Gearing Up for Another ‘Sexy’ Halloween

29 10 2009

102908sexy

Halloween tries really hard to spook people with its skeletons, zombies and pedophiles, but what I find most spooky about Halloween is the brief, 4-hour glimpse of how “sexy” the women in America would be if they weren’t repressed every other day by social and behavioral norms.  

Imagine with me, for a second, what life would be like if every day was a “costume” day.  Women would get up in the morning and think to themselves, “Ok, I have a meeting at 8 am.  Should I go as a sexy cowgirl or a sexy Pocahontas?”  They’d wear a sequined bra and short skirt with 7-inch high heels and glue on fake eyelashes, and no one could call them a hussy because hey, it’s a costume, people. 

Men would continue to dress like themselves, except they’d put an ironic or “punny” spin on it.  Your boss would wear jeans and a sweatshirt with block iron-on letters that said “Go Ceilings!” and then take offense when no one got the ceiling fan joke, when really, everyone got the ceiling fan joke, we’ve just seen it before.  

The man at the dry-cleaners would wear all white with a devil-horn headband and call himself a deviled egg, and you would just hand him your laundry without breaking his stare and explain that this stain on the left boob of the sequined bra of your sexy Statue of Liberty costume is actually grey body paint, in case he needs to know for cleaning purposes.  Also could you have it back by the end of the week?  Because Friday is the 4th of July, and that costume will be worn again. 

Sexy and ironic costumes have so become the norm on Halloween that they have actually ceased to be sexy or ironic.  One Halloween in college I made the mistake of dressing up as a pumpkin.  No, not a sexy pumpkin– a serious pumpkin.  I bought a big, round pumpkin costume from Wal-mart, complete with the green stem hat and green tights.  I showed up at a frat party in my rotund orange suit thinking surely I’d be the most ironic person in the place, because really, what college girl actually dresses as a pumpkin for Halloween?  But everyone at the party– the men all dressed as Spongebob Squarepants and the women in unidentifiable, themed stripper garb– stopped and looked at me with sad, disappointed eyes like I was the Grinch Who Stole Halloween. 

I shouted, “WHAT!? I’m more ironic and sexy than all of you Spongebob Stripper-Pants Creeps!”  And then the music started again, and I sulked out of the party like the smelly kid at school.  

I have a feeling Halloween 2009 will be the creepiest of all.  We’ll see a slew of Sexy Public Options, Sexy Swine Flus, Sexy Aborted Fetuses and Sexy Stephanie Tanners on meth.  Honestly, I can’t think of anything more frightening than a sexy Stephanie Tanner on meth.  

**Sigh**  Time to pull the old pumpkin costume out of the mothballs.

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15 responses

29 10 2009
bros

way to make all of your guests feel cliche and lame even before they get to your house. 🙂

29 10 2009
thedcam

Way to make everyone feel bad about their Balloon Boy costumes.

29 10 2009
sexy dick cheney

what’s your definition of a “slut.” “sexy” and “slut” are not synonymous. i’ll hand it to you that Halloween has become a stomping ground for provocative garb, but that doesnt mean that women wearing said garb are “sluts”

“slut” insinuates that all of the women wearing revealing clothing are looking to sleep around, but i contend that many woman look at dressing up as an exertion of their power and an outward showcase of confidence in themselves.

as to you comment to repression by behavioral and social norms, can’t we celebrate Halloween as a day that many woman get to exert the power of the female as a way to reaffirm that they are, in fact, the dominant gender without being repressed by behavioral and social norms that teach them otherwise?

29 10 2009
districtramblings

You’re right, sexy dick cheney, “slutty” was a strong word to use. I did it in the name of comedic writing, but as a self-proclaimed feminist, I really should be wary of such terminology. Edits made.

29 10 2009
Sara

I like any statement/comment that begins with “You’re right, sexy dick cheney.”

29 10 2009
districtramblings

Me too, that’s at least 75% of the reason I jumped in there to respond.

29 10 2009
taylor'sfriend

Sexy Dick Cheney:

As a guy (and a white guy, at that), I concede that there are many things in American life that I’m inherently insensitive to. One thing I can recognize, however, is a logical fallacy. In your post you said that the author’s use of “slutty” was improper because it incorrectly assumes that all women who wear revealing costumes are sluts, while, (according to you) in reality, it’s nothing more than an assertion of feminine power.

