Halloween right around the corner, costume shops fill their shelves with racy
outfits for women of all shapes and sizes. Society has developed an expectation
for a woman’s appearance on Halloween, pressuring girls to dress scantily to have a good time.
Major costume shops, such as Spirit Halloween and Party City, dedicate specific sections of their stores to “sexy” costumes, lining the walls with displays of thin women, often in seductive poses and wearing tight, short clothing. These sections are almost always overwhelmingly larger than the sections devoted to more traditional costumes.
Many of these costumes are developed based on pop culture: dressing as a Playboy Bunny is commonly featured in movies and TV shows. Other costumes take an innocent, yet iconic, matter and infuse the attire with suggestive themes. This can be seen in the wide variety of “sexy” Princess Jasmines and Cinderellas that walk the streets each Halloween night.
Because women are constantly surrounded by these costumes, the pressure to dress in in a risqué manor can be almost overwhelming.
“Many women take Halloween as an opportunity to get a little bit sexier than they normally do. Halloween is a great time to show off what you’ve got,” according to the Spirit Halloween website. “Almost any character or costume theme has a sexy adult version, from a sexy pirate costume to a sexy nurse costume.”
Online shopping has opened the gates for unlimited costume opportunities. Spirit’s online store offers 699 different “sexy” selections, more than one-third of its entire stock for women. Party City provides a specific breakdown of sexy costumes available to shoppers, including categories that like “Athlete/Sports” to “TV/Movie.”
Party City’s website says, “Call it the way you see it as a sexy referee, or get all the way to third base and beyond as a sexy baseball player. Get down this Halloween with a costume that makes you feel truly confident and good about yourself, and that exposes you for the sexy siren you really are!”
Or, as Costume Super Center advertises on its website,“Sexy Halloween costumes bring an element of fun to intimate personal time as well as creating a impression at any Halloween party.”
The ways one celebrates are a personal choice, and everyone is entitled to dress as they please, yet this holiday seems to pressure women to let go and dress “sexy” to impress others through their sexuality.
The most important thing is that you be comfortable. While dressing as a sexy nurse or a raunchy Superman is not wrong by any means, the motivation to put on revealing clothing merely to influence those around us seems a bit silly.
If you want to dress as a “sexy” Hillary Clinton or a “sexy” skeleton, you should feel free. But don’t feel like you have to be sexy to have a good time on Halloween.
Reach the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @BeccaSmouse