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Sexy costumes are not empowering, should be frowned upon

October 31, 2014
<p>Cameron Macko</p>

Cameron Macko

The costumes some women choose to wear on Halloween are shocking, to say the least.

Most of them reveal too much skin, using painfully small amounts of fabric. They wear any profession that can be sexualized on Halloween. Though some women claim this is empowering, truly it’s a sad display of women objectifying themselves and claiming some sort of social liberation.

I don’t like that the holiday (a childhood favorite of many) has turned into a political event, but unfortunately that is the world we live in. Feminists will say that dressing provocatively is something they do as an empowering move. It makes sense, with the idea that modest clothing is a tool used by the patriarchy to oppress women.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The costumes themselves range from a clear excuse to dress in very little clothing, like a sexy cat, to somewhat creative, yet still unfortunate: a sexy candy corn. I don’t think Halloween should be an excuse to dress that way.

It used to be a religious holiday in the Catholic Church, the day before All Saints Day. Though the overt secularization of the holiday is probably irreversible, this sexualization is something that should be frowned upon by society.

Depending on what type of guy he is, he’ll see a girl with self-esteem issues that he either won’t want anything to do with, or he’ll want to sleep with her. Neither of those are empowering.

You could say that it doesn’t matter what men think, as long as the women wearing those costumes are happy. But in my experience, people who loudly proclaim they don’t care what others think of them are the ones who seem to care the most.

There are otherwise pretty girls who might feel like they have to dress like that. When they go out on Halloween night, the type of men they will attract won’t respect them.

They’re not going to sympathize with their feminist views. They are going to see her as an object, not a person. How can she expect a man to respect her, much less society as a whole, if she doesn’t respect herself?

When women wear costumes dubbed “sexy firefighter” or “sexy ebola nurse,” it makes them into more of an object than Western Christian views do. Men don’t see women dressed like that and think of how empowered they look — they think about what they want.

If women choose to wear provocative costumes for Halloween, they should consider the message they’re actually sending and not the one they think they are.

Cameron Macko is an intern at The State News. Reach him at


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