There are two types of people during Halloween: people who wear scary costumes, and those who wear sexy versions of the same costumes.
Oftentimes, the latter doesn’t always look good. Some brands would try to make money off of distasteful costumes from sexy nun to sexy Offred from “Handmaid’s Tale.” When these costumes are done right though, you get creative renditions of pop culture characters.
For example, these costumes from a Try Guys video:
What boggles my mind though is how “slutty costumes” is now a default category for Halloween. While it’s okay to look sexy and feel your oats during this holiday, the excuse that women can get away with wearing something sexy sounds like a double standard.
Let’s start with how this category came to be. According to Huffington Post, the origins of sexy Halloween costumes could be traced from Greenwich Village in New York City in 1973. The neighborhood would host Halloween parties and many adults would dress sexier than usual. Also, since it was a “de facto gay district,” drag queens showed up wearing over-the-top sexy outfits. The 2012 thesis “The Rise of Slut-o-ween” noted that stores started selling sexy costumes around that time because most of the attendees were adults.
They probably wanted to look like hypersexualized versions of “child-friendly” outfits. But I digress.
These costumes became even more popular with the premiere of “Mean Girls,” which featured a scene where every girl had to dress slutty for Halloween. Cady (Lindsay Lohan) didn’t get the memo and went as a scary ghost bride, and her classmates made fun of her for doing so.
While it’s true that slutty costumes are more accepted during Halloween, it doesn’t mean that it should be the only time when women should dress that way. I mean, who says we can’t be sexy in our bralettes and crop tops all year round?
Oh, right. Society and its sexist views on women.
It all goes back to the notion that “sluts” are bad and if a woman looks like one, she shouldn’t be taken seriously. This is why several women are reclaiming the word and making it their own. It’s now become an empowering term representing those who are owning their sexuality and their bodies, and challenging the notion that they’re stereotypically conservative.
The reality is that clothes have nothing to do with sluttiness. It’s a descriptor people use to objectify and sexualize others for being comfortable in their own skin.
To give you perspective, I saw a Twitter thread reposted on the Instagram account @feminist which detailed how a male manager judged a woman’s LinkedIn photo for looking “slutty.” The original poster didn’t understand what was wrong because it was a photo of a woman smiling and not wearing a revealing top. (Even if she was, she shouldn’t be judged in that way.) By the end of the conversation, he found out his boss found her hot and basically called her slutty because he’d sexualized her immediately.
Don’t get us wrong there’s nothing wrong with opting for sexy costumes for Halloween. But it’s also not a excuse for women to wear revealing outfits without fear of being judged. Do people expect catcalling to stop just for Halloween? Women experience harassment of various kinds all year round and they happen regardless of what they wear.
Costume or not, women should be free to wear sexy outfits when they feel like it. Not when the majority decides it’s okay for a certain holiday.
Happy Halloween, everyone. Stay safe out there.
Photo courtesy of “Mean Girls” via @gabbygiiirl_’s Instagram account
For the latest in culture, fashion, beauty, and celebrities, subscribe to our weekly newsletter here
The iconic and underrated: Horror movie females for your Halloween costume
Don’t be that person wearing an offensive Halloween costume
Dress up in your spookiest costumes: Halloween parties are coming
Read this if you’re scrambling for last-minute Halloween costumes