Replacing the scary with sexy

If you haven’t started shopping for this year’s Halloween costume, you’ve at least been thinking about what you might like to dress up as. Halloween is a fun holiday, there’s no other day of the year when you can dress up a character and put on an entirely different persona. As fun and light as Halloween may seem, the holiday can put a lot of pressure on women and girls when it comes to deciding which costume to wear.
There seems to be a sexy version of everything available, even Disney characters. There is a sexy Mickey Mouse- which is basically just a leotard accompanied by mouse ears, as well as a sexy Princess Jasmine from Disney’s Aladdin. Why we need sexualized Disney costumes in the first place is beyond me, but seeing the latter brought back a memory I had when was about 11 and my older sister was around 12.
Our Mom had sewn my sister a costume that looked very similar to today’s sexy Jasmine. It was a long sleeve bra-like top with puffy genie pants. I remember what happened that day very clearly when she tried the costume on. My dad’s mildly creepy friend was over and I remember the way he was looking at her in that costume and it made me absolutely outraged and disgusted.
How many other young girls are being looked at sexually based on the Halloween costumes they are wearing while trick-or-treating? Is it really necessary for a child to be dressed as a sexy (insert pretty much anything you can think of here)?
She was wearing a very age inappropriate costume because that’s what all of her friends were wearing. I was no better, but at the time I didn’t see it as a problem in the way I do now. That is simply what retailers are putting on the shelves because that’s what’s selling.
The idea of wearing a revealing Halloween costume is instilled early on with girls, and there is certainly an ethical dilemma when it comes to what’s made and available for purchase. Last month, one mom wrote a complaint to costume retailer Party City’s Facebook page, citing that while 30 percent of available costumes for boys were related to an occupation, only seven percent of the costumes for girls were occupation related.
Young women are offered the same provocative costume options; you would be hard-pressed to find a costume already made and ready to buy that does not show a decent amount of skin. The pressure to look sexy on Halloween is certainly pushed on women, and the slut-shaming that can come along with these revealing costumes is unnecessary. Halloween is about getting into a character, it’s supposed to be fun, not a time to make women feel self-conscious about what costume they have chosen or will choose to wear. Wearing a clever, “non-slutty” costume shouldn’t be an irregularity either.
    We are beginning to see more programs meant to educate young adults and teens about intolerance and violence, including rape. An example would be “Agents of Change”, the online tutorial Sonoma State students were required to take in attempt to raise awareness surrounding these issues. With programs such as these become more prevalent, I am hoping that we are moving away from the rape culture- in which we blame the victim and objectify women- that seems to be becoming our social norm.