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Grown-Ass Women Talk Sexy Costumes, Halloween Slut-Shaming & The Power Of Being ‘Trashy’

Halloween is upon us (like literally today rn and this weekend too) and that means that you might be frantically googling a last-minute Halloween costume idea, deep-stalking your crush’s feed to make sure they aren’t part of a couple’s costume with someone else or you’re throwing on your cutest bra and heading to the pre-game (do you.)

But, of course that also means that people have capital-O ~Opinions~ about whether your outfits are too sexy, revealing or trashy (a word that this humble trash-bag loves to reclaim year ‘round but especially during the spookiest time of year and a word that is said with love, respect and devotion throughout this post. just FYI.)

The HC team are super big fans of people getting to put whatever the f-ck they want on their bodies and do whatever the f-ck they want with those bodies. So we circled up to talk about our own Halloween greatest (read: trashiest) hits, embracing our trashiest impulses and telling the haters to GTFO.

Katie (@kathriller):  So Halloween season means that in addition to everyone looking super f-cking hot on instagram for two whole damn weekends, it also means the slut-shamers are out in full force telling you to “stay classy” or whatever. (Barf).

So now I need to know everyone’s fave trash-tastic, sexy costumes RN and how they made you feel. And, if you’re nasty, What pisses you off about seeing slut-shaming on Halloween (or, like, ever)?

Rachel (@rachelcharlenel): I 100% reserve the right to be slutty on Halloween, and also really any time. It’s nice to be slutty on Halloween because you’re not the only one. It feels like a powerful moment for girls, as fluffy as it sounds, because we’re all tipsy and half-naked and screaming about Halloween and the patriarchy can’t stop us. And yes, maybe we’re doing it to be cute, but honestly, I don’t care. If I want to be basically naked outside in 30 degree weather while walking to a frat party, I will, and I’ll take as many thirsty Insta pics as I want. My sluttiest costume: a bra, weird tights, a super short skirt, and a leather jacket. And cat ears. Edgy cat. I wore this for like, three years in a row.

HELLO sexy cat. 

Also: A cheerleader from Glee, which was funny because I didn’t know it was from Glee (borrowed it from a friend) and I’m gay. I have literally no interest in “classy” costumes and it’s fine if you like them, but don’t judge those of us who use this holiday to embrace tiny, ridiculous outfits.

Sammi (@samanthakari):  I myself have never dressed in a trashtastic manner — because I don’t have the self-confidence to do so (unless we’re counting Rocky Horror shadow casting, in which case, pic to follow, though it’s trashier in the sense that it looks like I pulled my pieces out of the trash). 

But everyone should let halloween trash bags live because it’s none of they’re goddamn business what anyone else wants to dress up as or feels comfortable in wearing. To roughly quote Mean Girls, halloween is the one day of the year where this is supposed to be universally acceptable. You don’t let us have anything else, let us have this.

Colombia represent.

Maggie (@maggiescenna): LET ME LIVE MY F-CKING LIFE.

Why do you care what I’m wearing? i’m wearing it for myself because it’s fun and it should be the one day (if there has to only be one day rather than dream world every day) that girls can wear whatever the f-ck they want and dress like a sexy librarian or whatever.

Some sexy Halloween classics.

And i wish i could dress like this all the time because I would. Wearing only a leotard is A.  the easiest thing you can do, no worries about an outfit, and B. mad comfy.

Felicity Warner (@felicitywarner):  Dressing up however the f-ck I want for Halloween is super liberating. Whether I want to dress in a giant T-shirt or a super short skirt, it’s based off my personal decision and what feels good to me when I wear it. Halloween is a notoriously wild holiday — if people can dress up like scary clowns and grotesque zombies (which, pls don’t come near me with that), then I think we can all manage me making my debut in a low-cut top. All in all, it’s just a holiday. Dress classy, dress trashy, dress funny, or don’t dress up at all — do whatever the hell you want because it’s really not that deep y’all.

Katie: Heck yeah. While there’s always room for discussions about sexualization and objectification (and how evil capitalist industries might participate in that without people really getting a say), I think it’s so important to talk about how costumes that may be revealing or sexy (or whatever term we want to use) are about autonomy and creativity and fun.

My sister’s sexy trash costume circa 2016 — because I’m still obsessed with it.

Let people enjoy things and embrace whatever part of them they want to explore — this can be said for a Halloween costume or for every day. It’s never anyone’s business what you’re putting on your body and, as long as you’re adults choosing to do something that makes you feel cute and empowered — and you’re being respectful of other people’s space and autonomy — the sky’s the limit.

I also can’t help but emphasize that a costume — no matter how beautiful and sexy it is —  never communicate consent or count as consent. I feel like cosplayers have to constantly drill this home with creepy people at conventions who don’t get the f-cking hint, but it’s relevant on Halloween too.

Don’t shame people, mind your damn business and don’t touch them unless they say you can. (That’s also my go-to life advice too, tbh.)

Check out our Halloween hub, because duh. Also: Tell us about your favorite trashy costumes & yell with us about slut-shamers on Twitter (@hercampus) & Instagram (@hercampus). Happy Halloween!

Katherine (or Katie) is the News Editor and resident witch at Her Campus. She first fell in love with journalism while attending SUNY New Paltz ('14). Since then, she has worked on the staffs at MTV News and Bustle writing about politics, intersectional social issues and more before serving as staff researcher at Lady Parts Justice League. Her work has been published in Women's Health, the Daily Dot, Public Radio International (PRI) and WNYC and she's been a regular panelist on a few podcasts (mostly screaming about repro rights.)  She is a Libra with a Taurus moon and a Scorpio ascendant, which either means nothing or everything. She loves strong diner coffee, reading tarot for strangers at the bar and watching the same three horror movie documentaries. She lives in the Hudson Valley with too many animals.     
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