In a college town, Halloween is about slutty costumes. I feel safe in making that claim after spending four years in undergrad at UNC-Chapel Hill, home of the biggest Halloween street party ever.
On Halloween Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street is full of Hooters girls, sexy nurses and Playboy bunnies. It’s every guy’s dream, including the guy I ran into one year who had a huge grin on his face. “Tonight every girl here is acting out her fantasy,” he said to us as he passed by. “I’m just here to make it come true.”
I get it. On Halloween us girls pretend we’re naughty sexpots, even if we spend the rest of the year trying to be taken seriously as scholars, athletes, artists or businesswomen. On Halloween, baby, we are nothing more than a porn-inspired fantasy. For one night a year, we wear out costumes out in public that are normally sold in sex shops and reserved for the bedroom.
Visit any Halloween store this season and you’ll see what I mean. They even make the innocent slutty: Sexy Snow White, Sexy Minnie Mouse, Sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Seriously?
As Cady Heron of Mean Girls said, “Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”
Well, I’m saying something.
No, I’m not a prude. I don’t think the world is sullied in some way if you’re wearing a corset and panties and nothing else on Halloween night (True story. I saw that exact “costume” on UVA’s campus last year. The girl wearing it looked cold). I’m not personally offended by the risqué costumes, and I don’t think you’re doing any serious damage to womanhood by dressing like a porn star.*
But I do think it kills some of the creative spirit of Halloween.
Creativity is part of what makes Halloween fun. Some of my favorite costumes from past years are:
– The cute ones: The adorable couple dressed as Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog.
– The ambitious ones: The guy who built an entire claw foot bathtub and shower curtain to make it look like he was singing in the shower.
– The culturally relevant ones: The woman dressed up as Octomom and trailed by a camera man. For all you Darden folks, the Crystal Ball girls were a hit last year.
Halloween, when we were children, was about imagining we were something else. A princess, a firefighter, a super hero, a vampire. It was a chance for us to play pretend and creatively imagine another universe in which we could fly, perform magic, save lives or scare the crap out of people.
So what does it say about us now that, as adults, the only things we want to pretend to be are sex kittens?
*Though if I see any of the 12-year-old girls I’ve run into at the costume store actually wearing the slutty Alice in Wonderland costumes they were admiring, I will be very, very sad.