In defence of sexy Halloween Costumes

Sexy kitten, sexy nurse, sexy whatever: these are staples of the Halloween costume section for women, and have been for a long time. The backlash was inevitable. Every October for the last few years, we’ve seen articles doing the rounds on social media about the horror of sexy Halloween costumes and why they suck.

To an extent, I understand it: the oh-so-predictable need to “sexify” every costume aimed at women can feel stifling, and seeing the same few outfits brought out time and time again can be boring (especially if you’re buying those poorly made itchy ones from the fancy dress shop in those big plastic packs).

Halloween is all about the freedom to be who you want to be. What one girl sees as objectifying, another might see as liberating. What someone might think of as cliché, another might think of as classic. Judging others’ choice of costume feels, to me, like it goes against the spirit of the season.

Historically, Halloween was a pagan festival when spirits were believed to visit the mundane realms. But in the US – from whence our recent Halloween-mania springs - it underwent a transformation from a religious day into an entirely different cultural phenomenon: a celebration of camp, of forthrightness, and of freedom of expression (which is why it became hugely significant in American LGBT communities).

That freedom to express oneself includes the freedom to wear something with ludicrous cleavage. If you want to be sexy, be sexy. If you want to be horrifying, be horrifying. Why not both? Or, if you want the sexy costume but are put off by the clichés, why not mix it up a little? Sexy porcupine? Sexy Karl Marx? Sexy Battersea Power Station?

It’s 2016 and many women still feel trapped in that awkward nook between looking gorgeous and having to pretend that their gorgeousness is totally unintentional and untainted by any awareness or – heaven forbid – pride.

Having one day a year where you can basically wear a thong with a pumpkin drawn on it and have it treated as legitimate clubwear is pretty valuable to those women who don’t feel they can fully show themselves off on any regular day.

So this October, wear what you want. Be sexy, be horrifying, be creative, be funny. Heck, be all of those things if you want, I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. All that really matters is that you have a great time and feel amazing in your costume. Just don’t buy those itchy ones from the fancy dress shop.

Written by Ciara. 

You can find more from Ciara over on her blog Unperky

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