“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”, says Cady, Lindsay Lohan’s character in “Mean Girls.”
And it’s true. So why do girls dress like “sluts” on Halloween? And why do a lot of people bash them for doing so?
First of all, Halloween is the one time a year we can be someone or something we are not, which is exciting. We can dress up and be our favorite super heroes, celebrities, inanimate objects, classic horror monsters; anything we want.
So when a girl dresses sexy on Halloween, it probably means she does not go to lecture or the grocery store like that, but is embracing this foundation of Halloween: to be what we are not for one night.
Sexy cop. Sexy firefighter. Sexy Disney princess. Sexy Mario Brothers. Just add sexy in front of anything, and you’ve got the majority of your female Halloween costumes any year.
But where is the point when sexy, becomes slutty?
The point when we start judging and slut-shaming girls.
The way society reflects its politics on women’s bodies usually prevents women from dressing sexy or scandalously the majority of the time, so Halloween is that small window of opportunity for it to be okay for women to break free of these standards and politics that are also so heavily enforced on us, by some unknown societal, politically correct force.
If a girl wants to dress sexy in general, that is her body and her prerogative, so why do we have such strict standards of body politics that we reflect on women and use to restrain them?
If we want to use the word slut, we have to realize that in the context that we ourselves use it, it has more to do with actions, and nothing to do with clothing. And even then, we use the word “slut” to control a woman’s sexuality. It reflects the double standard that men can sleep with how ever many people they want and not be tainted or lose worth but rather gain praise. And yet when a female is very sexual, she loses value, to the point where we shame her, calling her a “slut.”
But… she obviously does not respect herself or her body? Right?
Your respect for her is completely separate from the respect she has for herself.
It is one thing to not be that kind of girl on Halloween, or even disagree with her choice (which is perfectly fine), but it’s another to pass judgment and perpetuate slut-shaming, especially when it happens so frequently from one female to another.
So this Halloween, rather than slut-shaming, let’s just embrace the freedom this holiday represents: to dress however we want for a couple nights and not be judged or pass judgment on anyone no matter how sexy, or stupid, or funny their costumes are.
Let’s embrace those who feel sexy and confident enough to wear whatever the hell they want this Halloween.
So when you see someone this weekend working a sexy crayon costume, try high-fiving that person; not bashing them.
Photo credit: Jemingway/Flickr.
var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-35670759-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);