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Quips & Tips
Inspiration for parents, teachers, counselors, and mentors of


All acts performed in the world begin in the imagination.
—Barbara Grizutti Harrison, writer, publicist

Halloween is almost here. What does your daughter want to be?

One year when I was a girl, I wanted to be a bride. My mother made the costume (complete with sister as bridesmaid). We loved it . . . but would we have made the same choices today? And could we have chosen something a little more girl-powerful, or something that might have helped us dream of a big and exciting future?

often choose costumes that play into society's overemphasis on the female figure, such as a ballerina, a cat (leotard and tights), a cheerleader, Cinderella or another fairytale character, or Britney or Christina.

If, for example, she's set on being a ballerina because it's always been her dream, maybe the best bet is to support her in expressing the dream. But you can still take the opportunity to discuss with her the fact that ballerinas commonly don’t eat enough to attain a healthy weight, and that she might enjoy other careers, too.

Better yet, nudge her in the direction of a costume representing some brainy female, a cool concept, or something outrageously creative. Encourage her to dream big and do something out of the ordinary; people will say "Wow!" and compliment her ingenuity and creativity. Suggest she try to personify a cause, such as "the solid waste crisis" e.g., (wearing a mountain of garbage) or an entity, such as the Internet. Or suggest a historically influential woman such as Marie Curie (e.g., carrying a vial of blue liquid). Or how about a strong character like Buffy or Hermione? A mad scientist, an astronaut?

Halloween is the time for kids to go a little wild. Help your daughter think of a costume "outside the box" and it might expand her self-expectations. Who knows what she'll dream up for next year?

Copyright by Catherine Dee

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