By Skye Kalkstein
After conducting interviews with many young women about their Halloween costumes, I have to come an alarming conclusion… That Halloween has become “slutified.”
The women mentioned buying their outfits at Web sites like www.legavenue.com and www.forplaycatalog.com. The first image seen when opening one of these sites is a picture of a woman unzipping her costume to reveal her breasts. Next to this picture is text that reads, “SEXY COSTUMES.”
I decided to navigate the site and see these “sexy costumes,” for myself. Almost all of the images show women’s mid-drifts and or breasts.
What I find troubling is that beautiful, smart young women are willing to endorse these sexed-up Halloween costumes. In interviews, women placed emphasis on looking “cute,” or “hot,” on Halloween. Also, in many classes I have heard numerous girls talk about how they must start their Halloween diets, to be slim in their outfits.
It has become standard for girls to feel that they need to wear these costumes, and look sexy on Halloween. One source of this ideal could be the mass media, seen in 2004’s “Mean Girls.” The film’s protagonist says how Halloween is the one night of the year a girl can dress like a slut, and no other girls can say anything about it. If the mass media is endorsing this ideal, it becomes harder for young women to resist it.
Further, peers play a large role in influencing a person’s attitude and actions. If a girl’s friends are all purchasing these costumes, it’s likely that she will be motivated to buy one, too.
I do not mean to criticize young women who purchase and wear these costumes. If someone genuinely wants to wear these outfits… Good for them. However, if pressure from society and peers is causing them to wear them, that’s a problem.
This trend in sexed-up Halloween costumes will probably continue as Web sites like www.forplaycatalog.com grow in popularity. What I hope young women will do is ask themselves why they are buying these costumes, and hopefully realize they don’t need to be “sexy,” to have a great Halloween.
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