It’s fall, the perfect time to drop what I expect might be an unpopular truth bomb. Now, you might call me anti-fun or tell me to mind my own business, but honesty is always the best policy, and I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way. So, here it is: Parents who wear over-the-top costumes to coordinate with their kids for trick or treating are not cute. They are — as the kids say — “cringe.” I’m sorry; it’s the truth.
Now, before all the adult Elsas come for me, I want to clarify who I am not talking about. I am not talking about the family attending the costume party together, where everyone must dress up. I am also not talking about the parent of a three-year-old who’s been begging the parent for months to be a particular character on the big day. You guys get a free pass and maybe even a gold star. I am referring to the parents who decide their kids’ costumes based on what outfit mom wants to wear and then go full glam.
Okay, I’ll give you an example. Last year, we ventured a few neighborhoods over for the full-sized candy bars, and I saw two adorable twins in a wagon. They were probably around eight months old and dressed as the sweetest little sheep I had ever seen, each in a plush and cozy costume equipped with furry hoods with ears that allowed their chubby cheeks and wide eyes to be perfectly on display. F*cking adorable.
And then I saw their parents.
Walking right next to the wagon was a woman dressed like a character from a Disney parade. She wore a shiny, ruffled corset top with balloon sleeves and a long hoop skirt that took up a decent portion of the road. An oversized bonnet with lace trim, and, oh, she was carrying a cane. Of course. She was Little Bo Peep. And then I noticed the man pulling the wagon, dressed in some weird Amish-looking gray suit to blend into the theme. I mean, was there even a man in the Bo Peep story? Isn’t it just about a lady and her lost sheep? Maybe he was supposed to be a townsman who became part of the sheep search party. Either way, I hope the poor dude at least got laid for his neighborhood wagon-pulling performance.
And while many onlookers loved the full-commitment family costume (especially the kids!), I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. Maybe I am a Halloween Scrooge (or just a plain old b*tch), but it feels like another self-righteous, braggy mom moment — and I am so tired of those.
And again, I’m not saying that moms should not participate in their kid’s requests to make them happy! I can get down with that. But it seems like many moms take Halloween as a #hotgirl opportunity, choosing a family costume theme that allows them to wear full glam or some bodycon version of a costume to march around the neighborhood looking good.
And while I love an opportunity that allows a woman to feel good, I also love a socially agreed-upon, expectation-free moment where moms don’t feel pressure to put any effort into their appearance. Like, can’t all of us adults spend Halloween wandering around the neighborhood a few steps behind our kids in sweatpants and hoodies with naked faces and greasy hair?
And honestly, beyond any real logical or thoughtful explanation, I find it annoying. It’s just an instinctual reaction for me to roll my eyes. Instead of cute, I can’t help but think it’s obnoxious. It’s just what I feel in my bones.
So, sorry, I am not sorry for my maybe-controversial opinion. And I don’t expect all the moms who have already purchased their costumes to run back for a return after hearing my profound opinion. But know that if you are walking down the street on Halloween night in a comfy pair of sweats, rolling your eyes at the 34-year-old fully-glammed Snow White, I am right there with you.
Samm is an ex-lawyer and mom of four who swears a lot. Find her on Instagram @sammbdavidson.