What the world needs now

I’m a mouse, duh!

Halloween has officially jumped the shark.

Exhibit A:

SEXY BANANA!!! http://www.yandy.com/Sexy-Banana-Costume.php

Exhibit B:

SEXY CHEWBACCA!!! http://www.yandy.com/Sci-Fi-Furry-Costume.php

Exhibit C:

SEXY MARY POPPINS!!! http://www.yandy.com/spoonful-of-sugar-costume

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.

Let’s start:

SEXY PLUNGER!

SEXY COMPRESSION SOCK!

SEXY ARMADILLO!

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…

24 thoughts on “I’m a mouse, duh!

    1. LAUGH IT UP FUZZBALL.

      I love how his bandolier has been turned into a purse. Seriously blows my mind. That skirt (can we call it a skirt?) is totally scandalous! I will however admit that the fur cape is pretty sweet.

      I think I will be sexy Boba Fett. No, actually, Sexy Greedo!

  1. “SEXY EUROPEAN UNION MONETARY POLICY!”

    I’m constantly amazed and impressed how, amidst all the hilarity in your posts, you sneak in such well-crafted observations. Truly brilliant stuff. When I imagine your forthcoming stand-up comedy career, I’m betting you’re going to be you’re own unique blend of a razor-sharp Ron James and a ranting George Carlin (sans the f-bombs), with a splash of observational Ellen Degeneres.

    SEXY CALCULATOR! SEXY PHOTOCOPIER TONER CARTRIDGE! SEXY FIRE HYDRANT! (You’re right — this IS fun…)

    1. SEXY MASHED TURNIPS! SEXY DAVID SUZUKI! SEXY DIY WAX STRIPS! I think we can take this act on the road…

      And why thank you! I always make an effort to infuse these kinds of posts with as much humour as possible. What with these issues being as bonkers as they are.

      I had my first class on Tuesday night and it was seriously fab. I cannot wait to keep at them (as well as keep making an effort to keep those f-bombs at bay!)

  2. Sweater vests are always sexy!
    As someone who has also previously gone as the delightful Ms. Granger, I agree, a sexy Hermione would just be plain wrong. Almost, maybe more so than a sexy hamburger…

    1. This is very true. They most definitely are.

      I had to laugh, because last Halloween I was on the metro and this young teenage girl was starting at me. She waiting a few more minutes and then said, “Blair from Gossip Girl?” It was a pretty big fail moment. But oh how I laughed and laughed…

  3. I’m with you on this one… so confused by what can be considered “sexy” and why we’re (women) suddenly encouraged to be play on the fenceline of skanky one night a year.

    What get’s me is that people still do judge, even if it’s a “freebie night”. If you go to a party in one of these getups and are spotted by a coworker, family member, or a fellow member of an organization like a church or charity – you bet they’ll think a little differently about you the next time they run into you. Not that judging is right, but we also have a responsiblity about what we put out to the world, not just women but men too.

    There are a ton of risque costumes for men that play up the phallic jokes. It’s wildly inappropriate in some circumstances and I’d bet it does affect how those guys are treated by others.

    I’m a fan of dressing to impress, or be practical. Clothes don’t define our value, but they do define how people perceive us (costumes included). It’s our choice as to how important we want to consider those perceptions.

    P.S. The can-of-worms idea had me howling, thanks for that! :) Great discussion topic – got me thinking!

    1. “I’m a fan of dressing to impress, or be practical. Clothes don’t define our value, but they do define how people perceive us (costumes included). It’s our choice as to how important we want to consider those perceptions.” YES. Yes, yes, yes.

      Brilliant, brilliant observations here my friend. I love getting your perspective on these issues! Your insights are profound and so true (plus I’m glad I’m not the only one wrestling with these questions.)

      Glad I could also bring a chuckle or two. :) I must always remember to keep the humour when facing life’s tricky dilemmas!

    1. Haha, I was actually thinking that when writing that phrase! I just couldn’t think of a clever enough pun so I left it out. Next time!

      I feel the way about Madonna as I do about Tom Hanks. I only patronize her early work :)

  4. but NOT sexy zombie 5k zombeez:
    #1. i’ve noticed that THE ADS show sleek svelte (younger) models, WHEREAS the people who end up buyin’ those things … are not.
    #2 this hasn’t much to do with anything, which makes it fun: in my (& betty’s) old age where we are dewwin less&less and nuthn’ ndw: we have signed up to BE ZOMBEEZ for this weekend’s local Zombie “run for your life.” i’ll get to wear the cleaver-thru-the-head (and my “eat locals (zombie chasin’ tractor) t-shirt TOGETHER) after all!

    1. OMG! You are guys are the absolute best!! I want to run in that race soooo much (I am actually thinking about signing up for the one in Seattle next year.) Seriously, that is so awesome that the two of you are zombies. You must, MUST write a post about the experience. I cannot wait to hear all about it!

  5. I think you put this into words very well. Once you get past about age 13 (or who knows, these days, age 10?) you see these SEXY PHONEBOOK! costumes and think “Wow wouldn’t that make me feel like a grown-up?!” But then you get older and you definitely don’t think the SEXY BASSET HOUND! costume is so grown up.

    My philosophy is that if it’s clever, cool go for it! But when it’s a brown dress with a darker midsection topped with green and red for lettuce and tomato, you’re really getting too far away from a burger to call it clever. And as you said, it’s just plain lazy! I also think of Mean Girls when you bring this up because it’s the old “paint on a couple whiskers, put on black tight bodysuit and you’re a cat!”

    It’s sort of a weird comment on how warped this notion of sexy and feminine has become that we have to only consider it on Halloween for fear of being a slut. Ok, personally I don’t want to dress like that everyday but c’mon is it a bit fun from time to time but it’s too hard to see where what’s known as sexy has come from anymore. It’s kind of rammed down our throats all the time that we don’t even question anymore why tits and ass are sexy! I think you are more right that it’s “symptoms of patriarchy” rather than a “conscious effort to subvert it” – but maybe I don’t give enough credit to us gals in that thought. It’s gone so far the other way that we’re so used to seeing big boobs splashing out on magazines everywhere that people’s “sexy” Halloween costumes aren’t even as shocking as they used to be. And that’s crazy to imagine!

    So how does one dress up as a SEXY VEGETABLE GARDEN? Because that’s what I want to be this year!

    1. I’m guessing…skin coloured body suit with strategically placed veggie? Or maybe green body suit? Hahaha!!

      Really awesome points here lady. It’s such a loaded issue it’s hard to find your way out, once you start unpacking all the politics that accompany it. I definitely get what you’re talking about in terms of the laziness that is often a part of the whole sexy costume.

      So no half-assing that veggie garden! (In the words of Ron Swanson – whole ass it!)

      1. Haha, good ideas! Too bad they don’t really do Halloween here – I’ve been out today and not one costume on anyone! Unless people are dressed up as school kids or grocery checkout workers, then they’ve done a great job!

        I was thinking maybe two strategically placed melons? haha.

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