‘Tis the season… 😉
I thought I’d take a break from my normal informative style of blogging in favor of an opinion piece this week. I’m sure you’re all aware of the controversy surrounding women’s “sexy” Halloween costumes each year. It’s somewhat difficult for women to find costumes which aren’t revealing and suggestive. This goes especially young women, who unfortunately feel compelled at times to dress like a sex pot in order to fit in. Some women, however, feel quite empowered by dressing this way, saying it allows them to publicly express their sexuality without being judged. The problem is that there really aren’t too many “sexy” costumes for boys out there–a mere smidgen compared to what is available for girls. In fact, to the average buyer, it’s quite difficult to find any sexy costumes for men at all, and even more difficult to find any which are not sexy for women.
Feminists have been arguing for years: Does this push for sexy costumes for girls objectify and degrade women? Or is empowering them to throw out societal taboos for one night each year and show off their sexuality? I happen to feel that, if you’re comfortable with it, being daring and showing off your body is quite liberating. We shouldn’t be shaming women who are comfortable enough with their bodies to strut their stuff and become a sex kitten for a night… Sometimes literally. What makes it sexist, I would argue, is that men are not given the same freedom to do the same.
I like to explain this opinion by making a reference to the queer community. Most of us don’t remember, but for a while, Halloween was a precious holiday to LGBT individuals. It was the one night where they could dress however they wanted–as their true, sexy selves–and not be judged. It was a night where they were able to embrace their sexuality, and it was healthy. Freeing. Now, while LGBT kids still love Halloween, they have many more opportunities to express themselves, such as pride parades and other new, LGBT holidays. But for a while, it was all they had. And now, it might be the only official night that straight people have. Straight women, anyway.
Here’s what I think: It is sexist that only women are encouraged to dress provocatively on Halloween. However, taking the option for us to dress this way away is only denying us ability to express ourselves, which is repressive and unhealthy. What we should be doing is inviting straight boys to join in. Nobody should feel uncomfortable about what they’re wearing on Halloween–it’s Halloween! If you’re proud of your body, why not show it off? And men, trust me, straight girls would not be unappreciative. You guys have so few opportunities to show off your crazy, sexy side, why not do it on the one night of the year where there are no rules, and no fashion faux pas–just awesome, glitter rock wildness. Be brave and join us girls for one night. You might find it brings out a side of you you didn’t know you had.
Happy Halloween everyone.