For Parents: Is your Teen or Tween Too Sexy For Halloween?
You may have noticed that Halloween costumes for children have become increasingly provocative in recent years, especially for young girls. Popular costumes for teens and tweens like nurses, sailors, rag dolls, and fairies now have sexed-up spins and leave nothing to the imagination. These risqué outfits include corsets, short hemlines, low necklines, thigh highs, mini skirts, and halter tops, none of which are age-appropriate.
Promoting this trend are websites like Incostume.com, Yandy.com, and Anniescostumes.com which each feature a “sexy teen costume” category that is marketed directly to young girls. In fact, Miley Cyrus’ 9-year-old sister, Noah, made big news last year after she appeared at a celebrity Halloween party dressed as part dominatrix/ part sexy vampire. (See photo).
This Halloween, we will most likely see a slew of young girls dressed up as the uninhibited Lady Gaga, and donning skin tight dresses like Snooki from “The Jersey Shore,” or wearing suggestive short shorts and cupcake bras like Katy Perry in her “California Gurls” music video.
Teens will most likely flock to social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter to post what they think are merely fun Halloween photographs. Unfortunately, many children are unaware that these photographs can be viewed by virtually anybody and can directly affect their online reputations, potentially jeopardizing their chances of being accepted to a dream school or hired by a future employer. After all, once the photographs are posted online, they are permanent fixtures in cyberspace and help to define a child’s digital footprint forever.
Other girls may feel compelled to capture racy Halloween photos with their cell phone cameras and then send them to friends or boyfriends. They may not realize that sending (or receiving) sexually-charged photos is called sexting and in many states, is actually against the law.
So, aside from paying close attention to what your teen or tween is wearing this weekend, we should all do our part in educating our kids about online safety. Let’s explain the possible consequences of posting inappropriate photos online in a way that they can understand. Let's remind them to maintain their privacy settings on social networking sites, and let’s tell them that sending explicit photos to anybody can be considered a crime. Lastly, let’s take careful steps to help them understand the importance of managing their online reputations and prevent them from putting their futures at risk.
On that note, SafetyWeb would like to wish all of our loyal readers and subscribers a very "spooky" and safe Halloween.
Tagged as: managing online reputation, Online Reputation, parent teen relationship, parental control, parenting, parenting tips, Sexting, social networking safety, teens internet activity, tips for parents