Let’s Just Say…

Hypothetically, you have a teenage son, a young teenage son.

He has a girlfriend.

You have most of the neighborhood over yearly to have some cider and snacks, then everyone goes out trick or treating from your doorstep.

Most of the group is 1-3 year-olds and their parents, a few 10-12-year olds and a two to three 14 and 16-year-olds.

The girlfriend has announced she’s going to be a HOOTERS girl for Halloween. She’s going to wear a HOOTERS shirt (apparently not belly bearing) and shorts to the trick or treating, family event.


a) have no idea what to do

b) tell your son it’s inappropriate and leave it at that

c) tell her she’s not welcome unless she doesn’t dress like a whore

d) talk to her parents

e) do nothing

f) ????


  1. B and C
    Talking to her parents will put you in danger of telling them they are fucking idiots begging for their child to have a teenage pregnancy.

    However, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to decide what is or is not appropriate for your family to be exposed to

  2. a b e and f

  3. I think I would talk to my boys about my issues with Hooters and the dressing up as a Hooters’ girl as a desirable thing…which leads us to the idea of commodifying women and the dear patriarchy as a stifling, non-natural system.

    Eh? As for what to do in that situation, I’d tell her she has to wear something else for this event. It’s just not appropriate since you’d like your daughter to grow up brilliant and not dim and boring, like the idea of a Hooters girl (not making a statement on actual girls who work at Hooters, since, clearly I don’t know them all, but the concept? dim, boring, patriarchy-bowing).

  4. Call her a whore and tell her she can’t come unless she dresses in something more fitting to her age.
    I’m going as a slutty ladybug this year but I’m almost 20 and that’s okay. For a child still in school it is most def. not.

  5. C

  6. well, how old is she? and it’s not up to you to parent her because if her parents don’t have a problem with her being that for halloween, you can’t tell her she can’t be it.

    i would ask her WHY she wants to be that the next time you see her. sit her down and talk to her. maybe you won’t feel bad about why she chose it. maybe she can’t think of being anything else? i don’t know, i’m giving her the benefit of the doubt here. if she has nothing positive to say about it- tell her that you don’t want small children exposed to her outfit where they’re going to ask questions and you’ll be forced to tell them that hooters girls are.

  7. I too would ask her why she wanted to wear such a costume. I would then talk to her about how I don’t think it’s an appropriate costume, and that it is not something I want my young children exposed to (the same I would with really scary costumes and young children). I might also strategize other costumes she could weat. If I then told her she couldn’t come around my party in that costume I would call her parents and explain why. This is awkward and sad. How young is the girl?

  8. Queen of Spain says:

    She’s 16. The boyfriend is 14. And while I do know her parents know what she is going to dress as, I’m unclear if they are aware she is taking her boyfriend’s little sister trick or treating.

  9. Definitely b. Explain that it’s inappropriate and also use it as a chance to ask why she would want to be a Hooters girl.

  10. A mixture of B and C. I would tell my son that it’s inappropriate, but I would also say something to her. However, I wouldn’t call her a whore (not out loud, at least)! I would just tell her that she needs to dress more modestly around small children.

    I’m sure this is a hypothetical situation, of course.

  11. She’s 16. We have “role models” in movies like Mean Girls who follow the “rule” that Halloween is the one night of the year when girls can dress like total sluts and get away with it. (If you haven’t seen this movie because you think it’s trash, well you’re right, it is trash. But, it’s exactly what high school’s like) If you want to protect this hypothetical teenager, it’s important to explain how things like that portray women in a degrading manner and it’s not considered appropriate in (respectable) society. You really have to appeal to the young man’s character on this one. Does he respect women? If so, then this should be an easy conversation to have with him. As for the girl, unfortunately the only thing to do would be to appeal to her parent(s) that they’ll be in the company of (a) smaller child(ren). If that doesn’t work, and you feel stongly enough about it, the girl shouldn’t be allowed to come along. It’s all about how strongly you want to press the issue. You have the final word. Your house, your kid, your rules. Ooops, hypothetically, I mean.

  12. OK, I’m finding one thing odd about this hypothetical situation. Why is a 16-year-old dating a 14-year-old? I’m not saying that the hypothetical boy isn’t awesome, I’m sure he is. But really, most 16-year-olds girls I know, especially the one’s with low self-esteem who want to dress like Hooter’s girls, want to rebel and date college guys, not high-school freshmen.

