What Halloween Costume Is Best...


... for science-oriented secular skeptical people like you?

Halloween is when the really scary things make their appearance, mostly in the form of the Halloween Costume Industry. This is when we learn about all those latent adult sexual fantasies involving school children, for example.

But more insidious and damaging, if not just plain annoying, is the janus-faced monster of jack-booted gender policing and Disney/Pixar marketing. Little girls should be princesses or some other girly thing, and little boys should be race cars or some other boyish thing.

Huxley will be wearing this costume.

But Halloween is also an opportunity to make a point. Some people I know have suggested handing out science-oriented or skeptical literature along with or instead of candy. Little miniature "Origins of Species" tied to a candy bar, that sort of thing. I object to that. I object because I know that there is already a small but non-zero number of people handing out churchy literature and I don’t like that, and I know that if handing out polemic literature became more common on this particular holiday, the churchy people would totally kick ass and the skeptics and scientists would be looking at yet another channel for insidious anti-science and religious literature to be flowing into the lives of our society’s children.

So just don’t do that, please. You’ll lose and you’ll bring the rest of us down with you.

There are dino costumes for all sizes and ages, some are pretty cute.

But you can dress in, or more likely, dress your cute little children in costumes that gently and subtly promote skeptical, secular, or scientific values. Obviously, you can make a Flying Spaghetti Monster costume. I don’t know if you can buy such a costume ready made, but you can get a pirate costume such as this one ... If you want to avoid participating in the gender police state, perhaps you would get this one for a little girl, not a little boy.

This is cheaper of the two Dalek costumes I found. The other (the link in the text points to it) seems to be a very high end product. Seems to me that a paper bag and some magic markers would do the trick.

Instead, the little boy may be better dressed in what is probably a non-gendered costume, such as a primate or a a dinosaur. This is not to say that dinosaurs and primates are not "gendered" ... the original creatures certainly are, being highly sexually dimorphic in many cases and all. But, the costumes per se do not automatically fall into the usual Halloween stereotypes of little girly princesses and tiny boyish warriors and such.

Scooby Doo. Almost always skeptical, except that one movie with the Voodu Zombies.

Or, one could pick a theme that is skeptical, sciencey, or at least, popular among nerdy geeks who lean towards skepticism, such as Scooby Doo or Dr. Who. There are some nice Dalek Costumes and a full range of Scooby Doo related alternatives.

And to add to the science oriented theme, this year, maybe everybody should hand out Mars Bars!?!?

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Number one granddaughter has always insisted on being a sparkly pink princess- not just on Halloween, either. Most of the time. But she is now seven, and has just informed me that she's "not really a princess kind of a girl". No, it turns out she's really a rock n' roll kind of a girl. Okay. Except- now she wants to dress like something out of a Whitesnake video. All the time.

By nancy brownlee (not verified) on 30 Sep 2012 #permalink

The more we can allow people to express themselves beyond stereotypes the better I say!

By Mark from Best… (not verified) on 30 Sep 2012 #permalink

My children (daughters) have always selected costumes that involved the absolute most sparkly, glittery, velvety, shimmery, flowy, ribbony parts possible. Because we are atheist, non-Disney people these translate to various historical queens or the equal (in their minds) literary characters/goddesses.
It's all about the costume. While they were animals as pre-schoolers, now it's all human characters. While I wouldn't mind or object or reject a male character, I don't see anything wrong with a gender normative female wanting to dress in gender normative clothing. The operative word is WANTING. Daleks (what the hell is that? It's from a tv show, right?) and dinos are interesting, I guess, but sometimes when you are six you just want to dress like a pioneer girl so you can have boots and a long calico dress. With glitter eyeshadow.

Dress as a frontiersman and have a bag with an inflatable Statue of Liberty, a pump, and some balloons.
leave the bag a while until temptation gets too much for somebody and they inflate them.
When this happens, point at the nearest guy in a gorilla costume (there's always one) and say:
You - you blew it up! You blew it all up! Damn you all to hell!

That said, my 3-year old will be going as the scariest creature in the deep, dark, wood...