Problem Number 1: Interpretation

Had the author used “slut,” I’d agree with you that she went a little overboard, as Websters defines “slut” as an “immoral or dissolute woman,” and it is not a necessary consequence of dressing in a revealing manner that one be a “slut.” However, the author used “slutty,” which Webster’s defines as “resembling, or characteristic of a slut.” This, in my (as well as most of the male population) opinion, is very accurate. Call it a coincidence, but, in the few times I’ve actually gotten lucky on all hallow’s eve, there’s been a direct and distinct correlation between the amount of unclothed skin and the amount of “luck” I received later that night. This correlation indicates that revealing and provocative outfits are indeed “characteristic” of “immoral” acts.

Problem Number 2: False Premise

You’re dead on – a woman’s best avenue to slay the Sphinx that is the male race, establish dominance and practice outward expression is via provocative halloween outfits. Some would argue creativity, ingenuity or originality as a better route, but they are sadly mistaken. That would actually require practicing mental superiority, intellectual prowess. But, as pontificated by your philosophy, a woman’s true position for a claim of dominance lies not under the bill of their caps, but under the ….well… not under anything, in fact, for everything is exposed.

Be real – dressing in a manner to show cleavage, legs and the rest of what your momma gave you doesn’t make people say “Now that’s a powerful, confident woman if I ever saw one.” Actually, it can be strongly argued to be quite the opposite — screams a need for attention, solidifies the age-old misbelief that it’s okay for women to be sexually objectified, etc.

Those costumes are worn for one purpose — attention giving rise to sexual thought. And while every individual wearing one of those costumes reserves the right to, or not to, act in an “immoral” manner in response to the attention that she’ll undeniably receive, you aren’t immunized from the collective thoughts associated with your outfit.

So, on this Halloween, what’s it going to be — trick, or treat?

29 10 2009
Edward Dandyhands

She has a name. It’s Jodie Sweetin, not Stephanie Tanner, and she’s beautiful. How dare you…

29 10 2009
Geof Boyle

An older teacher from Texas i know would say of Wonderwoman in pic: “That girl ain’t got no secrets”.
I think people choose costumes based on what they want to share with other people ranging from “I’m hot” to “I’m Elizabeth Bennet!!…. its a character in a book.” Wonderwoman is sending a message that she wants to share her yoni, which is fine by me, but maybe other wonderwomen, the ones who pose with bulletproof bracelets raised instead of a leg, think she is giving them a bad rep and that she should lasso some dude instead and make him tell the truth. Yes, I remember a lot about Wonderwoman. Thank you 70s tv.
Really, aren’t all of our clothes costumes? Bourgeois affectations? As soon as we aren’t peasants and move to the city, don’t we all want to hide our redneck past (thanks Ben Folds)? Even the segment of the clothing industry that caters to redneck-sheik is just selling a peasant costume. Now with new and improved anti-modern flannel.
Given the range of options from the mall, boutiques, and thrift stores, the constant bombardment of advertising, and decades of “fashion sense” reification , how could we not think everyday is just Halloween on the DL, the everyday when we wear the costumes that show our authentic selves. You know, the shirt and jeans we bought that came from the factory that made another million identical shirts and jeans. Remember the Clash’s “Lost in the Supermarket”: “I came in here for the special offer/A guaranteed personality” Halloween is just the day we openly admit we’re all wearing costumes, and possibly it’s the day when what people wear receives the least harsh judgment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Frzaasghhrw
I will admit that sometimes I look down at myself and think “wow, I had on a dork costume on all day, and I didn’t even try.” If only we were all peasants again so I could blend in better.

29 10 2009
Liz

As one who embraces her “slutty Big Bird” or really enjoys a new slutty pun (as embodied by the now famous “Freudian Slip”), I would like to challenge the audience to re-examine what has pulled Halloween ahead in the rankings as the best party night of the year for 20-somethings (narrowly besting New Years, despite its built-in free pass to make out with whomever you place yourself close to at the appointed hour).

