Sexy Time: Halloween costumes are a source of empowerment
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The weather has finally started to cool down, the smell of fresh apple cider fills the air and your lab partner is covered in glitter and wearing assless chaps.
Halloween is the one enchanted day a year that people lose their inhibitions and their clothes, but what exactly about snickers and candy corn makes a girl show up to class in a bikini? For many young women, the answer is enough to make your head spin like Linda Blair in “The Exorcist”: It makes them feel powerful.
“Halloween is the one night a year a girl can dress how she wants and not be judged for being a slut. Girls just want to get laid too,” student Sophia Dalabakis said.
So often, women are either seen as the stereotypical jezebel and an object of desire or a matronly virgin. The Madonna whore complex runs rampant even through our costume choices. If you think about it, women are given two options: sexy kitten or ugly hag. Perhaps by dressing in skimpy costumes, women are taking charge of their bodies and reclaiming their sexualities as someone who desires. Dalabakis says she feels comfortable in her body, however that’s not to say that all young women who throw on some nipple tassels and hit the town do.
My freshman year was my first time away from my conservative parents, and I ran through the woods wearing nothing but pink cheekies and a cotton tail. I decided under the influence of Four Loko that wearing a pair of heels I could not walk in two feet sober to a haunted walk was an excellent idea. My friend had to carry me home while drunk and mooning the poor guy in a devil mask. I did not feel sexy, but I did have fun.
“Nothing matters now that we’re older and our parents and friends aren’t there,” said Chrissy Masillo.
It’s not that girls who wear six-inch pumps and angel wings on Halloween think they’re hot (although, some may do, and more power to you.) It’s the idea that yes, she can take authority over her own life. For college students struggling to find their identity as adults, putting on a mask can be a way to feel in control in such a time of transition and change. Students don’t test the limits and push boundaries because they think they’re sluts. They’re young adults going through an identity crisis.
While men’s costumes don’t usually involve fishnets, there are still guys who go all out on Halloween.
“A guy walking with his shirt off gets more attention than a girl would. There’s definitely a double standard,” said Travis Zeigler.
Double standards and half-naked women doesn’t present Halloween in a very feministic light. In fact, many American cultural traditions of Halloween show sexuality in a negative way. When watching a scary movie with a date, you always know the couple having sex in the woods is going to get the machete. But, perhaps, sex is a form of death wish in horror films for a reason: It reminds us of our mortality. Our bodies house so many facets of identity that when we choose to share them we engage in a poem of human condition. Whether we bare all, or just show up to class barefoot as hippies, Halloween should be a time in which we celebrate our lives and all that we are by being someone else.