Halloween: a night for girls to express themselves


Haley Brown, Staff Reporter

From busty bunny to naughty nurse all the way to promiscuous pussycat, girls everywhere use Halloween as an opportunity to dress suggestively and express themselves.

And rightfully so, too.

Women spend every day of their lives being told how to dress and to act like a “lady”, and rarely ever get an opportunity to express themselves freely. Halloween (as well as Christmas and other holidays) should give women the ability to dress openly and not be chastised for it.

The concept of “slutty Halloween costumes” is accurate but overly accusatory. I won’t deny that “Dirty Nun” is a bit over the line because it can directly offend religious groups, but harmless costumes like black cats and female firefighters should not require second glances or ridicule.

Since the beginning of time Eve had to play with Barbies while Adam got action figures, and female versions of anything (video game characters, superheroes, cartoons, toys, clothing, etc.) have been made more cute, frilly, and blatantly sexual. Just look at Wonder Woman vs. Superman. It’s clear that only one of them is going to need to shave their legs before fighting crime. While it’s sexist and an archaic way of thinking, there is nothing wrong with women wanting to embrace the femininity and sexuality that gives them power and separates them from men. Our bodies are ours to do with and dress as we please, and deciding to wear a costume the “slutty way” isn’t an act of attention. It’s an act of self-expression.

We are women. We wear dresses and buy tampons and curl our hair. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make a costume like a nurse cute and flirty. It’s in our nature, it’s the way we were raised… Why are we being chastised for it? And when did a girl showing her legs become an obvious sign of promiscuity? And since when does promiscuity make us lesser-than?

We spend every day crossing our legs, covering up, blushing when we’re supposed to, putting on mascara in the bathroom, and making sure our utterly necessary bra straps aren’t showing. We deserve one night to put on a costume and feel beautiful and not be worried about how scandalous we look. But, unfortunately, with age, we grow out of the freedom we once had. There’s also an interesting double standard that comes into play because a woman wearing a historically accurate southern belle costume would look a little out of place and would experience similar judgement as someone wearing a Flirty Firefighter costume at a teenage Halloween party. Basically women are going to be judged no matter how much skin they’re showing, so what are women supposed to be wearing?

Balancing the line between being a “prude” or a “slut” is one of the most difficult things a woman has to do. If she wears a mini-skirt, it’s too short, but a knee-length skirt is deemed ugly and prudish. And the most unfortunate thing is that the judgments usually come from male eyes. Things like dress-codes are imposed to standardize women’s wardrobes and keep them from being a distraction. But when did body parts become a distraction? And when did revealing them become justification for criticism?

Surprisingly enough, sometimes the things we wear aren’t for the boys… they’re for us.