The Slutting Up of Halloween

By Jelena Subotic

Photo by Kevin McShane

When did Halloween stop being a holiday to show off scary costumes, creativity and originality, and start advocating slutty dress up time? Is it a lack of creativity, or is there actually an unspoken rule for Halloween to bring out the slut even in the most modest of girls?

I mean with the costume options given to girls, it’s no wonder sexy is so popular. How original is something that just puts the word “sexy” in front of it and calls itself a costume? I don’t know how many more sexy nurses, sexy maids or sexy police officers I can take. I noticed that even younger girls use Halloween costumes to imitate role models such as Hannah Montana and even Lady Gaga, it may end up being cute, but how wrong is it for a seven year old girl to want to look like lady Gaga?

What I wonder the most is if these revealing costumes and getups are actually empowering for the girls wearing them. Someone might feel confident enough to be able to pull off a sexy maid costume every year, but I find there is a big difference between sexy confidence and just plain sluttiness. It’s obvious that sexiness can be empowering, if pulled off the right way, but I also think that a lot of the time Halloween is just used to grab a little attention. True, a little innocent attention is fine. But why just use Halloween, a traditional holiday where spooking people used to be the norm for prancing around in your fishnet tights and nine-inch stilettos? Because Halloween is used for dressing up, I find that a lot of the time girls use it to be a character for just one night. Does that make it okay to dress slutty? No one can tell one how to dress, but I feel using Halloween to generate provocation and get some stares is taking the spirit of the holiday in the wrong direction. Take the idea of being a sexy maid or a sexy nurse. Not only does it present the assumption that women in those professions are degraded, but it also makes the one wearing the costume an object.

Is Halloween just an excuse to dress provocatively and get away with it, or is it more than that? Maybe it is one night where it’s acceptable to dress a bit more revealing, but in any case I think we should take a little second to consider why is “sexy” the go-to costume most girls choose. In any case, if it makes you feel good, go for it! I on the other hand will be snuggly warm while I wear pants.


6 thoughts on “The Slutting Up of Halloween

  1. Is this seriously a “feminist” blog entry that calls some women “sluts” repeatedly? Did you miss feminism 101, in which we learn that “slut” is one of the most patriarchal and offensive terms we can use?

  2. I don’t think anyone is calling anyone a “slut” the idea is why “slutty” costumes are the go to costume for Halloween. And also it even says confidence can be sexy, which I agree with, but knowingly to dress up in more revealing clothes to get away with it, and get some looks is not what Halloween should be about.

  3. Sex sells so, that’s why people buy the stuff. It’s the media, and the social constructs that we grow up with. In some cultures, it’s beautiful to wear rings around one’s neck, it’s just really based on the social aspects of how society defines beauty. I wouldn’t say the “slutting” of costumes is a problem, it would mostly be of the actions it provokes. If “slutting” it up brings unwanted attention ie. sexual harassment then the act of sexual harassment is NOT OKAY, but the act of actually wearing the outfit should be a choice. Freedom of expression right? What are your thoughts?

  4. I don’t think we can deny that the increased sexualization of female bodies is a problem. The burden of guilt should not be on a person for wearing or saying or doing a particular thing to “bring” unwanted attention. The problem, I’m afraid, has more to do with sexual repression.
    Just because we grew up with something seeming to be a certain way does not mean that it is okay.
    Yes – society is at fault. But what about the individuals who make up that society?
    Surely they must play a part.

  5. I think as a feminist publication you should be really conscious about your negative terminology such as “sluttiness” and “bitching.” Feminism isn’t about accusing other women or appearing to be superior and using degrading language towards other women, it’s about solidarity. Get with it.

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