By Shannon McClain, Guest Columnist

To quote the popular 2004 movie “Mean Girls,” “in Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it.”

Behind the horror movies, the haunted houses, the playing pranks and the costume parties are women and girls dressing up as sexy kitties, sexy nurses, sexy — enter pretty much anything here.

Even the most ordinary objects, like crayons or iPods, are sold as provocative and revealing costumes for women.

If women have gained many freedoms, including the right to dress as we please, it seems strange Halloween is different. The media markets these sexy costumes to us, but we must take some responsibility for their presence there in the first place.

If we didn’t buy these costumes, then costume manufacturers would market something else to us, perhaps real costumes that actually look like the thing we are trying to be.

We choose to dress up in these costumes, and there are many different possible reasons as to why.

Perhaps it has the effect of making us feel more attractive, more wanted by those we want to see us as desirable.

It might be a way to flaunt our feminism and our rights as women. Halloween could be a showcase for the fact that women can now dress as provocatively as we want.

Or maybe we don’t want to go against the grain. Some women may feel that if they aren’t sexy like everyone else, then they run the risk of seeming unattractive or prudish.

It could also be that we feel trapped in our consumer society. We don’t know how to say “no” to the big companies that offer these costumes to us and spend a lot of money to make us feel we need them.

It all comes down to the fact that Halloween is no longer scary — it is sexy. While Halloween was once about blood, death, the strange and the macabre, it is has been boiled down to begging for candy and playing sexy dress up. 

Halloween is not the first casualty. It seems our society is simultaneously pulling death close and shoving it away. We have a multitude of horror movies highlighting the many different perturbed areas of insanity, death and the beyond.

Yet, to counteract that we have books, movies and shows romanticizing death and dying. The “Twilight Saga” transforms vampires and werewolves into lovers. They become characters with human traits to be fantasized about, and sexualized, by young girls and mothers alike.

Halloween, death and the afterlife have all become things we romanticize and sexualize. In the middle of this are women with only two costume choices: witch or slutty nurse.

We can either embrace these as our only two options, or we can take back Halloween. We can use it as a chance to be creative and come up with a new funny, scary or silly costume.

Just like Lindsey Lohan in her “Ex-Wife” costume, you will certainly stand out much more.  ◼︎

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