I think Tina Fey got it right in Mean Girls. Lindsay Lohan's character dresses up for Halloween in a scary zombie bride (or "ex-wife") costume, and laments that no one told her that Halloween is really a chance for girls to dress as scantily and sexy as possible.
And I have to admit, somehow my subconscious is buying into it. I went to a Halloween party this past weekend, where the theme was "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Thinking I'd be creative, I went as a Toys R Us kid--you know, "I don't wanna grow up..." However, as I was contemplating how to create this costume, I kept thinking, "but if I do this, I won't look sexy." Hello? Since when is this necessary? Men certainly don't consider that when picking out a costume (and if this is incorrect, men, please let me know). They go for most creative, or simply fun.
I went with a denim skirt, knee socks, and a form-fitting tee (on which I placed the Toys R Us logo and KID in big letters). I looked cute, but I wouldn't say sexy. At the party though, there was a French maid in an itty bitty skirt, a sexy sailor, Tina Turner, Betty Boop, and a couple other amiguous sexy costumes. Yes, there were a few who went for fun--a woman in pj's with pigtails and freckles, an astronaut. But even Ike Turner (played by a woman) was wearing skin tight pants.
And apparently, this idea is quickly flowing from adult culture to girls. An article Tuesday in the Washington Post discusses the costumes being marketed to girls--most including showing much more skin than an 8-yr-old should ever show outside a pool. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/29/AR2007102902095.html
Is this a result of feminism? We feel we can't dress slutty for most of the year, so we do it on Halloween? We're repressed normally, so we take the chance to let it all out one night of the year? There is something about a costume that allows you to be more adventurous than we might normally be--the idea that "it's not me, it's the costume," but I think somehow we've crossed a line, especially if we're marketing this idea to girls.
Boys and men are having fun being ninjas, Spiderman, gladiators and Spanish cartoon characters (those last two were present at the party I attended). Why can't girls and women do the same, without feeling the need to make every costume "sexy?"
Wednesday, October 31, 2007