Women are limited by oversexualized costumes

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“Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”  These words, spoken by the ever so quotable Mean Girls franchise, often act as the main logic behind costume selection each Halloween season.

And as much as I support women dressing however they wish, whenever they wish, regardless of the opinions of others, I have a major issue with Halloween wardrobes.

No, this has nothing to do with women dressing provocatively on the holiday.  Hell, I don’t care if you want to walk around with nothing but tassels on your lady-parts.

Like I said before, if a girl wants to dress in a particular way I am in no position to judge how many articles of clothing that may or may not include.

This issue comes from the sad, sad selection that we get for Halloween and in case you haven’t realized, we aren’t given a lot.

Costume stores provide women with limited options, essentially sexualizing every mundane, simple idea. If you find yourself in a costume store, take a good look at what your pre-packed choices are: you can either be a sexy animal, a sexy occupation, a sexy character, sexy athlete, a sexy profession, a sex symbol, or sex, sex, sex, sex, oh, and more sex.

I look to other costumes, the hilarious ones that will certainly be a crowd favourite and receive multiple compliments at a party. I see costumes showing life-sized beer pong tables, whoopee cushions, giant genitalia and popular culture references. But what I think is especially noteworthy about these costumes is that these awesome costumes are being marketed and targeted only towards men.

I do realize that women can very well purchase these costumes for themselves, and I wholeheartedly encourage a girl to go as a giant beer pong table this year for Halloween (because let’s face it that would awesome).

But, if you look at whose modeling the ‘beer pong table’ and ‘whoopee cushion’ costumes, that’s usually an indicator of who the costume was intended for.

It deeply concerns me that in 2013 women continue to be hypersexualized in something that’s supposed to be a fun and silly. Not every woman wants to be a sex object for Halloween, nor needs to be.

I’m not asking for a boycott, judgment, or anger towards the retailer. And I’m especially not saying let’s bash the women who choose to wear promiscuous costumes. I’m just asking for the option not to be that.

Why don’t we ever see creative, humorous, or witty costumes tailored towards women in costumes stores? If we want this, we must make our costumes ourselves, which can often be extremely time consuming and costly.

I like to be funny and I want my Halloween costumes to reflect that.

Oh, and let’s not even get started on the atrocious prices that you’re paying for synthetic fabrics, frail materials, and fowl-smelling ‘pleather’.

In previous years I have admittedly coughed up $60 or more for a boring ‘fairy woods’ costume that I wore once and felt extremely uncomfortable the entire time.  That’s a costly expenditure for a last-minute decision. And if I’m going to be investing in something I at least want to leave the evening with a few compliments in my ears.

But, hey, this rant isn’t necessarily about me.

This is about the $6 billion Halloween industry in North America that starts off being just about candy and turns into something that’s extremely superficial and shallow.

This is about how young girls feel obligated to join in this ridiculous phenomenon once high school hits; for the girls who feel genuinely uncomfortable dressing “down” each year; for the girls who have come to dread the holiday because their costume options are not reflective of their interests.

Women are smart. Women are funny. Women are creative. We are more than our bodies and our sexuality and it’s about damn time that we are given the opportunity to express this.

So, this Halloween I’ll be looking out for those women who are something unique, different, hilarious or clever. If I find you, I’ll be sure to buy you a big “thank you” shot.


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