The Culture of 'Slutty' Halloween Costumes Has Got to Go

Now that we’ve officially entered fall, the season for apple picking, flannels, and pumpkin spice is in full swing. Fall also means that it’s almost Halloween, a time for sugar overloads and horror movie marathons. But lately, Halloween has turned into something much more scary: a holiday that promotes the constant oversexualization of women. 

Every year girls face pressure to wear a “slutty” or “sexy” costume, usually involving fish nets and some kind of animal ear headpiece. This attitude is amplified even more when young girls get to college. The word “sexy” has become acceptable to be paired with just about anything, whether that’s a nurse, teacher, or even a school girl. Because if you’re not sexy, what’s the point, right? 

For years, this mindset has been seen all over the media. Not only does it dictate how women should dress in order to get into the festivities, it dictates how their bodies should look as well. Subway even chimed in with a sexist commercial emphasizing that women need to stay skinny in order to look good in their revealing costumes.

Even if a woman wants to break this holiday stereotype, her options are limited. The girls’ section of the costume aisle is stocked full of corsets, skin tight leather, and high heels. When compared to the boys’ section which has no shortage of full length suits and scary masks, the difference is clear. Boys are encouraged to take on roles of authority figures, like policemen and firefighters, while women are told to play the roles of pets or beauty queens. These costumes are showing young boys and girls the standards of Halloween, that in reality, are toxic and misleading. 

Research shows that due to the Halloween costume industry leaving women with little choice but to wear something short or skimpy, the rates of female objectification skyrocket during the holidays. Not only is this objectification happening between the genders, but women have been shown to objectify each other as well. These outfits prove to have negative impacts on a woman’s self esteem and body image. 

This outlook on Halloween is not meant to derail excitement for the holiday season or shame girls into covering their bodies. The bottom line is that how a woman dresses is her decision. Now, if you want to be a sexy pumpkin, feel free to fulfill all of your Halloweekend dreams. But if you’re starting to feel the pressure of Halloween, remember that there are more options than being a playboy bunny this year.