Reel Girl’s Halloween List of Monster Movies For Kids Starring Females

My 8 year old daughter is home sick today, and we were looking for a Halloween movie to watch starring a girl. This depressing task reminded me that once again it’s time to post the annual Reel Girl’s Halloween List of Monster Movies Starring Females. I started creating this list in my head when in 2012 no less than 3 Halloween movies came out– “Hotel Transylvania,” “ParaNorman,” and “Frankenweenie”– each with males front and center.

This afternoon, my daughter and I opted for “Hocus Pocus” which was on Reel Girl’s list, but I hadn’t seen it yet. The good news is “Hocus Pocus” has more females than males. The witches are played by Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Penny Marshall is in the movie too, which was a nice surprise for me. Vinessa Shaw plays a smart, brave girl and Thora Birch is the 8 year old little sister who gets into trouble. (My daughter really liked seeing a movie with a kid the same age as she is.)

The not-so-good is that the 3 witches are obsessed with being young and beautiful. I am so over this cliche. Recently, I saw it in “Tangled” and “Snow White and the Huntsman,” both stories obviously recycled fairy tales with this tired theme (not to mention any women’s magazine you open, full of ads for potions, spells of eternal youth.) What these women are after is not beauty but power, which is what beauty has represented and signified for women in narratives for thousands of years. I wish writers today could be a little more creative in depicting stories where women are seeking power without relying on the dull and done youth and beauty cliche.

Another thing that annoyed me about “Hocus Pocus” is that in order for a spell to work, a candle had to be lit by a virgin. While I appreciated that the virgin was a boy, the word came up again and again with my daughter wanting to know its meaning. I told her it’s another word for child, but I was irritated the movie put me in that position for no important reason as far as the plot is concerned.

Finally, while there are many girls and women in this movie, the protagonist is a boy. He’s just moved to Salem from LA, and he doesn’t believe in witches. Vinessa Shaw plays his girlfriend and Thora Birch plays his little sister. It is this guy that goes through the transition of coming to believe. Still, he is a Minority Feisty of sorts, and I can’t actually recall another movie where I have seen a gender flip where the male plays this role.

Reel Girl’s list of Monster Movies Starring Females is short. It is almost the same as last year’s list, except I’ve added the wonderful “Maleficent.” My list is so pathetically short that I have included movies just recommended to me, that I have not seen myself. Those are “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Series of Unfortunate Events” (which I may watch today with my daughter….) We complain, rightly so, about how sexist Halloween costumes are for girl. It would sure help things out if there were more scary stories starring cool or evil powerful females. Of course, we’d still have the problem of Hermione morphing into the sexy school girl. But I digress. As I asked you in 2013, if you have any monster movies for little kids starring females, to add to my list. please let me know. Here’s the list of 10 movies. Please try to watch girl-centered films with your daughters and sons.

coraline_ver22

kikibig

corpse_bride_ver6

Maleficent-2014-image-maleficent-2014-36106527-738-1082

monsters-vs-aliens-postermy-neighbor-totoro

hocus_pocus

wizardofozseries_of_unfortunate_events_ver3

centerofearth

Reel Girl’s Halloween list of monster movies starring females

Last Halloween when no less than 3 movies came out starring males– “Hotel Transylvania,” “ParaNorman,” and “Frankenweenie”– I made a list of monster movies starring females. This list is pathetically small! I have not seen “Hocus Pocus” or “Journey to the Center of the Earth” or “Series of Unfortunate Events” but Reel Girl fans recommended all 3. Let me know if you have any movies to add.

coraline_ver22

kikibig

corpse_bride_ver6

my-neighbor-totoro

wizardofoz

series_of_unfortunate_events_ver3

monsters-vs-aliens-poster

centerofearth

hocus_pocus

Walmart pulls toddler ‘Naughty Leopard’ costume

YAY for social media, us, and, most importantly, kids this Halloween. One costume down!

In response to concerned parents, Walmart pulled the Naughty Leopard costume for little girls off its shelves. Here’s Walmart’s apology:

“It was never our intention to offend anyone and we apologize to any customers who may have been offended by the name of the costume.”

 

Nice analysis from Babble:

It seems as if the producers of the product just got lazy and slapped on the “naughty” text out of habit since their factories perhaps also churn out outfits  like the Naughty Nurse,Naughty Traffic Officer, or Naughty Little Red Riding Hood.

 

It’s a small victory in the scheme of things, but it’s something. Thank you to everyone who Tweets, comments on Facebook, or takes any action, no matter how small, to stop the daily sexualizing of little girls. Keep it up.

