The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Halloween costumes for women are over-sexualized by default

Every year on Halloween, it seems women’s costumes become more sexual than the previous year. 

While the media blatantly pressures women to be provocative throughout the year, it seems this pressure becomes exaggerated in October, when women are bombarded with ridiculously over sexualized costumes of things that were never meant to be sexualized in the first place.

According to the Huffington Post, Dr. Janni Aragon was looking for a firefighter costume for her daughter—who is in pre-school—and was appalled by the sexualized girl’s firefighter costume as compared to the boy’s firefighter costume. She posted photo’s in the article comparing the girl’s costumes to the boys and the results were astounding. 

The boys were covered from head to toe with full respect to the a real uniform, while the girls were put in shorter, skin tight dresses designed to mimic firefighter uniforms. 

In the article, Aragon expressed her concerns as a mother to a young girl: “The hyper-sexualization of little girls and their bodies, as a mother, really bothers me.” 

Aragon also stated that causing young girls to dress sexually is making them grow up too fast, so they can no longer simply enjoy being a child. 

The article stated that after Aragon caused outrage over the costumes, the company manufacturing them took them off the shelf. 

Time magazine published an article that reviewed the chronological time line of Halloween costumes, and, originally, they were not sexual. 

The article stated that Halloween costumes did not emerge until Victorians in 19th century America began embracing the holiday after being inspired by Robert Burns poem “Halloween.”  

However, people still were not dressing provocatively. Instead, they aimed to be scary, by dressing as bats or ghosts. After this period, the holiday fell off in popularity until the 1970s.

The article stated that after the sexual revolution of the 1960s, Halloween costumes became a statement of what was happening in culture, what people were seeing around them and what boundaries were begging to be pushed. 

I was recently invited to a last minute Halloween party and had no costume, but figured I could pick something up quick and be done. 

However, as I looked through the women’s costume options at Walmart, I quickly became irritated. The costumes ranged from the classic sexy nurse to a sexy deck of cards. None of the costumes I came across involved pants. They consisted of skin-tight dresses, knee socks and garters. 

I went to Amazon to see if they had any better options, but I was still out of luck. The women’s baseball player costumes consisted of an oversized shirt, backwards cap and knee socks. 

I then proceeded to the men’s section thinking I could put something together from there, and on every picture of every costume I saw, the men were covered with fabric from head to toe. 

They actually looked like what their costumes were mimicking. I understand that feminism is a choice in our culture, but somehow modesty is not an option for women dressing up for Halloween. 

An article from Medical Daily stated people love dressing up in crazy or overtly sexual manners on Halloween because it calms our natural anxiety and allows us to feel more free. 

The article stated women specifically have the most anxiety when it comes to their appearance. Women stated they felt uncomfortable wearing their “going out” makeup during the day, but at night feel completely different. 

The article suggested when going out, women are not as concerned with their appearance compared to when they are in a more controlled setting, like a classroom. 

The article also quoted Lindsay Lohan’s character from the 2004 movie “Mean Girls”: Halloween is the one night of the year where you can dress like a slut, and no other girls can say anything about it.” 

This statement suggests women may feel like they are being judged or criticized for being sexual any other time of the year. 

Dressing up is fun. Going to parties is fun. However, I believe we have taken it a little too far when it comes to Halloween. 

Young girls should not be subjected to wearing skin tight clothing while the boys are free to dress up without being sexualized. 

Women can wear what they want whenever they want, but “sexy deck of cards” should not be our only option.

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Halloween costumes for women are over-sexualized by default