Kids ditch princess costumes in favor of superheroes this Halloween Girls are saying "let it go" to princess costumes in favor of superheroes. (kali9/wundervisuals/iStock)
Kids ditch princess costumes in favor of superheroes this Halloween
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What kind of costume will you see when you open the door to those adorable trick-or-treaters this Halloween? If you're thinking an old-fashioned ghost, get with the program. That is because today's kids love character-driven costumes instead.
 
That hasn't changed for years. But something has. As CNN's Hailey Middlebrook reports, this year's costume trends for kids have reversed trend. Superheroes have surpassed princesses. This is the first time this has happened in more than a decade.
 
Middlebrook writes that despite years of princess frenzy, the royal trend has changed. According to numbers released by the National Retail Federation, kids are putting down their crowns. Instead, more plan to wear action-oriented superhero outfits. The federation notes that this year, more than three million children will dress as a superhero. This is compared to 2.9 million who will dress as a princess. (Animal outfits are still popular, too. They will garner about 2.5 million costume wearers.)
 
It's the first time in 11 years that princesses have not held the costume crown. Despite what the NRF characterizes as a $3.1 billion-a-year costume industry that saturates over 67 percent of the group of people who celebrate Halloween, princesses just aren't as popular in 2016.
 
Parents and experts tell Middlebrook that changing gender norms for kids have something to do with the change.
 
"Not only have the Halloween options for kids gotten more diverse," she writes, "they've gotten more empowering."
 
Kids are actually going back to the holiday's roots. Costumes and masks have been part of Halloween celebrations for centuries. Some celebrants of Samhain, the Gaelic harvest festival that eventually merged with All Souls' Day to become Halloween, blackened their faces during the celebrations. Eleventh-century choirboys dressed up during All Hallows Mass. Once the holiday was imported to the United States, kids dressed as members of the opposite sex while roving the streets ready to throw flour in people's faces.
 
Only in the 1930s did the first mass-produced Halloween costumes come on the market. The mass production of toys that were marketed at different genders made single-gender costumes all but inevitable by the 21st century.
 
But don't think that superheroes are only for kids. The NRF's top 10 list for adults is topped by Batman characters. They include Harley Quinn and the Joker. That ranking is reflected by Google Frightgeist. It's a new tool. It lets you see which Halloween costumes are trending on Google.
 
But whether you dress as a superhero or a princess, Halloween is a night for fright and fantasy.

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COMMENTS (58)
  • kmadison-dav
    11/03/2016 - 05:29 p.m.

    What kind of costume will you see when you open the door to those adorable trick-or-treaters this Halloween? If you're thinking an old-fashioned ghost, get with the program. As CNN's Hailey Middlebrook reports, this year's costume trends for kids have reversed trend. Despite what the NRF characterizes as a $3.1 billion-a-year costume industry that saturates over 67 percent of the group of people who celebrate Halloween, princesses just aren't as popular in 2016. "Not only have the Halloween options for kids gotten more diverse," she writes, "They've gotten more empowering." Kids are actually going back to the holiday's roots. Only in the 1930s did the first mass-produced Halloween costumes come on the market.

  • dsarah-dav
    11/03/2016 - 07:32 p.m.

    I strongly agree with the article "Kids ditch princess costumes in favor superheroes this Halloween. A reason why I support this article is it is setting a good example for kids. The classic princesses that many young girls would dress up demonstrated a life where you just lay around waiting for love. These superhero girls are teaching kids to fight for what is right and to protect those who can not do it themselves. I also believe in this article is it is one step closer to gender equality. It says in the article,"Not only have the Halloween options for kids gotten more diverse," she writes, "they've gotten more empowering." Although superheroes do mean violence which means their will most likely be an increase in child injuries I still support kids wearing superhero costumes over princess costumes because it teaches kids to stand up and gender equality.

  • jacklynt-ste
    11/03/2016 - 08:17 p.m.

    I think this is awesome that little girls are not known to go as a princess for Halloween and go with what people are expecting. All children going as superheros is cool because then that means that they can see the good in the world and that dressing up as a clown is not smart. I am just glad that this Halloween i did not see any clowns and that people not just kids were smart.

  • vsophia-dav
    11/03/2016 - 08:44 p.m.

    I agree that kids should add a little scare to their costumes but it good because kids like dressing up and "more than three million children will dress as a superhero. This is compared to 2.9 million who will dress as a princess. (Animal outfits are still popular, too. They will garner about 2.5 million costume wearers.)" I get when you are younger you might not want to dress scary you want to dress like cute or like a princess or dinosaur but more people should be more scary because this is a scary event.

  • bnora-dav
    11/03/2016 - 09:44 p.m.

    In response to, "kids ditch princess costumes in favor of superheroes" I think that superhero costumes should be banned because I remember wanting to be a princess and I had a dress for every princess there was. Kids should go through the princess experience like I did. The passage says that the princess stage has been going on for 11 years and it just ended! So, I do not think that kids should be wearing superhero costumes instead of princess.

  • hannahc-stu
    11/07/2016 - 01:01 p.m.

    because they want people to be happy and be who they want to be

  • jamariw-orv
    11/08/2016 - 11:50 a.m.

    I think people are dressing up in super hero costumes because its the simple fact that everyone wants to be their hero, their role model , and they also want others to see their heroes in action i think super hero costumes are always the best and fun for Halloween

  • sabrinad-cas
    11/08/2016 - 04:09 p.m.

    Google created Freightgeist to show the most trending costumes.I know this because in the text it states,''The ranking is reflected by Google Freightgeist.''This is why I feel Google created Freightgeist.

  • slauren-dav
    11/13/2016 - 04:49 p.m.

    In response to "Kids Ditch Princess Costumes In Favor of Superheros This Halloween," I agree that Halloween costumes should be chosen by each child based on their interests, not on whether they are a boy or a girl. One reason I agree is that there are so many superheros that are women now so girls should be able to dress like a superhero instead of princesses and fairies. I also feel that boys should be able to dress like princesses if they want. Another reason I like that girls are dressing like superheros is because I like young girls to feel that they can be anything they want to be. If they dress up as a powerful character when they are little and look up to superheros then they may realize the possibility of having jobs that are commonly held by men. It says in the article "Not only have the Halloween options for kids gotten more diverse," she writes, "they've gotten more empowering." A third reason I agree that children should be able to dress how they would like for Halloween is because this holiday is for fun and children should be allowed to chose who they want to pretend to be. Even though I love seeing little girls dressed as princesses, I think parents should let their children chose what they want to be. It is one of the few decisions little children are allowed to make!

  • dylanb-pel
    11/14/2016 - 10:10 a.m.

    They created it so people will go to them for the most popular Halloween costumes. That way people will get some of the most popular costumes with googles help.

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