I have a love-hate relationship with sexy Halloween costumes. First of all they make me nostalgic. They hearken back to a simpler time (highschool, to be exact), when I judged others by labelling them “sluts” while I paraded around in tiny scraps of fabric, during parties, dances and school-sanctioned costume days. To be clear, back then I used “slutty” to describe anything that I regarded as promiscuous, dirty or more perverse than I was, and since my pro-sex feminism kicked in a lot has changed.
Today I have no problem with young and older women showing off their bods in clingy little cat woman outfits. If that’s what you want to do, power to ya. The problem I have is with the enforced societal pressure to sexify every damn thing on Halloween and turn the whole month into mandatory fuck-tober. You can be everything from a sexy hamburger (A berg with more bun than meat? No thanks.) to a sexy Ikea pantry unit (“I’ll store your goods deep inside me”).
It’s that unwritten rule in the media, movies, TV shows and costume shops galore that if you want to have a fun Hallows Eve, you gotta flash helluva lot of skin. And I admit that mocking this phenomenon can be a sport in itself when people get creative with it, like dressing up as a sexy stapler. Or you could be a real nerd and go as the sexy Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But realistically, most people dress up like sexy bumblebees, police officers and Eskimos, etc. And that brings me to the other thing that grinds my gears about Halloween costumes, cultural appropriation. From sexy Native Americans/Aboriginal and geisha girls, to sombrero senoritas, it’s all one big ol’ ignorant party that belittles the history and significance of cultural dress and traditions. It’s racism with a side of tits and ass. I work in a sex shop that sells these kinds of costumes and a part of me dies inside every time I see a blonde little teenybopper prancing around in a beaded, fringed, faux deer skin smock, cooing about how cute she looks. It makes me want to scream, “YOU DON’T EVEN GIVE A SHIT ABOUT ABORIGINAL SOVEREIGNTY OR THE FACT THAT YOU ARE ON STOLEN LAND, YOU TWAT!” But I usually just purse my lips and supervise the change rooms in a stifled rage.
And then there’s the fact that a lot of the time these costumes are made with one type of body in mind, a super thin one. Aside from the fact that they tend to be poorly made in general, the material is nearly always stretchy and not very forgiving if you happen to have any curves at all. And a lot of costumes aren’t available in larger sizes. Period. This is where I just get fed up with the whole industry and say fuck it, I’ll make my own costume by visiting some thrift shops. Then I can at least tailor it however I want. But every once in a while I spy one of those sexy costumes that calls my name and I give in anyway, like the sexy nurse. Plus it makes me think of the Animaniacs. And hell, I can’t deny that the naughty nurse is a classic, and I definitely know some patients that need tending to.