 

Fergie’s truly nauseating Halloween costume

Last night, like almost every Thursday night due to my tabloid addiction, I crawled in bed to relax with my new issue of Us Weekly. In a photo spread titled “Klum’s Favorite Halloween Costumes,” featuring pics from Heidi Klum’s annual party, I saw this picture of Fergie’s Halloween costume. I, literally, felt nauseated.

If you care at all about the sexualization of  little girls, why would a grown woman dress up as a little girl dressed up as a woman (assuming little girls with their make-up and curled hair aspire to imitate older beauty queens and not Martians.) Talk about blurring boundaries between sexualizing little girls and adults.  I just blogged about the conundrum of Batgirl, and I can barley get my mind around this costume. The bobby socks and the teddy bear? Ugh.

But here’s what Heidi Klum has to say about it: “Accessories can put a costume over the top! Fergie couldn’t have looked any better as a pageant girl.”

Right now, all I can say is GROSS. Bad move, Fergie, Heidi Klum, and Us Weekly.

The conundrum of Batgirl

My three year old dressed up as Batgirl for Halloween last night. She loves Batgirl. Everytime she puts on the costume, which is often, she acts out complicated stories, usually involving several stuffed animals, about how she is saving the world. Before last night, my daughter had no idea that Batgirl is far less famous or celebrated than Batman.

Here is what happened on Halloween:

Adult after adult, kind adults who wanted to be nice, who gave my daughter candy, called her Batman. At first, my daughter said nothing back to them but asked me: “Why do people keep calling me Batman?” I told her: “That is so silly. What are they thinking? You’re not Batman, you’re Batgirl.” As the man-moniker continued, my daughter quietly corrected them: “I’m Batgirl.” By the end of the night, she was shouting; “I’M BATGIRL!”

Sometimes, we’d run into a Batman, at one point an adult distributing candy. After his wife or girlfriend saw my daughter, called her Batman, and was corrected, she said to her partner: “Look! It’s your sidekick!” My daughter turned to me, confused. “Tell him he’s your sidekick,” I said.

The people who called my daughter Batman were men and women, adults and children, parents and teenagers. She was wearing a dress, by the way.

I know Batgirl doesn’t have five major motion pictures about her, all featuring famous movie stars. There aren’t Batgirl toys or Batgirl clothing or Batgirl comic books everywhere you look. (Today, I will do a Google search and try to find some). One person did say to my daughter: “Are you…Batwoman?” Then she laughed. I wondered why that term sounded so strange. Is there a Batwoman? Is “Batwoman” sexualized somehow? Or would “woman” imply too powerful a superhero, is that why we use “girl?” Or is it the opposite: “girl” and “man” are cool, but “woman” represents a loss of power that even little kids pick up on? Would you ever refer to a kid in the comparable costume as “Batboy?” That sounds diminutive to me.  And what does that say about the sexism of our cultural mythology, that “Batgirl” is empowering but “Batboy” is insulting?

It all kind of makes me understand the monotony of Halloween: If you’re a girl and dress as princess, everything is simple and everyone knows just what to say: “I love the dress. You’re so beautiful!”

(My oldest daughter wanted to dress as a Native American because she’s doing a school paper on the Miwok tribe. Instead of being a “Dream Catcher Cutie” as the package advertised, she asked if I would buy a bow to go with her costume; my middle daughter is a fairy.)

Jumping the shark: Sexy “Sesame Street” costumes

And you know what is so amazingly fucked up about this? All of the “Sesame Street” sexy costumes for women ((Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch) are male characters, because all of the best known characters on Sesame Street — a PBS show created to educate children– are male. I guess I should be grateful no one’s heard of Abby Cadabby. Or Elmo’s fish, Dorothy.

From Geeklogie.com:

So It’s Come To This: Sexy Sesame Street Costumes

sexy-bert-and-ernie-costume.jpg

Because some people believe every costume should be available in a sexy version, Yandy is selling these sexy Sesame Street costumes for ladies. They come in Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch versions, and all are pretty sad looking. Regardless of how you feel about them, if you’re at a Halloween bar party and a girl shows up wearing one because it’s her favorite character you need to tell a bouncer because there is NO WAY she’s legal.

Read and see the rest here.

Cool collection of Halloween costumes for girls (and boys)

Tired of sexed-up, “cute,” and endless princesses and rainbow fairies marketed to your daughters on Halloween?

A Mighty Girl has put together a great collection of awesome costumes.

My three year old is super- psyched to be Batgirl. We actually own this, but I bought a new one because ours is worn, ripped,  and missing parts.

(Of course, potential Batgirl enthusiasts would be helped along if there were multiple Batgirl movies and derivative toys, games, and clothing. As is stands now, most kids haven’t heard of her, though her existence makes perfect sense to a three year old. Sadly, an eight year old, not so much.)