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Monday, October 31, 2011

Sexy Halloween costumes

Every year we have to have this conversation!  I enjoyed this essay on HuffingtonPost (from the UK), which makes the point quite well:

. . .  somewhere between the Thriller video and Kitty Brucknell humping that dartboard on X Factor at the weekend, Halloween became the get-out-of-slutty-free card - a chance for nice, normal girls with a tasteful line in Uniqlo cardigans to crank their assets up to their chin and embrace their slaggy alter egos for a night.
And what's wrong with that, really? Fancy dress has always been a chance for escapism - be it as a teary five-year-old inkeeper, or a hobbit in live action roleplay in a wood somewhere in Norfolk. If your heart's desire is to spend the night as a lascivious incarnation of Little Bo Peep, then by all means go for it. But watch where you put that crook, you'll have someone's eye out.
The problem, you see, isn't so much that Halloween offers the chance to dress slutty, but that recently it seems to have become the only option. It started small enough, with sexy she-devils, minxy vampires and the 'underwear with arbitrary animal ears' get-up so well illustrated in Mean Girls. But then (probably as all the fancy dress shops started selling out of red PVC), it spread. And lo, we were forced to sluttify every costume we could, just to keep up. Nuns, literary characters, historical figures - all now have to come with a side of knee-socks and pouting.
. .  . It's a part of the much wider question, continually plaguing us womenfolk - why can't we just wear normal clothes? Proper, functioning clothes, that cover us adequately and don't garrotte us in intimate areas. For the modern woman, day-to-day life can sometimes feel like a feeble battle against the landslide of booty-bearing, quasi-stripper expectations gradually falling in on our heads. Halloween is the epicentre of this.  

Of course, I don't care personally about societal expectatio­ns because I'm a frumpy middle-age­d woman who isn't going to look truly sexy no matter how much pouting and knee socks I add to my costume. But I worry greatly for my 20-somethi­ng niece and my young daughter, because the message about parading your sexuality is so LOUD and unavoidabl­e.



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