If women didn’t buy sexy Halloween costumes, they wouldn’t be sold in so many stores. That’s simple economics.
One thing I’ve observed about Halloween (particularly this one, since it will be my first on a college campus) is that many people are up in arms about the “over sexualization” of women’s Halloween costumes.
I completely agree that women’s costumes are becoming increasingly more sexualized — but so are many other things. Everything from comic books to video games to television shows portray women as sex objects.
The only difference is, when picking out a Halloween costume, women have the choice to not purchase risqué ones if that makes them uncomfortable.
So here’s my rationale: if you want to be sexy this Halloween, do it. If you don’t, that’s great too.
The only thing that’s not great is categorizing women as “sluts” if they choose to put on a little black dress and kitten ears and call themselves a cat.
Just as it is important to recognize that women don’t need to be sexy to have a fun Halloween, it’s also important to acknowledge that some simply like to show more skin or be a bit more steamy in their attire.
Multiple news articles and posts on social media talk about “empowering” women by having them show less skin on the holiday, but dressing in a certain way to feel confident can be just as empowering for some women.
There’s no reason to blame big chain stores for pushing the sexy costumes when these businesses are just meeting the demand that many women obviously create.
If the costumes didn’t sell or enough patrons complained, the stores wouldn’t stock them.
Such was the case with infamous “Anna Rexia” costume, which spoofs a very serious eating disorder that millions of Americans suffer from.
This costume, which had a skeleton image on the front with a measuring tape belt around the waist, was obviously inappropriate and offensive.
Thus, it was discontinued in 2007 and very few stores carry it today.
Consumers really have more power than they think they do when it comes to costumes for All Hallows Eve.
The wares that certain stores are pushing still leave plenty of room for variety — you don’t have to conform to what stores are selling.
So for the ladies out there that don’t feel the need to go out dressed as a sexy ear of corn (a strange, skin-tight costume that popped up this year) or a scantily-clad Miley Cyrus, there are tons of DIY options to choose from on websites like Pinterest and from other organizations like “Take Back Halloween,” a site that encourages women to find creative, less sexy costumes for Halloween and even offers some great ideas.
And for the ladies that want to bare it all this Halloween: more power to them.
Because empowering women doesn’t just mean giving them the option to wear a more conservative costume.
It means letting women have the choice to wear whatever makes them happy without inciting harsh criticism from those around them.
Olivia Dimmer is a State News staff reporter. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.