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Slutty vs. Scary – What Happened to Halloween?

The spooky month of October is upon us once again and Halloween is looming; it’s that time of year when swarms of people descend on fancy dress stores and make the ordeal of facing the queue outside Lloyds on a Wednesday look like a piece of pumpkin pie. Now, as Cadie Heron so eloquently put it: “In the real world, Halloween is when kids dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Girl World Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it”. But can’t we?

What seriously happens to some of us girls at the beginnings of our teens that makes us go from this... 

to this...

Are we meant to be terrified? Is that the idea? Do these girls truly believe that their bursting bras and super short shorts/ knickers will make our hairs stand on edge, or that the over the knee socks and fishnet tights will cause passers by to quake in their boots with sheer terror?....Nope...didn’t think so.

Now I know those outfits are a little extreme and most of us wouldn’t go so far, but nobody can deny this strange transition from Scary to Slutty that many girls appear to embrace. Even I can honestly admit to falling in sync with this stereotype. I used to love getting dressed up as weird and whacky characters for Halloween, even at the age of 17 wearing a full length dress to a party because I wanted my imitation of Bellatrix Lestrange to be totally authentic. Yet, in my first year at uni, it was a short black, tight dress and a few cobwebs in my hair and around my arms. It wasn’t about being scary or having fun dressing up as a character anymore, it was about dressing scantily purely because it was what the rest of my friends were doing. I mean it’s not like the stores make it easy for us either. Out of interest I wanted to compare the options men are greeted with when searching for Halloween costumes online to what we females get and here’s what I found...




Thing is, so many of these costumes would be totally undeserving of the word ‘slutty’ if it wasn’t for the description of “Sexy” in ALL their titles; ‘sexy witch’, ‘sexy policewoman’, ‘sexy demon’, ‘sexy cat’, ‘sexy pumpkin’...who knew pumpkins could be sexy right? Even the poor disney princesses have been perversely maimed and turned into something you’d expect to see at a dodgy cosmic strip show. Although, to be fair, if I’d seen snow white like this as a kid, it probably would have scared the jeepers out of me. 

Gosh they couldn’t even leave Frozen alone. This just shows you people, no disney character is safe.

It’s not that I’m here to slut shame women who feel like for one day of the year they’d quite fancy dressing up as a sexy pumpkin or a slutty snowman, each to their own (just be safe ladies, its October and chilly, don’t want anyone collapsing from hypothermia), but I just want to reawaken maybe a desire in some of you to get that imagination going and try out something really cool. Halloween should be about showing off your creativity, not your cleavage! And what it definitely should not be is a day when girls feel like they HAVE to wear sexy costumes. Us girls have it tough enough with all our beauty treatments, constantly changing fashions and styles, hair maintenance and make up. So if anything,  think we’re entitled to claim October 31st as the day when we don’t have to worry about any of that and can just get on with dressing up as ridiculously and wonderfully weird as we please. So come on ladies, this Halloween let’s show off our skill not our skin! 



2nd year English lit student
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