Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lovin' the Alien in the News

Guess what? I'm in the September issue of Vogue!

Not really.

But, I am in the October issue of Boston Parents.

Yes, really. My essay "Tweens and Halloween: Sexy Penguin Anyone?" appears on page 10.

If you happen to live in the greater Boston area, you can pick up a copy. Or, thanks to the wonderful world of the web, you can take a look at the issue here. Finally, for your convenience — not to mention your reading pleasure — I've included the essay below:

Halloween is trickier than it used to be. Like everything else, the upcoming holiday becomes a bit more complicated when your little girl becomes a little woman. A catsuit on a 4-year old is adorable. A catsuit on a 14-year old is suddenly a little too tight, a little too curvy, a little too much.

In our household (like so many I know), everything we do is last minute. So, there I was last year, the Saturday before Halloween, at a costume shop in a neighboring town. 

Trying to get in and out of a Halloween store the weekend before that holiday is easier said than done. It took me less than five minutes to choose some masks we needed. It took me another 35 to get through the long line that snaked along the perimeter of the shop. I went by an aisle of adorable baby costumes (bees, lady bugs, pumpkins), by another filled with creepy decorations and animated lawn ornaments. Then, I hit trick or treat pay dirt. 

The aisle of Halloween hoochies.

I had arrived at the tweens and teens section, a land where less is truly more. As in: less fabric, more skin. The typical costume included a bare-midriff or corset top; a short, short skirt; and some combination of fishnet stockings, long gloves, garters, a headpiece and/or wings. It was like Halloween with The Girls Next Door at the Playboy Mansion. (Every package, btw, featured a pretty, pouting model who looked about 14.)

There were sexy nurses, sexy vampires, sexy fairies, sexy superheroes, sexy gypsies, sexy pirate wenches. Then there were the sexy animals. Some that made sense (in a warped way), like sexy kittens, foxes and bunnies. Some that didn't, like sexy penguins. Sexy penguins???

Last, but not least, there were the sexy inanimate objects. Sexy crayons, sexy beer bottles, sexy pizza slices, and my all-time favorite: sexy candy corn.

Because nothing says “Happy Halloween” like a sexy piece of candy corn. I’d never seen anything quite like it. Sort of a bodacious St. Pauly Girl look, a buxom blonde in an Alpine-inspired (perky bust extending above the shelf of her bodice) dress. Plus, of course, garters, stockings, high heels. But, the strange thing was that the entire sleazy outfit was made to look like a piece of candy corn.

I understand that the whole thrill behind wearing a costume is that it gives you a chance to put on another piece of your personality. But why do so many of the options for young girls feel more like taking off than putting on?

Happily, my own daughter is still more interested in collecting Kit Kat bars and hanging out with her friends than in letting it all hang out. This year, she's either going to be a pirate or a hippie. (And, with a little oversight from her mother, she will not be a slutty pirate wench or a hippie who is tripping on acid at Woodstock and forgot which VW van she left her top in.)

Sometimes, I do wish we could go back to the more innocent days of Teletubbies and Disney princesses. I guess I'll just have to settle for the little ones who come to the door.

Next year? Vogue, for sure.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at www.lovinthealien.com.  

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