    With that said, I’d probably do an a E with an explanation for the little one’s prepared…something like, she’s a waitress and leave it at that. Those kids are going to be so hopped on sugar that night that they won’t need more explanation than that. If on the rare chance they do need more explanation, send them to the girl’s parents for one!

  13. You know I can be remarkably mouthy and then sometimes say nothing. It would depend on how well I knew the parents, what my relationship with them WAS.
    If I didn’t know them…….well probably just say nothing.
    But if I knew them, well I might have to say that I didn’t think it was appropriate – and that if I expected my son to date girls with brains and literacy vs. a job at HOOTERS, it might also be reasonable to expect he not trick or treat with a faux Hooters girl.

  14. Queen of Spain says:

    Here is my thing. We all tried to be something cute or sexy at 15, 16-whatever. But we were witches with lowcut tops. Or cheerleaders with too short of a shirt. Or something.

    Not so blatant. Not so…hey, look here are my Hooters! I’m a TIT girl!

    That’s what irks me about this.

  15. I don’t think I was allowed to be something cute or sexy at that age. I think I might have THOUGHT I looked cute, but I can promise you, my mom didn’t let me out of the house in anything provocative.

  16. Queen of Spain says:

    Yeah…thats the thing too. I may have worn something slightly low cut…but I honestly don’t remember. And if I did, it was to a teenager party. Where the parents were out of town. And i wore it under something else that I snuck out of the house in.

  17. You just can’t talk to parents like that. You will wind up slapping them silly. I know I would. They are obviously morons.

  18. Are you more irked because she’ll be around children? Or more irked because her parents allow her to dress as this for Halloween?

    And she isn’t going to be wearing a shirt that bears her belly? If her midriff is covered I wouldn’t be so concerned simply because, how many kids are really going to know what Hooter’s is unless they are told?

    If her stomach is showing and she’s stuffing her bra, then I’ve got a problem. That just looks ridiculous on a 16 year old.

    I’m kind of glad it’s cold in Wisconsin, none of the kids will wear costumes that show skin.

  19. tell your son to tell his girlfriend that she can’t dress like a hooters girl. Tell him to tell her that HE’LL get in trouble if she does. That way you’re off the hook and she’ll listen to him b/c she doesn’t want to get him in trouble.

  20. Egads

  21. Hey, I want to be a Hooters girl for Halloween! :p

    Tell your son HE could dress as the Hooters girl. It’ll be a hoot…pun unintended. :p

  22. Do her parents even know?? And what the fuck is wrong with them if they do? It is your home, and you should tell her and her parents that she is not welcome while she is dressed like a damn hussy.

  23. I hope you told the fourteen year old about condoms/safe sex etc. B&C but leave out the whore part…

  24. I think the shame of wearing suntan tights and scrunchy socks with all white athletic shoes would be enough of a punishment for wearing a Hooter’s outfit (maybe you could show her some 80’s pictures of yourself in scrunchy socks, that should serve as a deterrent).

    Also, B and E.

  25. I don’t do any of those things. I’m sneaker than that. Her parents already know. My son already knows. Alienating her is about the WORST thing I can do. So, I go about life, Halloween and everything else like a normal feminist does, respecting myself, my body, my values and my family… and then I begin investing a lot more time in my son and his girlfriend and I start talking to her a lot more and I start really trying to get to know her and I start to really try to care about her. And then when she knows that I care about her… I start to teach her to value her body and I start to try to teach her some values that someone else has not.

  26. An adult telling a teenager that her outfit is inappropriate? Not going to work. I think she needs a creepy old man or two (Know any guys who’d dress up for the part?) to holler a couple of “Sugartits” comments at her… then when you ask her how it made her feel, point out that that’s the kind of sad life those airheads at Hooters have to live every day.

    No? Just a thought.

  27. That’s fucked up… the problem is that the girl already has that desire to dress in such a way… which shows the idiocy of the parents in their raising of the child…

    I have too big a mouth on me and would probably talk directly to the girl about it…

  28. Parents. Totally. Gently, and with the focus of, “I don’t want to hurt her feelings, she’s such a sweet girl, and I know she doesn’t mean anything by it, so I haven’t said anything to her, but we just don’t feel comfortable since there will be so many small children there, and we don’t want to upset any of the OTHER parents.” You get the drift.

