who prevent their preteen daughters from wearing less total clothing mass than their pre-toddler siblings. Speaking broadly on behalf of men — a gender that’s quite rightly notorious for its adoration of naked and nearly naked women — I’d really rather not find myself handing out Snickers bars to a ten-year-old girl in a “barely-there swath of rayon.”
I lived in Boulder in 1996 — the year that someone murdered six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey and the rest of us learned that even a child in kindergarten could win a beauty pageant. I was confused then in the same way I find myself confused now.
In the 20 January 1997 issue of People Magazine, Mr. Bill Hewitt wrote:
There was one video that showed JonBenét, who had won a half-dozen pageants, including a 1995 Little Miss Colorado title and a 1996 America’s Royale Miss title, dancing in flirtatious—even provocative—fashion. Photographs also surfaced of her in heavy makeup more suited to a woman at least three times her age.
Ten years and five months later, we apparently found ourselves reading about Miley Cyrus in Vanity Fair, and seeing her wrapped in a blanket on the second page of the article. Half naked? Not really. Partially nude? To no greater extent than a girl on a beach in a bathing suit.
It’s a much more artful and much less tacky pose than detractors would suggest, but it’s still reminiscent of something one would find in a men’s magazine. It didn’t take long to prove that point by unearthing a photo of Ms. Gena Lee Nolin from the pages of Maxim that carries distinct similarities.
Again speaking on behalf of men everywhere, there’s a reason Maxim has roughly the same circulation as Newsweek. It’s not a bad thing. I’ll just choose, if any children come to my door tonight dressed as fashion models thrice their age, to keep the door closed and keep the Reese’s to myself.