Monday, October 15, 2012

Frilly Elmo Must Die

Have you seen the frilly Big Bird costume for little girls yet?  Have you?!  The person who decided all Sesame Street characters needed to be princess-ized is on my eternal shit list.  Sexy Big Bird is one thing.  That's for adults.  Ridiculous drunk adults but, still, adults.  Baby Princess Big Bird is just icky.

I mean, I was a girly little kid.  My childhood was a swirl of Strawberry Shortcake, ballet classes, Hello Kitty, Barbie, bows, dollhouses and Care Bears.  I get that some little girls like pink and tulle and ribbons.  But, does everything have to be frilled up for them?  Does everything have to be made into a princess?  It makes me sick.  It makes me want to puke pink.

I saw this photo the other day of a girl dressed as "Cookie Monster."  She's really young and probably loves the little blue monster like we all did when we were kids.  She probably wanted to be Cookie Monster for Halloween but ended up being a messed up thwarted GIRLY version of a BOY MONSTER because, um, why again?  Because someone decided that Disney Princesses (don't get me started on those dicks) are making so much money that they could probably make a princess out of ANYTHING and the American public will eat it up.  They were right.  And it makes me sad.  That little girl should be dressed like this.  Cookie Monster is not frilly and Cookie Monster does not wear a freaking skirt!

I wonder what all of this girly pressure will do to kids in the long run.  My Halloween costumes were always what they were.  If I wanted to be a princess, I was a princess but if I wanted to be a witch, I was a witch, not a princess witch.  I guarantee you the Care Bear costumes in my day were fuzzy and Care Bear-y, not tutus with Tenderheart Bear's face on them.  My scary rabbit costume was truly terrifying (see above) not a frilly girly PRINCESS FREAKING RABBIT.  I didn't get mani/pedis until college and my first pair of heels was for prom, not Kindergarten.  I don't know.  Maybe I'm being an old grumpy asshole (I know I am), but it seems super crazy to me that everything has to be hyper-frilled, that everything has to be coated in pink and lace.

And I'm sooo not blaming the parents.  If I took my kid to the costume store and they picked out one of these terrible terrible costumes, I'd buy it for them.  I'd try to sway them to something more awesome first, of course, but when it comes down to it, parents just want their kids to be happy and I get that.  I think this is more of a nation-wide zeitgeist type of problem.  Little girls want what's available, what they see on TV and in the stores.  They'll latch onto the messages we present to them.  For me, it was 'When Sandy stops being a good girl, rocks a leather jacket and takes up smoking, then she gets Danny' or 'If the Little Mermaid wants to get a man, she needs to change species.'  Which was fucked up enough.  But, I think these girls will grow up thinking that if they're not beautiful and girly and ROYALTY, they suck.  That they're failures.

I don't know why it bothers me so much.  I don't know why this Elmo costume makes me want to punch someone but I think it comes from a place of true concern.  How in the world will cool girls grow up in this environment?  How is our society not raising an army of grown ass women with princess complexes who are bound to be more concerned with waxing techniques and hair straightening treatments than books or art or politics?  Who decided that our children needed to be clearly branded as girls or boys by something as harmless as their Halloween costumes?  I mean, let the little girl be REAL ELMO!  UGH!  LOOK AT THAT STUPID DRESS AND HALF AN ELMO HEAD HAT! HOW IS THAT COOL?!

Okay.  I'm okay.  Really.  I just.  It's just.  I don't know.  It makes me sad.  And I think it probably would make Elmo sad too, if anyone bothered to ask him.

Happy Halloween or whatever.  I'm obviously going as the grinch.  No, NOT the sexy grinch.


*Photo of me.  Scary rabbit me.