Slutty. If slutty is in fact an indicator of immorality and a resolute commitment to have a good time, then you should at least be glad that these ladies are putting their intentions out there. I would agree that the slutty costume is a pretty clear indicator of a person’s general appreciation of the human body and the sexual experience in general. Unfortunately, unless the slutty-looking lady asks for money up front, her costume tells you nothing about the likelihood of her wanting to appreciate YOUR body or experience sex with YOU in particular. And I am sorry, but if you are relying on your sense of irony and magic-marker skills to increase your chances, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

Halloween is a chance to be bold. It is the one night you get to express that hidden, maybe scary, always extreme part of your personality with impunity. So please, don’t model your costume around a YouTube video, and please, let’s give this weekend a little bit of thought, and let’s decide what personality we want to try on for a night. Because a lady who is confident enough to put herself out there and show you who she wants to be that night will be looking at your costume and wondering what exactly your secret desires are. Please, for your own sake, don’t disappoint.

30 10 2009
VJane

Ok districtramblings, wear your pumpkin costume. Isnt it sexier to make the men guess what is underneath than spreading it all out for all to see ???

30 10 2009
rockymtnhigh

The path to bed is strewn with made intentions. Thus the prevalence of “sexy” costumes. And sexy (as flaccid a euphemism for slutty as you can get) Halloween costumes are not relegated to just women. Ever witnessed a gay Halloween party? I’ve never seen more shirtless sailors, buttless chaps and “sexy” gay outfits in one place except maybe a Village People video.

Halloween is probably the greatest gift that Celtic pagans ever gave us. If it gives my lady a comfortable setting to dress a little sexy and act the part I’m not going to complain. To dress up and let ourselves be our ‘self’ and hopefully knock boots during the witching hour…I up for that.

Now…where did I put that Puss ‘n Boots outfit I bought her?

3 11 2009
shley

Really district ramblings? don’t let a well-written answer disguise some seriously flawed content.

Just one caveat, Tayler’s friend. Maybe what women wear is not all about men. Shocking I know. But I do have to say I dress for myself or other women more than I do for men. And on the particular night in question you with your dictionary might have tried to put the slutty label on me but I might have said fun, pretty, different than my norm. That night I much preferred to dance and enjoy my costume than to flirt with men, which take it from me, is normally a pastime high up on my list. And in contrary to your well-researched, iron-clad positive association between skin and sex, the only person I slept with that night was my friend who let me crash on the other side of her bed.

In fact your automatic association between skin and sex with women reveals only your bias in the “age-old misbelief that it’s ok for a women to be objetified”. Men can show skin to enhance their costumes, going shirtless, wearing just a speedo, etc. and it is not assumed that they are pathetically begging for sexual attention.

This brings me to the serious problem with the concept of “slutty” that we haven’t yet touched: there is no equivalent for men. I think it’s a flawed concept and we’d all to a service to women everywhere by dropping it from our vocabulary. Don’t worry Taylor’s friend, I’ll draft the memo to Webster’s.

Also while none of us are “immunized” to the thoughts of others, we are not responsible for them. It’s fair to take into account the wide range of reactions that a provocative outfit may inspire but I think we need to be careful here. Your rhetoric is one step a way from the old “with that miniskirt, she was asking for it.” I’d hoped we’d come farther than that.

3 11 2009
CB

shley, we can wish in a perfect feminist world that we could walk around half-naked and men would not look at our bodies with sexual hope, but would that mean that men are actually evolving into higher creatures or would it mean that they have simply finally learned to exercise discipline not to sexually hope? I think you gave Taylor’sfriend an unfair tongue-lashing when he was just being honest… keeping it real from a male point of view. I think that if you ask most men if they’d rather take a sexy stranger home from a Halloween party to have sex or share a bed with their same-sex buddy like you preferred, you’ll find the inherent difference between men and women right there in your answers. So if your costume shows off your half-naked body, then expect that natural male reaction. Not saying you deserve it, of course, just saying you should expect it.

3 11 2009
shley

CB
CB
I didn’t think Tayler’s friend was talking about sexual hope. I would have no problem with that and I hope they never stop hoping 🙂
I don’t have a problem with men finding skin on display sexually attractive. I do have a problem with them thinking because it’s on display we behave a certain way (go home with them that night) or are lacking in self esteem; two allegations Tayler’s friend made. He also has identified attracting men as the only motivation for costume choice, or at least the most important, which is not the case.

I don’t want to rid the world of sexual attraction; just the negative double-standard judgments associated with it. I understand that that’s not where we are now, more than ever after this halloween experience, but that doesn’t mean I’ll give up my ambition of changing the status quo which, thankfully, is constantly in flux.

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