Halloween was always my favorite holiday as a kid. My birthday’s just around the corner, with a little bit of rationing you can ride the sugar high well into the New Year, and best of all, you get to dress up and play someone else for a day.
Fast forward twenty years and not much has changed. I still stuff my face with mini size chocolate bars for two weeks in October (and one week in November, when they’re 50% off). I’m also enthralled with the idea of donning strange and unfamiliar threads to see what version of myself they unleash. Dress up for grown ups!
Unsurprisingly, give us ladies an inch and we’ll want to take five more off. I think Tina Fey said it best in her screenplay for Mean Girls, “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.”
And while putting on a sexed-up caricature of a nurse’s uniform, police office or pirate may be liberating, is it even relevant these days? With all the reinforcing of traditional heterosexual stereotypes, sex columnist Dan Savage even likened Halloween to a straight pride parade.
He cites a particularly disturbing costume of a “sexy coroner” as evidence that we’ve gone too far in objectifying everything. Similarly, an “Anna Rexia” costume depicting a meager skeleton that includes a measuring tape belt was pulled from online stores this Halloween. While I’m not exactly shocked that an outfit that like exists, I’m a little taken aback. There are so many ways better ways to be sexy than comparing yourself to someone with a serious mental health issue.
My best advice would be to think outside the box. Why settle for sexy nurse when you can be a trampy tramp? Slap on a beard and a tall black hat and you could be Baberaham Lincoln. Invent your own superhero, like my friend Booze Crotch did. She was Pornarella, who brings sex to the unfuckable! Or try something wry like carrying around a box of Special K and a butcher knife and calling yourself a serial killer.
Creatively is always more intriguing that one of those overpriced, run-of-the-mill Leg Avenue costumes. Halloween is the best time to think about who you’ve always wanted to be and try it out for night. You might be surprised how much you like it.
Last year I got into character for my costume. It got out of hand though and I spent the next week talking like Hunter Thompson from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. You have to be careful who’s shoes you try walking in: if you’re not careful, they’ll run off with you…