Halloween Costumes The Good, the Bad and The Ugly – Mostly Just the Ugly

By: Rachelle Rowe

Every year, around this time, I have a last minute scramble to find some sort of costume for everyone’s favorite October holiday (because in no way is it Columbus Day). However, with my limited budget, creativity and time I always seem to have issues coming up with some clever and original idea in time for the looming gloomy holiday. This does not keep me from spending numerous hours searching online for that one costume that embodies my personality to a “t”.

And the only conclusion I have come to, in my hours of internet searching, is that the things women are supposed to aspire to be are very sad.

Halloween is a night of fantasy. It’s a holiday when you can shrug off your backpack and leap into a new façade of carelessness. It’s a night where you can pretend to be who you’ve always wanted to be. And apparently for me, it happens to be any occupation, animal or board game with the name “slutty” in the title.

Don’t believe me? Take two seconds on Google to see all of the absurd sexy Halloween outfits. My favorites include:  Sexy Twister, Sexy Remote Control (complete with a mute button), Sexy Mrs. Potato Head, and Sexy Banana.

There are numerous problems with these findings. First of all, why do all of these costumes seem to be some sort of bastardization of childhood fantasy? Why do women have to be infantilized on the scariest time of year? Because you know, the only thing scary than goblins and ghouls are women dressed as sexy Elmos and as sexy Bugs Bunnies. It’s disturbing that the first sexy costume that women turn to are these objects of childhood, creating an image of even less dignified submissiveness.

And why do these costumes have to be sexy? This perhaps is the most important question of all. Why, during the chill of October, is it necessary to drop upwards of $50 on a tube top of a sexy costume? Why is this childhood holiday the time to be sexy? Why is this scary holiday a time to be sexy?

It shouldn’t feel like a requirement to be sexy on Halloween. It should be a celebration, just like when we all were kids, to slip into that fantasy, your own fantasy, for one magical night. No one should dress as a Sexy Nemo in order to impress some guy, or to be the hottest thing at a party. Everyone should dress so they feel comfortable with themselves.

So no, I’m not trying to slut shame anyone who feels comfortable enough in his or her skin to don a Sexy Crayon costume. I am trying to say that there shouldn’t be any pressure to be sexy on Halloween, the one night where anyone could be anything. Not simply a sexy anything.

All photos from:  yandy.com













About Margaret Sloss Women's Center - ISU

The Margaret Sloss Women's Center promotes equity on the Iowa State University campus. Through a feminist lens, the center advocates for individuals and groups; provides support, referrals, community and programming; and maintains a safe space in the Sloss House.

Posted on October 28, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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