    And then maybe suggest that if she so desires, she could change into her slut-suit *ahem* er, costume of choice, AFTER the trick-or-treating and young child festivities are over. Gently.

    Put some Southern in it, peppered with lots of, “sweet thing”s and “bless her heart”s. You can totally do it.

  29. Rumsfeldisaur says:

    As a father who has discussed Hooters his his nine year old son, I’m pretty sure I’d say “Cool. But ya know some people think Hooters is stupid and I think their food sucks since you pay for the stupid Hooters stuff and they are, ya know chain restaurants. Can I go as Jenna Bush?”

    I know, I know, and my nine year old did ask about Hooters in a serious fashion and we talked about it for a while but, but…Hooters is stupid. And it’s not a bad Halloween costume, as Halloween costumes go.

    When kids show humor about adult stuff, assuming that’s what’s going on here, it seems fair to address it as an adult since, yes, it’s adult content, etc.

  30. I agree that it isn’t the best costume. But…is a hooters girl really worse than a murder? A nasty blood dripping monster? Or any of the other truly horrendous costumes I’ve seen at the store? As least she won’t give your kids nightmares! As for talking to her…or her parents…that is not your place. But I would talk to your son about why you don’t think it’s a good idea…non confrontationally so you dont’ alienate him…and then ask if maybe the GF would consider wearing something else while with the fam. A compromise like Jeans and hooter tee?

  31. It’s easy do nothing, there are only a few things we can control in our kids, picking their friends is not one of them..You can give your opinion to him about the outfit, but making too much of a fuss, my experience is kids gravitate toward those thing we want them to stay away from.

  32. For the record, I think it’s a little bit silly to be worried about having the costume around small children. All though WE understand that it is meant to be provacative- it is actually just a tank top and short (rather ugly) orange shorts. Most of what makes the outfit itself sooooooo wild isn’t the hOOters logo over the breasts (remember that the little ones can’t read and are probably not going to make that connection, and may still be nursing and have not been taught to sexualize breasts) but rather the curvy women hired to wear them. Children see more sexualization at the beach in swimsuits that are suitable for anything other than swimming.

  33. Observational Humorist says:

    Say, isn’t that Hooters image copyrighted? Did you get permission from the copyright holder to repost that property on your revenue-generating web site?

  34. Queen of Spain says:

    An excellent point by the Observational Humorist.

    I wonder if I did check with Hooters first.

    Can you imagine if that Owl was actually a child? And I used it’s photo not only without permission, but I wrote really horrible things about the child and even doctored a photo?

    Wow. I’d really be in trouble then.

  35. Queen of Spain says:

    On second thought OH

    If Hooters asked, I’m sure I’d be polite enough to take it down. Because that is how I roll.


  36. Observational Humorist says:

    Writing inappropriate things on the photographs of others and reposting them on an ad-free blog might be in poor taste and judgement, but it is considered “fair use” under the law and it doesn’t violate copyright.

    Since you bring it up: did you ask permission to post the Hooters graphic?

  37. Queen of Spain says:

    Fair use under who’s law? I think that’s a matter of debate. Flickr has terms of service. And legally speaking, their are also some very strict laws regarding children and the internet.
    You might want to do some reading.
    I’m all for poor judgement. I’m all for poor taste. Hell, some of that stuff could be FUNNY as hell if it didn’t involve the kids.

    Different laws for kids my dear. And I honestly think you need to really, really, really think about how badly you want to stand up for trashing and defaming children. Is that how you want to make your mark in the world?

    Go after the adults all you want. Keep after the kids and if the courts find it actually IS protected, then we’ll work the change the laws.

  38. Observational Humorist says:

    The fact of the matter is that there is no debate here: copyright law in the United States protects the commercial value of property. Pictures of your kids that you post on your blog usually don’t have any commercial value. Copyright violations are torts, not criminal offenses. Flickr’s terms of service are not legally binding to third parties under any circumstances.

    No matter how strongly you feel about a particular thing, you’re not entitled to legislate for everyone else. Not even when your kids are involved. Sorry. If this is a problem for you, consider running for public office.

