There you are, frantically pawing the racks for this year's Halloween costume for your little princess who's almost four. Will she be a cat or a ladybug or . . . a scantily clad firefighter?
This nightmare was brought to you by a Victoria, B.C., mom who stumbled upon the offending costume at her local Value Village. No wonder Raina Delisle saw red.
Firstly, there is no good reason why a firefighter costume for tots shouldn't be unisex, but the girl version of this particular costume looks "absolutely nothing like a firefighter. It's a skin-tight, black, shiny dress. It doesn't even have a helmet. It has a fascinator instead in place of a helmet."
Repeat after me: the words "sexy" and "kids' costumes" don't belong in the same sentence. Frankly, I even object to all the adult ones looking like, well, adult-rated ones. If I choose to dress up that way, I would visit a different kind of store and the party would stay in the bedroom, thanks.
It is possible that not all women who want to dress as a nurse for Halloween want to be the hussy nurse. But digression aside, Delisle then scouted around to find other gender-specific costumes for the four- to six-year-olds being marketed in much the same way. All featured miniskirts or highly sexualized styles.
"A little girl cannot even be a pumpkin without having a lace-up corset-like outfit. It's absolutely disgusting," said Delisle.
First and foremost, parents must exercise their dissent as consumers. But retailers also must take responsibility for what merchandise they choose (and reject) to stock.
Value Village eventually pulled the costumes, and promised that going forward it will be discerning when it comes to offensive costumes.
You tell me: Have you come across any offensive kids costumes lately?