Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Don’t be a slut shamer this Halloween

By Lauren Vincent

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I’ve always loved dressing up for Halloween, and I usually get pretty heavily into it. I was abroad last fall, and one of the only inferior things about Europe in relation to the US, in my opinion, is its lack of enthusiasm for the haunted nights of mayhem that we Americans love so dearly. So I plan to go out in full force this year in the interest of lost fun. I haven’t even finalized my costume plans as of the time this column was written, but I do plan to do some outrageous things. Halloween is about the ridiculousness of taking on a new identity. And sometimes getting a little risqué is part of the fun.

I’ve always found it kind of fun to get a sexy costume for Halloween. It’s kind of out of character for me and hey, I don’t want to wear a long, heavy skirt when I’m dressed like a princess or a witch. I want to be comfortable, both physically and mentally, and I want to wear what I want regardless of others opinions of me. Sometimes I think “slutty” costumes are cute, and sometimes I want to look cute, even if it’s Halloween.

We all know the Mean Girls theory courtesy of Lindsay Lohan’s character: “In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Sometimes it seems that way, but I’ve been hearing a lot of smack talk from my female peers, putting down members of their gender group for having a little fun on the weirdest weekend of the year.

I get it. Some women’s costumes look more like bikinis or underwear than your traditional witch or zombie bride costume. Some girls walk around with their private parts covered in tape. It wouldn’t be my first choice, especially in October. But it doesn’t seem to bother me as terribly as it bothers some, because it’s a woman’s prerogative to express herself on Halloween, or any other day of the year.

I do see the criticism of the industry, which manufactures “sexy” everything for women, as well as pushing the boundaries of costumes that even make sense –  “sexy construction worker,” “sexy lady in a straightjacket,” “sexy Elmo,”- yes, that’s right, sexy Elmo. They don’t really provide an alternative for women who don’t want to show as much skin. And some of those costumes are downright disgusting in their overt sexism – such as a “Sexy Remote” with painted on controls to “raise the hotness” and a mute button. Finally, some costumes are racist and culturally appropriative – sexy Native American/tribal costumes, a short poncho and sombrero clad “sexy Senorita,” and a Chinese take-out box, donned by an Asian model in the display photo. Those are never really okay because they’re old outdated stereotypes that were never funny to begin with.

All of this being said, I don’t feel right blaming my fellow women for putting whatever costume they choose to put on their own bodies. As long as that’s what they want. There’s nothing wrong with overt sexiness, as long as it’s completely consensual and the woman feels comfortable. I don’t want to slut shame. In the same vein, women should not be expected to bare all when getting festive, as it is her decision and her right to her clothes and her body.

I know that I am not a sex object and that dressing a certain way does not give anyone the right to my body. That is why I am completely fine with sometimes getting dolled up on Halloween in an outrageously racy costume, because it’s all in good fun. As long as other women feel the same way about themselves, and know that they aren’t doing it because they have to or are expected to, I fully support the females right to get as stupidly skimpy as they feel comfortable. As long as we’re not pushing legal boundaries and are going to end up in jail for indecent exposure and ruining our Halloweekend, more power to us.

Lauren Vincent can be reached at [email protected]

1 Comment

One Response to “Don’t be a slut shamer this Halloween”

  1. Genna on October 28th, 2011 5:55 pm

    Slutty costumes are a long held tradition in our country. How can someone call themselves a patriot and dislike slutty costumes? Go LAUREN!

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