No shame in the costume game


Halloween and costumes go together like Easter and eggs. It’s a large component of the holiday.

This year, many girls will get dressed up in a “sexy” or “risque” costume in the spirit of Halloween. They will also be shamed for it. Why are these guidelines to the ‘acceptableness’ of a costume?

In the very popular 2004 movie Mean Girls, the Regina George says, “In the real world, Halloween is when kids dress up in costumes and beg for candy. 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 about it.”

Is this a true statement? For the most part, yes. And is there something wrong with that being a true statement? No.

There are no right or wrong choices of Halloween costumes. In our society, Halloween is all about one being able to transform into something or someone else through costume. Therefore, if a girl wants to dress as a “sexy” cop or a “seductive” nurse, she should be able to do so without all the shaming that goes along with it.

Despite the level of sexiness in a woman’s costume choice being no business of anyone but herself, women sometimes don’t even have a choice in the matter.

In 2012, the Huffington Post posted a story on the sexualization of girl costumes. In the story, the writer touched on the fact that over the years, girl costumes have certainly changed. The writer wrote that when a blogger went to a Halloween store to pick out a costume for her three year old daughter, she was surprised to see the overpowering sexualization of costumes going down to as young as four years old.

Items such as black leather skirts, knee high boots and skimpy materials placed on short costume dresses were all on full display. Another thing the parent noticed were how the young models were posed.

The writer wrote that when she saw the models on the packaging of the costumes, that there was a certain look that included their hips thrusted out, chest pushed forward, lots of makeup, and that there was a certain “come hither look”.

If a four year old is subjected to short leather skirts and the misleading title of “Fire Chief”, one could only imagine the types of costumes young women are subjected to every Halloween.

Some may say any costume that has any type of sexual feeling to it is highly inappropriate, especially around children. That claim is understandable, considering it’s not exactly ideal to have someone prancing around in fishnet stockings and a low cut corset at a children’s costume party.

That’s a given.

However, a costume in any other circumstance should always be considered acceptable.

Halloween costume choice is based on how that certain person wants to dress. Some girls want to be more covered in their costume, while others like a little exposure. It’s all their choice.

No one should be shamed for their choice of Halloween costume, sexual or not. It’s ultimately none of your concern, especially when society leans toward sexualized costumes anyway.

If you can’t beat them, join them.