Halloween of Horror Memories – Pretty Baby

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As Halloween fast approaches it takes me back to the most inappropriate costume I’ve ever worn in my life.  Let me take you back to the late 70s in Davenport, Iowa where my Aunt and I were the only black kids in our class.  We’d been allowed to see a ‘charming’ coming of age film called ‘Pretty Baby’ starring Brooke ‘nothing comes between me and my Calvin Kleins’ Shield.  If you’ve never heard of this ‘classic’ film it’s the story of a young child who lives in a bordello back in the 1900s and to earn her keep the Madame will auction off her virginity to the highest bidder. 

In 1917, in the red light district Storyville, New Orleans, the prostitute Hattie lives with her twelve year-old daughter Violet in the fancy brothel of Madame Nell, where she works. Photographer Ernest J. Bellocq has an attraction to Hallie and Violet and he is an habitué of the whorehouse. One day, Madame Nell auctions Violet’s virginity and the winner pays the fortune of US$ 400 to spend the night with the girl. Then Hattie marries a wealthy client and moves to Saint Louis, leaving Violet in the brothel alone. Violet decides to marry Bellocq and she moves to his house. Until the day that Hattie, who has overcome her past, comes to Bellocq’s house with the intention to take Violet with her.

I can remember feeling horrified wearing the pretty lace dress, heavily rouged cheeks, high heels, red lipstick and high heels.   Even worse than the costume was that as small kids we were allowed to see that movie .. ehh it was the 70s and nobody knew any better <snicker>.  Of course the very first person we see was Monsignor Meinke (favorite priest EVER) who complimented us and asked what we were dressed as.  I remember looking at my aunt and then at the Monsignor and interrupting my aunt (who was going to tell the truth) that we were DOLLS!  He laughed and walked away and I told Wendy to tell everyone we were dolls. 

Now that I think about it that was the first time I’d ever worn makeup and afterwards didn’t wear makeup till I was in my 20s since I didn’t like to be ‘made up’.  It’s funny but I didn’t wear makeup until I was a working adult (NO not a prostitute) and was told by a former boss women at work wear makeup (another story for another time of emotional trauma). 

I wonder what happened to the photos they took before we left the house for school.  Knowing my family they still think it’s funny!  I suppose we were trendsetters with the dress slutty for Halloween! 

Anyone else have any Halloween Costume horror stories?  Or is that just my crazy family??

Let me know what you think!

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