Oh, ladies. What, oh what, have we done to Halloween — and our self-esteem. By this time every year, for many years now, I’m suffering from a case of sickened ennui, disheartened by all the photos of “sexy Halloween costumes” and lamenting another nail in the coffin of true feminism, the kind that comes from pulling ourselves up without putting others down or blaming anyone but ourselves. The only thing that’s keeping me sane is reading (and re-reading) my friend and comedian Giulia Rozzi’s column from a few years back, Dear Douchebag: A Letter to Halloween.
As Joanna Weiss so aptly put it in her Globe column this week, Trash or Treat, “Halloween: It’s a chance to be silly, get creative, take risks. You’re supposed to look weirder and worse…than you normally do every day.” Decidedly NOT sexy. Amen, sista.
So, can someone please tell me why so many smart, educated, talented, creative women everywhere obsess over the need to look sexy (read: totally trashy) on Halloween? If the point is to find a boyfriend/husband/significant other, news flash:
You’re sending the wrong message.
A guy/girl worth having around long term should be attracted to your sense of humor and wit first and your looks second. This isn’t rocket science. Plus, as I mentioned earlier this week in an interview with AOL DailyFinance, no “sexy” or store-bought costume has ever won a costume contest, let alone a quality spouse. You know that’s true.
Case in point: occupation halloween costumes
If you still haven’t made your decision, I implore you: take a minute and think about what message you’re sending with your Halloween costume and pull together something that reflects what you’re really all about.
If you need help, find inspiration in any one of these 143 DIY costumes made from thrift store finds — there are plenty of classy and creepy body-conscious costumes in there. And then there’s this absolutely beautiful (and brainy!) Sansa Stark costume created by my friend Marisa at NewDressADay.com for those of you who want to show off a rockin’ bod without being slutty. Slip into a bandage minidress and sugar skull makeup for a trendy Day of the Dead costume with class and culture.
Or go androgynous and rock & roll — my own costume this year embodies my favorite glam rock guitarist and an absolute sex symbol of the late 80s: Slash from Guns ‘n’ Roses. Just like the Joan Jett costume I rocked on Halloween in past years, it’s an opportunity to embrace my strong, sexy side for a night by pulling together every badass piece of black clothing from my closet (pleather, concert tees, boots, arm parties) but without feeling the need to show tits and ass. I promise you, it will get my husband’s eyes going wide & I’ll wake up on November 1st with my pride — not only for choosing smarts over showing skin, but for choosing resourcefulness over the sway of retail advertising.
Just like voting with your dollars, every Halloween costume choice makes a statement about who you are and what you care about. When your kids look back at your photo albums (OK, Facebook albums) in later decades, what message will your costume send to them — your daughters AND your sons? Think about it. Halloween has really moved away from a celebration of do-it-yourself creativity to a crass skin sale. Is that a movement that you want to be a part of? I sure as hell don’t.
Photos: Courtesy of Refinery29,
“The Most Ridiculous Sexy Halloween Costumes”