Are sexy Halloween costumes demeaning or freeing? Demeaning


Jose Soto

Jose Soto, Staff Reporter

Browsing down the aisles of a Halloween store, most of the male costumes profile popular fictional and animated characters, ghoulish and freakish variations of masks and ensembles and the occasional political figure.

The twisted and horrifying nature of Halloween is prevalent in the men’s aisles. Bloody, macabre and scary tones for the squeamish are everywhere. For those with more humble preferences, the entertaining play on innuendos and wit is also available. It’s what the holiday is all about.

Turn the corner into the ladies department and you might think you’ve gone into a strippers’ clothing store. The bleeding body parts are replaced with sensual ones. The gruesome, head-to-toe ensembles are nowhere to be found. Instead, skimpy and scarce costumes hang from the shelves with high-price tags.

There isn’t anything scary about the girls’ costume section other than the scary realization that this is self-inflicted. The reality of the selection offered to the female gender is one that has been chosen by few.

Don’t misunderstand me here. I love my ladies. I am a true feminist at heart. I have very strong and profound female influences in my life. I know and love many strong, independent, self-sufficient women and I can assure you that none of them would ever wear any of the revealing, sexualizing outfits that are catered toward females. They don’t need to dress up as a sexy nurse to feel as if they are empowered professionals. Guess what? Neither do you.

By following suit to the one girl in a leotard with cat ears and calling it a costume is simply justifying the idea that women should be sexualized. Come on, ladies. I am more than positive that you can get more creative than strapping on a girdle, jumping into some ridiculously high stilettos, garnishing your head with some cute, animal ears and calling it a costume.

Furthermore, purchasing a costume that slightly resembles its intentional representation, but sexualizes it by eliminating more than 60 percent of the fabric and still charging you a substantial sum is blatantly giving a license for people—mainly men—to believe the many socially embedded stereotypes of women: women are only good for sex. Women ask to be treated as inferior to males because of the way they conduct their demeanor. She wants to be treated like a sex object because if she didn’t, she wouldn’t be dressed in such revealing clothing. All women act like bimbos and, therefore, should be treated like one.

These are all great fallacies about women. Women are beautiful, unique and eccentric creatures. Immensely intuitive, drastically mature and their minds are uncharted territory for any man.

But let’s convey that to the world, ladies. Don’t prove the stereotypes to be true. You don’t need to subject yourself to over-sexualized images of the female entity. Nuns don’t run around wearing scanty skirts. Cats don’t have bare legs. There will never be a female cop who wears skimpy Daisy Dukes while on patrol.

I have a really good friend who makes her own costumes. She’s been a cigarette box, a Minion from “Despicable Me,” Raggedy Ann—all costumes that were constructed by her. I’m not saying that everyone needs to make their own Halloween costumes, but it implies that not all females need to be a sexy (fill in the blank) either. There are costumes for women that don’t involve the exposure of excess cleavage and bare legs. There are costumes that don’t imply that women are just sexual creatures.

It isn’t to say that those who do dress provocatively this Halloween fit those stereotypes. If you feel comfortable doing so, then more power to you. But also consider the message you are sending out to your fellow female comrades and the rest
of the population.

Jose Soto may be reached at [email protected]