To have a sexy Halloween costume, or not to have a sexy Halloween costume? For many women, that is the question.
It's a question which is far more complicated than it may initially appear.
On one hand, sexy costumes are just that. They make women feel seductive and confident in a way that seems taboo during the rest of the year.
Many people don’t think Halloween is exempt from the taboo at all. Which, of course, is their opinion to which they are absolutely entitled.
What they are not entitled to is mocking and shaming women who do not share their opinion.
Every year, websites and magazines come up with new lists of the “weirdest,” “wackiest” and “worst” costumes to wear; they're almost always lists of what the writers have determined to be “racy” costumes.
The larger issue is judging women for what they wear, which is a year-round issue, unfortunately.
On a smaller scale, the problem seems to be that when a woman wears a sexy costume on Halloween she is shamed, but if she doesn’t, she is labeled as “prude”. It is not anyone’s place to judge someone else for what they choose to put on their body.
A woman who wears nothing but three strategically placed party hats and a tie and carries a briefcase and a woman wearing an entire suit with the words “happy birthday” emblazoned on it should both be applauded for their witty pun, instead of shamed for the amount of clothing they are, or are not, wearing.
The overall lesson to be learnt here is: when a woman leaves the house, she is comfortable in what she is wearing.
Whether it's sweatpants or no pants, if it’s good enough for her, it should be good enough for you.
However, on the other hand, the main reason many women find issue with the whole “sexy” costume trend is not because they think it's “trashy” or “skanky.” The issue is that sexy costumes seem to be the only choice available for women.
Upon walking into a costume store, seemingly every costume geared towards women has to have a word like “sexy,” “seductive” or “naughty” attached to the title. If a woman wanted to be the kind of vampire that caused men’s blood to curdle, she’d apparently have to deal with their blood heading south instead.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman dressing seductively. There is, however, something wrong with expecting women to dress as such and then proceeding to shame them when they do. Women cannot be simultaneously judged for what they wear while their options for dress are restricted.
So, this Halloween, remember two things.
Women are allowed to wear as much or as little clothing as they want without fear of judgment.
And if you happen to be in contact with the makers of female Halloween costumes, remind them that not all women are comfortable with being sex kittens this holiday season, and that more options should be made available.