It’s that time of year again. Time to get out those masks, adorn those capes, and become something you otherwise would never be. Halloween is normally known as a day where kids get candy and we spook ourselves to death, but what does Halloween mean to us today as college students? Cynthia Nixon’s character in “Sex and the CIty” once said while picking out a Halloween costume, “the only two options for women, witch and sexy kitten.” While that was a loaded feminist commentary on the polar opposite stereotypes and expectations of women, was Miranda Hobbs on to something? What really are a gal’s options for halloween costumes? And is being a sexy…whatever really as degrading as it is politicized to be?
A woman should not feel limited to dressing as something sexy, but even “Mean Girls” has that infamous scene were Lindsey Lohan’s character shows up to a high school Halloween party dressed to the nines as an ex-wife while her peers are wearing skimpy animal lingerie. Who can forget when some dude at the party says”that’s a scary mask, brah.” In this scene, Lohan’s character is the complete outlier in her morbid costume. Has it become so weird for a girl to dress funny or even scary for Halloween? Even a children’s movie character, the mignon from “Despicable Me” has become “sexy mignon.” Why is Halloween an occasion to sexualize everything?
For one, we don’t really have other holidays to flaunt our sexuality. Sure, Valentine’s Day could be argued as that day, but it is really reserved for Hallmark quotes and romance between monogamous couples. Halloween, especially on a college campus, becomes very exclusively about sex. And this isn’t always a bad thing. Everyone should have the opportunity to freely express their fetishes and fantasies. Halloween gives men and women the chance to express their sexuality with confidence and strength. It’s hard to resist being something or dressing up as something you would be too ashamed to otherwise, like a sexy cop or kitten.
The problem comes in, if you feel that the only option you have for Halloween is to follow the crowd and dress as something cute and flirty. While it is so easy to follow the crowd of over-sexualized costumes, if you decide to break out of the cycle to be something scary or hilarious, people will tend to admire you more. So instead of getting, “nice ass girl,” you’ll get “you’re costume is so awesome. How’d you come up with it?”
While both compliments can be equally gratifying for different reasons, my message is don’t be afraid to be different this Halloween, but don’t be embarrassed either if you want to show off your bod. Halloween should be an empowering holiday because it is a day that everyone can play make believe. Whether you want to be Wonder Woman, Mia Wallace from “Pulp Fiction,” the Twins from “the Shining” or a Playboy Bunny, go out there ready to have fun and be mischievous. It’s the one time of year you don’t have to be yourself.