The Lie: Wow, you look pretty scary!
The Truth: He doesn’t look scary at all. He looks adorable. I’m someone who never finds anything adorable – not my kids, not puppies, not my kids riding puppies – but the sight of my four-year-old son in a devil costume is one of those rare things that I think is objectively and insurmountably adorable. He’s got a red felt cape with an attached hood (the latter of which features two plush horns on top), matching red pants, a small plastic trident, and a fabric tail that drags on the ground and is going to be coated with grime and filth when he comes back from trick-or-treating. In fact, the pathogens that will be introduced into my home via his tail are really the only frightening part of the whole ensemble.
Do children realize that their Halloween costumes aren’t the least bit scary? I suppose the mere idea of kids dressing up to look threatening is in itself cute, because of how small and vulnerable they are. It’s another one of those unfair instances of reverse size-discrimination from which children so often benefit. My son goes out looking like this, he gets candy, but the reactions would doubtless be far less enthusiastic if I were to dress up like Satan and go around my predominantly Catholic neighborhood extorting free food.