Halloween has officially jumped the shark.
And so it goes.
I am actually apt to believe that this company is just trolling us all, and that their employees fill their days playing an endless game of “Sexy Madlibs” in an effort to come up with the most ridiculous costumes as possible.
In fact, because it looks so easy I think I’m going to play too.
SEXY COMPRESSION SOCK!
SEXY SIR JOHN A. MACDONALD!
SEXY BOARDING PASS!
SEXY SHOE HORN!
SEXY EUROPEAN UNION MONETARY POLICY!
SEXY AUSTERITY MEASURES!
SEXY WEDGE OF MELTED BRIE!
SEXY SWEATER VEST!
SEXY CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENT!
SEXY PONTIUS PILATE!
SEXY JACKSON POLLOCK PAINTING!
SEXY HEAD GEAR!
SEXY NON-FAT PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE EASY WHIP!
Seriously, I want this job. Not only is it completely bonkers, it is great, great fun.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I’ve never gone out on Halloween dressed as a slightly more tarted-up version of my normal self.
In first year of my undergrad, I went as a the Short Skirt, Long Jacket girl from Cake’s seminal work “Short Skirt, Long Jacket” (not my finest work, but definitely my most last minute); and the year after I was some sort of trampy vampire (although mostly I was stoked to stomp around in my new Doc Martin boots, flashing my sweet fangs to random passerbys.)
But mostly, I’ve taken advantage of Halloween to dress as either dudes from different decades or Hermione from Harry Potter.
(And not sexy Hermione either BECAUSE COME ON PEOPLE, THAT IS JUST AWFUL AND WRONG.)
I’ve been a 1920s golfer, an Extra Extra! paperboy, and Jerry Sizzler (a clearly insane man, dressed as a woman.)
This year, if I could actually get my act together I would LOVE to go as Psy (although I would have to make sure that I pulled it off and didn’t veer into 1970s prom territory.)
So where exactly am I going with this?
I’m not exactly sure. I mean, on one hand, I feel as though it isn’t my right to stand up and say that women cannot dress the way that they want – on Halloween or any other day of the year.
But on the other hand, the whole “sexy for sexy sake” trope really drives me nuts. It’s lazy and demeaning and ridiculous.
And yet, I also cannot help but keep going back to the line: In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it. (From Tina Fey’s brilliant film Mean Girls.)
So. This is true, yes. But what do we do with it?
Let’s talk it through.
For three hundred and sixty-four days of the year women are judged and shamed every day based on their mode of dress (whether it’s too sexy or not sexy enough).
However, for one night each year, some kind of messed up amnesty is called, and a woman can put on whatever deranged outfit she chooses (let’s say, a sexy hamburger costume), and for the next five or so hours have the opportunity to subvert current social norms and attitudes, because sexy now IS the expected and accepted norm, come Halloween night.
To me, this is some messed up crap.
Instead of, oh, I don’t know, making a concerted effort to do away with the incredibly damaging expectations and implications we as a society have placed on a woman’s appearance, mode of dress, and sexuality, we create a night where it’s okay for a woman to be “sexy” and dress in utterly rubbish costumes (but just this one time!) because it’s only make believe and not real life.
Remember ladies: it’s okay to be a slut as long as you’re not really a slut!
TITILATE NOT FORNICATE!
This ludicrous binary of all or nothing sexuality – where it is important to be both chaste and sexual, the Madonna and the whore – is brutal, and restrictive, and archaic, and so alive and thriving it boggles my mind.
And it messes me up because I get all shirty and confused wondering if I am actually okay with women wearing these kind of outfits? Do they really want to wear that kind of costume or do they just think they should wear something like that? Are these choices symptoms of patriarchy or they conscious efforts to subvert it?
For the love of Pete, someone pass me a mini Twix bar.
The long and short of it is – I don’ t have the answer. So I will finish by saying this:
Ladies: Dress up however you wish, and remember – when the clock strikes twelve on November 1, you won’t turn into a pumpkin (SEXY! Or otherwise.)
No matter what you wear, you will still be the same person, the same heart, the same brain, the same soul. A costume, makeup, a mode of dress – none of these things can change that, no matter what anyone (or society) tries to tell you.
Now, if you excuse me, I think I may have just figured out the perfect costume. This year, I will definitely be going as a SEXY CAN OF WORMS!
Now where’s my can opener…