Sexy Halloween costumes don’t have to be sexist

24 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Harley Quinn, Star Wars top Google’s most-searched Halloween costumes.

The lingerie site Yandy will rake in $15 million this October, Forbes predicts, thanks to its selection of “sexy” Halloween costumes, which include short-skirted and hot-panted renditions of 2015 memes—most notoriously, the heroic New York City rat who dragged a slice of pizza (video) down the subway steps. Personally, I’d argue against the one-use, throwaway nature of a sexy Pizza Rat costume (pizza pockets are going to feel so done by December), but I also find myself impatient with the annual orgy of eye-rolling that accompanies the season’s new crop of sexy costumes. According to Google’s Frightgeist forecast, the demented DC Comics antiheroine is the most-searched Halloween costume in the U.S. this year — no doubt buoyed by Margot Robbie’s impending portrayal of the character in Suicide Squad.

The Hills alum, 29, took to Instagram on Thursday, Oct. 22, to reveal what she and her friends are dressing up as, and this year, it’s all about that forest life. “So excited to be a bunch of ‘Party Animals’ this Halloween!!” she wrote, captioning a photo of herself and three of her glammed-up friends (taken by Stephanie Todaro). Harley’s on-again, off-again beau the Joker and their shared nemesis Batman also cracked the top 10 (at No. 9 and No. 5, respectively), and other pop culture franchises are well-represented: Star Wars ranks second, and Minions ranks eighth. Front and center, Conrad, who just celebrated her first wedding anniversary with husband William Tell, channels her inner Bambi, rocking handmade antlers (of course!) with fur-topped sandals and an ivory maxi dress. It doesn’t have to mean a cleavage-squeezing or thigh-grazing costume—though if that’s what you feel like wearing, it makes you no less “empowered” than that Amelia Earhart over there. The Frightgeist widget also breaks down search data by location, thus revealing that residents of Alpena, Mich., are into Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones while residents of Juneau, Alaska, prefer Chucky from Child’s Play.

Unless she wants to go as a ghost completely enveloped in a formless sheet, most American Halloween costumes would have her dressed up as a prostitute. We get stuck in routines or safeties, but when we do things that are sort of out of character in some way—we wear something—that kind of helps to think a little bit differently.” This is great advice for men as well as women.

First, though I do not consider myself a feminist, I do have to agree that the lack of super hero costumes and action figures for girls is ridiculous. Of course, it can work just as well whether you’re dressed as Chewbacca or Frodo Baggins, but there’s something uniquely thrilling about the prospect of tossing off our sexually puritanical yokes come Oct. 31, and wearing something risqué to the party. (Provided it’s that kind of party, of course.

And to be clear: I’m referring here to dress-up for adults, not children.) Another reason to ditch the judgment: There’s often an unsettling edge of sexism to the condemnations of Halloween costume shenanigans, as Molly McHugh pointed out in the Daily Dot. “Nary an October goes by that the Internet doesn’t rejoice at the most ridiculous ‘slutty’ costumes we’ve collectively willed into existence,” she wrote, “and the bro-blogosphere works itself into a near fit waiting for Nov. 1, when it will post slideshow after slideshow of ‘idiot’ women they’re both ogling and mocking.” But if we let it, October 31 can offer a refreshing break from such slut-shaming—whether it’s ourselves or others that we’re judging harshly. Culture is over sexualized enough without us putting our elementary and middle school daughters in outfits that make them look like a Hollywood version of a cheap hooker in Times Square. My colleague Annalisa Merelli, an Italian-born feminist who rarely wears revealing clothing, said the sexy costume was one of the first elements she understood as essential to US Halloween. “A friend of mine, someone American, was like, ‘No you have to wear something slutty, otherwise it’s not Halloween—it’s like an unspoken rule,’” Merelli said. “And I remember being so offended—and so deeply happy—that that was their rule.” It’s a desire that’s not confined to repressed Americans, either.

Merelli quoted the Latin slogan of Italy’s Carnival: “Semel in anno licet insanire,” she said. “Once a year you have a license to go crazy.” Getting tarted up is fun, sure, but it also can also be revealing in more personal ways. “A costume party gives you the latitude to go out on a limb and try something else,” said Boardman. Cancel the television subscription, turn off culture, and make sure your kids, particularly your daughters, understand that having their butts hanging out of the backsides of their clothes is not acceptable.

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