Earlier, in our comments thread to this post, junequest observed:

I also find it disturbing that many of the “sexy” costumes are highly sexualized versions of characters who are supposed to be little girls–Alice (in Wonderland), Dorothy, Goldilocks, Red Riding Hood, and other popular or fairy tale characters.

The fact that many women dress up as sexy little girls points to both the sexualization of female children and the infantilization of adult women.

Jillian York linked to an example from her flickr page, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz:


Goldilocks from Goldilocks and the Three Bears:


Alice from Alice in Wonderland:


Little Red Riding Hood:


The phenomenon isn’t restircted to the fairy tale.  There is always the classic sexy school girl:


And its zeitgeist version (also from Jillian’s flickr):


And the related Girl Scout, eh em, Cookie Girl:41QWiVmH1LL._SS500_

Just to see, I did a search and I found these sexy “baby” and “girl” costumes:



Actually, I’m not sure if the baby doll is a “sexy” costume, or if I’m so overwhelmed by women + Halloween = sexy that I can’t see anything else.

For more material showing the conflation of women and little girls, see these creepy posts: the cover girl mouth, innocence is sexier than you think, and compete with your daughter’s little girl look.


Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.