Maybe I shouldn’t be shocked but for some strange reason I am. I took my children into the big pumpkin costume place that sets up camp near our local mall weeks before Halloween. I’ve been in there before and maybe it was the same then and I just didn’t notice. But I don’t think so. I believe women’s and girl’s costumes have digressed to a level that goes beyond sexy, beyond “pushing the edge of the envelope”, beyond perverted to completely disturbing. I stood there in the women’s costume area scanning the costumes looking for one that didn’t look like a costume that would be used in an adult film. There was the nurse, the librarian, the cop, the witch and the french maid all so short there is not a conceivable way you could sit down without revealing whatever you have on underneath or the lack there of. I made my way to the girl’s area and was horrified to find that even the youngest girls costumes have been amped up to a level of sex appeal that has formerly been reserved for adults. The young girls costumes were belly dancers, mermaids, starlets, cheerleaders, kittens and superheroes that were mostly obscene and inappropriate for young girls. Is this ok? Is this just the world we live and we are to just accept it? Have you ever thought about the connection between the decreasing sense of modesty, the rise in sexually explicit images and the depiction of young girls and women in videos, commercials and print ads to the increase in the multi-billion dollar industry of child pornography? A quick search of the internet reveals some sobering statistics: In 2005, child pornography became a $3 billion a year industry (Top Ten Reviews). In a recent study of those charged with possession of child pornography, 40 percent had also sexually victimized children. Of those arrested between 2000 and 2001, 83 percent possessed images of children between the ages 6 and 12; 39 percent had images of children between the ages 3 and 5; and 19 percent had images of infants and toddlers under the age of 3 (National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Child Pornography Possessors Arrested in Internet-Related Crimes: Findings for the National Juvenile Online Victimization Study 2005). Maybe, just maybe if women and young girls chose to dress more modestly then women might begin to be less exploited and degraded in the media. It’s time to change the perception of women and to stop accepting that “sex sells” as simply the world we live in. I don’t buy it, maybe it’s time you don’t either.