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Let's be real — these kids had nothing to do with their awesome Halloween costumes

Claire Zulkey wonders when she'll ever get used to the idea that she has two boys. She is the author of two books for young people, An Off Year and Best Frenemies. She and her filmmaker husband live in Evanston, IL. You can find out more...

When little kids gets dressed up for Halloween, why don’t the parents get credit?

Understandably, since it’s October, there are lots of stories floating around about unique and funny Halloween costumes for little kids (typically kids too small to put up much of an argument about what they’re wearing). What I don’t understand is why the kids are so often credited with unique taste and witty ideas.

Here are just a few examples.

Pop-culture costumes

When little kids gets dressed up for Halloween, why don’t the parents get credit?
Image: Costume Works

Let’s be real. It’s not the kids here that are cool. Little kids do not think Thelma and Louise, Dwight Schrute, or Mike Ditka are “cool.” These kids just happen to have nostalgic parents who want some compliments on their pop-culture acumen.

More: Guinea pig dresses up in adorable costumes

4-year-old Halloween queen

This article proclaims this child the “undisputed costume queen of Halloween.” The images feature the daughter of a photographer in more than 20 costumes complete with full-on set design. There is no word on how her mother convinced Willow to do all this or where she got the costumes.

Out-of-this-world Star Wars costume

No actual parents received credit for this video clip of a young Star Wars fan.

Props for a photo opp

It’s very strange to see the children credited for adult ideas and taste, particularly when it’s abundantly clear that the kids are pretty much just props for a photo opp.

Listen, I totally get the desire to put your kid in a witty costume. My toddler has a perfectly functional turtle costume, but I felt compelled to buy him an alien outfit because his brother is dressing up as an astronaut and if the two of them don’t have related costumes (and then document it for social media), I might as well just go live in a cave somewhere. But I would never act like it was my boys’ idea for the themed costumes (and truth be told, the 4-year-old would much rather dress up like Batman or a Star Wars character than a generic astronaut, but we’ll deal with that later.)

Parents secretly want the credit any time their kids do something awesome (and of course, would prefer to be far, far away whenever their kids do something not-so-awesome.) So why do these Halloween stories act like the kids had anything to do with it? For future kid-wears-awesome-costume stories, I would like the following details included:

  • When the parents had the bandwidth to come up with a cool costume idea
  • Where they were able to procure said costumes and at what cost
  • How they were able to convince their children to wear said costumes

... and finally, most crucially...

  • How they were able to trick their children into posing nicely in said outfits

I know that in today’s political climate, there is a lot of criticism being leveled at the press. I think that by focusing “kid wears neat costume” stories away from the kids and more toward the parents, we can finally begin to heal as a nation.

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