As actress and youth role model Lindsay Lohan infamously said in “Mean Girls,” it’s the “one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Yes, it’s Halloween, and it’s approaching faster than you can grab the nearest black leotard and cat ears. Everyone is already preparing for All Hallows’ Eve, and even more important than dorm decorations and pre-game plans is the central hallmark of the holiday: costumes.
While many students claim to have “outgrown” trick-or-treating years ago, nobody is over dressing up, and it’s fun to hide who you are for a night … maybe too fun. Plus, who isn’t a little curious about Spirit Halloween, the weird themed wonderland that only sets up camp across the street from campus for a few months of the year? What happens to the spirit for the other 10 months?
Pop culture pokes fun at today’s women’s costumes for being available in only two forms — risqué and risquér. Halloween stores are slightly more creative and colorful versions of Spencer’s. To the left there is a Princess Leia who leaves very little to the Jedi’s imagination, and to the right is a schoolteacher who is definitely not following the dress code. That’s not to cast any judgment — if you’ve got the confidence to rock these kinds of outfits, then all the more power to you. Stepping out like that takes guts, and frankly, 90 percent of the haters are just jealous. So no, fashionably adventurous partygoers, the issue is not you. The problem at hand does, however, lie with the ridiculousness of some of these costumes. The almost sickening need for everything to be sexualized means that there are almost no options for women who want to wear a “Finding Nemo” costume that isn’t more aptly called “Finding Nympho.”
Sexy burgers, sexy pizza and sexy bacon are the norm for costumes. Only in America would people try to combine such two loves — greasy food and objectified women. I don’t think people lewdly commenting that they’d “like a slice of that” on State Street ever thought they’d be taken literally. When a bacon outfit is actually just a one-strapped gown that looks like fried meat, not only is it a Lady Gaga rip-off, it’s an attempt to make actual lard look sexy.
Then there are the more cultural costumes. With options like “Taj My Hall” and “Bolly Ho,” it’s now possible to offend cultures and feminist groups simultaneously. What’s next? A risqué costume of a Jew called the “Western Wall Twerk”? Not to forget the classics — Dorothy and her crew make an appearance, but the Tin Man would more accurately be described as the Skin Man, and the only place that yellow brick road leads to is all the way to the strip club.
It seems like Halloween shopping is becoming increasingly frustrating each year. For those searching for a women’s costume that actually resembles something other than underwear, good luck. Yes, it’s okay to wear these costumes, but it’s also extremely offensive that companies think that this is the only way that the average girl wants to dress. It’s a common fact that sex sells, but companies today would be wise to remember people like other things, too. Our world’s inexplicable need to sexualize everything is no excuse to leave the shier demographic costume-less. It’s also no excuse to take everyday beloved cartoon characters, cultures, pop icons and even foods and turn them into sexual objects. And remember, if there aren’t any Minnie Mouse costumes that don’t involve a miniskirt, making a costume yourself never goes out of fashion.