By Tahlia Terhune, Guest writer
Halloween was not intended for bare legs or push-up bras.
According to CNN, 43.6 percent of the U.S. population will wear costumes this Halloween. Spending for the spooky holiday throughout the U.S. in 2013 was $6.9 billion.
Money is poured into this traditionally Pagan holiday that originated from Celtic beliefs. Halloween was originally a deep-rooted tradition, not part of the American culture.
Our capitalistic minds turned a cultural tradition into an entirely new market nearing $7 billion annually.
It is not unlike Americans to adopt new traditions early immigrants brought from European countries. I am curious to know how this holiday that held great significance turned into the opportunity for women and men to dress inappropriately.
I use the word “inappropriate” under the assumption that not all individuals I see would proudly strut around half-naked in a sailor costume in front of their parents.
In the popular movie from 2004, “Mean Girls,” Lindsay Lohan Cady Heron says,
“In girl world, Halloween is the one time of year a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girl can say anything about it.”
Personally, I have yet to meet a girl who hasn’t seen this movie. Media is constantly embedding the idea that is OK to sexualize ourselves.
You might be OK with dressing a little scandalously on this fright night, but viewing this issue from another perspective could change that.
The Huffington Post wrote a piece on the sexualization of costumes for our youngest trick-or-treaters. Imagine your little sister is deciding to be a police officer this year.
Rather than the traditional full pants, boots and long sleeve shirt, you’ll find the brand Alterego at Value Village featuring tot-sized, dolled-up girls wearing short sleeve dresses with heeled calf-high boots.
Junior Sara Suznevich gave her opinion on
“Now with these sexualized costumes being made for younger and younger girls, they are going to think they need to dress that way,” Suznevich said. “Seeing young girls like this can even start sexual exploitation at a younger age for girls.”
The Huffington Post interviewed, a police officer with a 7-year-old daughter who said, “Policewomen wear pants while they work. It’s hard to chase bad guys down in stiletto heels.”
I fully acknowledge that everyone has the right to dress how they want, but it is more than just going out for the night.
Allowing companies to make millions off of barely-there clothing is setting a low standard for youth that actively participate in Halloween and the ever-increasing sexualization of our society.
There is also the double standard of men not being as sexualized when it comes to Halloween costumes that is often ignored.
We are quick to judge advertising companies for featuring the half-naked women chasing down a man for an irrelevant product, yet we are only promoting the ideals of sexualizing women or men by purchasing sexualized costumes.
“All in all, I hate the image that society puts out there for women to have to dress sexy for Halloween” Suznevich said. “Dress how you want and if that means you wear a sexy outfit then go ahead.”
I am suggesting we have fun with the holiday and enjoy it as a time to spend with friends or family.
I encourage you to think twice about that costume you may wear this year. I strongly doubt the Celts ever envisioned the holiday transforming into a time where it was acceptable to wear a sexy doctor’s costume.
Have fun with the holiday and help change the way society clashes with sexuality.