The Halloween Dilemma

With Halloween quickly approaching, I explored the local costume stores to figure out my options. I never realized how many there are! I can be a sexy cop, a sexy Ghostbuster, a sexy Alice in Wonderland-- even a sexy gargoyle!

Depending on how much money I want to spend on an outfit I will wear only one night, the possibilities are as boundless as the amount of bad taste that inspired them: Hot border patrol cop, a sexy slave princess, even the beloved candy corn treat had a sexy makeover. When I was in the costume shop I saw a fourteen year old girl trying on a kitten costume: a black corset, fishnet panty hose, and a tail. I’m sorry, but kittens do not wear corsets, nor fishnets.

When did this happen? When did it become appropriate, no… normal, for females to dress up in as little clothing as possible on Halloween? As someone who loves to dress up for special occasions- weddings, dates, eating chocolate- I understand the fun of putting on something different, seeing different reactions from people and so forth- but why is it that during Halloween many woman feel it is the time go over the top and be so sexual it’s almost embarrassing? I could blame the media, but I don’t really see ads for sexy Halloween outfits on TV or in mainstream magazines.

I could blame guys, but most of the ones I encounter say that the overly sexy costumes tend to intimidate them or make them think less of the woman. So what is it that promotes the idea that Halloween is the time to look like you stepped out of a 50 Cent music video? Two words: peer pressure. Last week I went to a costume party dressed up like Tina Fey- glasses, jeans, a jacket, wild looking hair and the people who made fun of my outfit were other women at the party. I was told by a friend that I wasn’t sexy enough and that I needed to show off my body. My friend is a second grade teacher who was dressed up like a dragon fly- with fishnet tights.

Before I could begin to speculate on which body part a dragon fly would ever need to wear fishnet tights, I looked around and noticed that I was definitely in the minority. Most of the women at that party were wearing some extra sexy outfit: a can-can dancer, mature strawberry shortcake, a Robin Hood that looked like the rich robbed clothes from her – Ms. Tina Fey simply could not compete. As the party went on I heard a few grumbles about too tight clothing, or being cold, or general discomfort with the chosen outfit.

This utterly confuses me and concerns me- if you are not dressing for yourself, then who are you really dressing for? Sexiness does not come from wearing fewer clothes or getting really drunk or even getting hit on. Sexiness comes from confidence and comfort in one’s own body and the ability to make choices that you feel good about, that you don’t regret. Halloween is about putting on a show and perhaps doing something different, but ultimately you need to be responsible to your values and yourself. At the end of the night I was able to drive home and walk out in the cold without worrying about getting sick or hollered at in the street, I was comfortable and confident with my outfit. So my guidance for you is to wear what you want to wear, go where you feel comfortable, be safe and please… for my sake, don’t make any more animals wear fishnets.