I am going to be honest: I have never in my life dressed up in a costume to celebrate Halloween. It’s not that I don’t think dressing up in costumes is fun. I actually do! However, I never really liked the options at the stores where I could afford to buy a costume and never had a strong incentive to be creative and make my own.
My sudden interest to write about Halloween costumes is not simply an outcome of the fact that today is Halloween. The idea about this post formed a week or so ago when I came across a campaign against a costume retailer, Spirit Halloween, that evidently was relying on using stereotypical and highly sexualized verbiage to market its costumes to young teen girls.
Similar to every other aspect of our lives lately, holidays seem to spark a controversy in some way related to women’s issues. The battle for more appropriate Halloween costumes for girls is the latest addition to the fight against gender stereotypes and the regular objectification and sexualization of girls, teens, and women. I guess if the word “sexy” is not in some way added to the costume, Halloween can’t be fun?
For the record, four of my friends at University of Denver dressed up like the four ladies from Golden Girls and I was both thrilled to see them and jealous I was not one of them. Don’t have to be a sexy kitten or sexy nurse or sexy BigBird or sexy anything really to enjoy the holiday. Some of the alternative suggestions for costumes posted by women on the MissRepresentation page include Rosie the Riveter, women who changed the world, and Daria.
Happy Halloween! Let the candy-eating begin, or continue as the case might be:).