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October 25, 2010  | by: Kerri O'Malley

Lady Gaga

Trick-or-treaters are facing an interesting dilemma this year: How sexy is too sexy for kids’ costumes?  Halloween stores and costume designers all over the country have drawn a line in the sand.  Parents, take note: skintight bodysuits are A-okay for mythical creatures, but dare not allow youngsters to don the guise of their favorite pop singer.  Those skintight garments are somehow less appropriate for children.

Goo Goo But No Gaga for Kids

While there are kid-size costumes available for Neytiri, the nearly-naked blue bombshell from 2009′s Avatar, there are no available kid versions of Lady Gaga costumes, an outrageously popular outfit for this year’s adult Halloween crowd.

Strange, considering that Avatar was rated PG-13, classifying the movie as inappropriate for children.  On the other hand, Gaga’s tunes have been blasting over pop radio, readily accessible to kids without parental supervision.  Even the adorable little ones in Kidz Bop sang her songs “Telephone” and “Alejandro” on their latest compilation CD.  Obviously, young people have been more than exposed to Lady Gaga’s songs.  The lyrics are at least as overtly sexual as Gaga’s get-ups.  Why is the song, but not the costume, acceptable?

Too Sexy For Her Loincloth?

I once babysat a two year old girl who knew all the words to Kesha’s “Tik Tok.”  Imagine the hilarity and impropriety of hearing a little girl that just learned how to speak sing: “Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack…”  It’s fun, and mostly harmless, since we’re willing to take for granted that the child doesn’t really understand what she’s saying.  YouTube has encouraged this phenomenon with videos like “Say Fire Truck” and “Monster, gonna kick his ass.”  And let’s not forget Funny or Die’s infamous and original “The Landlord.”  Our culture has accepted that where innocent kids and adult culture collide, hilarity ensues.

It makes sense.  Children are naturally fun to watch, as they bump and stumble their way through the world, learning about us and our environment mostly through play and observation.  And we all watch and engage in our pop culture.  The combination of the two is fascinating.

But when children imitate the sexiness of our female popstars, the reflection becomes uncomfortable and the line of decency unclear.  The baby swiveling its diapered bum to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” is still hilarious, but the idea of a budding girl clad in one of Gaga’s ensembles, knocking on the doors of middle aged men and asking for candy, has a different tone to it.  But is denying young girls the opportunity to dress as Lady Gaga hypocritical at this point?

Ultimately, it’s ironic that an Avatar character is the allowed pseudo-sexy costume choice for children.  In the movie, humans become Avatars, entering machines that allow them to become something they are not.  This Halloween, children can do the same.  Slip on the skintight blue suit and they not only become a fictional creature, they also become a fictional adult.

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