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Are Halloween costumes for young girls too sexualized?

INDIANAPOLIS Ind. (WISH) — Halloween is just 12 days away, and picking out a costume for young girls can be a stressful experience for parents.

We asked parents at a local Halloween shop to see how they feel about costumes offered for girls and teens. What we found is many of the same costumes for boys are changed when offered to girls.

“It makes me very nervous.”

Casey Kresge from Greenwood isn’t scared of monsters or ghouls this Halloween; she’s scared for her daughters. “[My goal is] making sure they can still enjoy the holiday but at the same time make sure they’re protected and not looked at in a way that is inappropriate,” she explained.

At Spirit Halloween in Greenwood, the costumes for girls are right up front. Most costumes are age appropriate, but some are more revealing.

“If you look at what is offered for males as opposed to females, the same exact costume is done differently,” Kresge said. “The costume is offered for a female in a short skirt whereas pants is offered for a male.”

Chris Eldridge, the district manager for Spirt Halloween, says the trend is shifting.

“I think girls don’t really want to be that sexy person anymore; they want to be realistic characters,” Eldridge said.

Casey’s 9-year-old daughter, Faith, wanted to dress up as one of the characters from the new female-driven “Ghostbusters” movie, but they didn’t have what she wanted.

“I like superheroes and Iron Man is a superhero so I just want to dress up as him,” Faith said.

“I want them to be empowered to do what they want to do — use their minds and be creative — and it doesn’t have anything to do with their looks or with their bodies. They don’t have to sexualize themselves to get attention,” Kresge added.

“It makes me a little upset that the world would be like that, and I think the world should be, like, girls should be able to have costumes like Iron Man and stuff like that,” Faith said.

Click here to see a website dedicated to providing costumes to empower girls and women.