Posted on 16 October 2015 by Rachel
ALL HALLOWS’ EVE
It's that time of year again where your local supermarket is selling all sorts of 'scary' shaped chocolates and sweets, along with some rather questionable 'scary' Halloween costumes.
Maybe you fit into one of these categories when it comes to the 31st of October...
Category 1: You LOVE all things Halloween! The extra excuse to majorly fill the cupboards up with sweet treats which of course are only for the trick or treaters and not for you, obviously... You carve out as many pumpkins as humanly possible and display them proudly at the front of your house and wait anxiously by the door ready to greet all the cute trick or treaters as they arrive. Maybe you even go as far as dressing up your family pet, like this:
Category 2: You cannot stand Halloween to the point where you turn off all the lights in the house, sitting in the dark pretending you're not in whenever the door bell rings.
Perhaps Halloween isn't something you wish to take part in, or want your child(s) to be apart of. There are lots of alternatives, including Light Parties at lots of local churches. These are a safe and fun environment to have a party atmosphere but in a christian environment.
Whichever category you fit into we can't really escape seeing elements of this celebration in our supermarkets, cinemas or TV adverts.
With regards to our teenage generation, a big part of Halloween is the costume, right? A whole heap of discussions can be overheard in high school playgrounds and classrooms as to what others are wearing, how they can be more 'sexy' and which party are they going to head to after getting all there free sweets from trick or treating.
The sexualisation of our culture is on full display during Halloween. The number 1 independant media and technology company website POPSUGAR, which is aimed at females, has suggested a list of the most popular Halloween costumes for 2015. It even includes suggestions of what to wear and how to act to fully embrace your chosen character!
The sad part is, so many of the options are to be the sexy female character in either of two ways; to physically be showing as much skin as possible by dressing up as Ava from Ex Machina in a silver cap and a black fishnet bodysuit, or to act provocatively and play into a sexual fantasy by innocently dressing up as Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey in jeans and a t-shirt and constantly bite your lip in a sexual manner. Oh dear...
.......But there is hope!
At Romance Academy, we believe physical attraction can be good and are fully aware that young people are attracted to each other but we want them to experience it safely. We believe it is important to respect our own and other peoples bodies. We also believe one of the best ways to help support adolescents in their physical and sexual development is through conversations and discussions. So, before you warn them about what type of halloween costume they were, perhaps use this as a prime time for chatting to your child(s).
Here are some top tips to use Halloween positively this year:
1. Get in there first and start a conversation around physical attraction and how others can percieve us by the way we dress. A good way to do this is by watching TV with your child(s) and sparking a conversation from a Halloween advert.
2. LISTEN, don't lecture! This is one of our favourite top tips as listening is vital to truly understanding teens. By listening, you give them respect and a chance to share their opinion and feel valued in a conversation. Another way to know what they are really thinking is by asking what their friends think, then they'll actually tell you what they think.
3. Get creative! Perhaps your child has asked you to help make their costume. Use this as a time to chat and discuss how others could view their costume. Use the image below as a scale to discuss which outfits are sending what types of messages.
Halloween is full of lots of opportunties for discussions around our sexualisation so get chatting to your young people and let us know any key conversations that happen, we love hearing from you!