    I’m neither the publisher of the web site you find so offensive nor the owner of the web hosting company. I’m just a guy who heard the story.

    I don’t think you’re entitled to badger people and threaten them with legal action because you’re angry that they did something you didn’t like. I’d like to make my mark in the world by sticking up for people who don’t deserve to be harassed. For example, I would be sticking up for the kids in those pictures, but you and your friends are obviously already on it.

    It sure would be nice if you could make your point without being patronizing and calling me “dick.”

  39. Queen of Spain says:

    You can talk copywrite all you want. I’d like you to speak to the exploitation of children.

    Parents posting photos of their own kids for use on their blogs. Someone else using that same photo to then defame that child is ok? Hmmmm….

    As for me being entitled to badger people and threaten legal action…you’re damn right I’m entitled.

    I can spout shit just as loudly as the person running that website. YOu can’t possibily be ragging on my free speach yet defend the “parody” as you call it of these kids.

    And it would be easier to not be patronizing if your email were valid or you had a URL. I tend to treat anons as dicks, regardless.

    You need to understand. You’re dealing with emotional mothers. Their KIDS got attacked. KIDS.

    Anyone attacks kids, legally, illegally or otherwise, and they are gunna get themselves a shitload of Moms ready to change the whole system over it. You’re damn right I’ll figure out a way to entitle myself to legislate for everyone. For the protection of my kids, hell yeah.

    And whomever is behind this site needs to realize that. These Moms are not going to just walk away. Their kids got dragged into this. Rag on me all you want. Rag on the other Mom blogs. Start fucking with the kids, it’s a whole new ballgame.

    I do know that when confronted. I got involved because I know my kids could be next. That’s why about 300 other women got involved. Whey email campaigns, legal advice, and everything else is being sought. We’ve found a community through blogging and we’re not going to let some idiot take the info and photos we share of our kids and manipulate it.

    I’m pretty liberal. I’m pretty open minded. And I don’t know why I feel I need to tell you all this…but I find some of the humor on the site funny. But the kids are not fair game. I’ll fight like hell to make sure the kids are not fair game. End of story.

  40. Observational Humorist says:

    You could choose to be respectful instead of patronizing. I value my privacy and so I usually choose to post with a fake email address if one is required. Nonetheless, I am now posting with my real email address. Do you suppose you’ll find it less taxing to treat me like an adult this time around?

    On with it, then.

    “Defamation” has a few definitions, but none of them apply when the person posting the photos makes it blindingly obvious that they have been digitally manipulated and do not represent reality.

    You can spout shit as loudly as you please, I suppose, but why would you want to characterize yourself that way?

    My complaint isn’t with your public condemnation of the site in question; that guy opened himself up to it and you’re not wrong for doing it. Threatening legal action and mobilizing your friends to do the same is a different story.

    For what its worth, I don’t like the way that idiot is abusing his own freedom of speech. The photos of the kids aren’t funny or clever. The jokes are just mean, and there are plenty of alternatives to what he’s doing. But you should understand that the web is not a protected environment. Information moves freely on the Internet, and not everybody is a good guy.

    If you’re really that concerned about the privacy and proper use of your photographs then find a way to publish them that requires some kind of authentication on the part of the user. Punishing this one guy is not going to protect you from a thousand other people doing the same thing he did. Take steps to protect yourself that are more meaningful than a spam campaign.

  41. Being the mom of two sons, I think my first response would be to ask my son what he thinks of his girlfriend’s costume choice. I in turn would share with my son what my own opinion is of her choice, while also being aware that this is a girl my son cares for (and probably wants to touch in ways I dont’ even want to think about, but that is reality!) and making sure I am clear that while I disagree with her choice of costume, I am not dissing his girlfriend.

    Then I would ask him if he would like to see Daddy’s co-worker, Dave, dressed as a Hooter’s girl which was actually far more funny and clever.

  42. canoe chick says:

    Your Majesty,
    I am confused. You have a 14 year old son????
    And what exactly is this event that you and OH have had such a fascinating exchange about? I go away for 5 days, and I am so out of the loop…?

  43. Being from England I can’t see what all the fuss ia about….so the poor girl wants to come dressed as an owl….big deal.

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