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Why Does Halloween Have To Be Sexy?

I remember when I was a little kid getting excited over Halloween. The costume catalog that came each year was like a precious treasure, full of circled ideas for what to go out as. But I started to notice something the older I became: the girls’ costumes showed more and more skin. Logically, it made no sense to me. Halloween is a cold time of year, why would you want to wear something so revealing? You’d probably freeze out there. Now that I’m an adult though, it has become very clear to me what the Halloween industry is doing. They want to sexualize women with Halloween costumes that are insanely revealing and impractical. To quote “Mean Girls,” “Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it”.

Halloween doesn’t really bring any joy for a girl like me. While I do love how I look and have no problems with my body, dressing up for Halloween has grown increasingly harder over the years. I’ll admit I am a little bigger than most girls. I have no thigh gap and I carry a little more on my hips and chest. Because of this, it’s nearly impossible to find costumes that are cute and practical for my body type. My question is this: why are “sexy” costumes advertised more often than not? We live in a progressive era, yet it seems like fun and practicality are thrown out the window to sell sex.

Now, it doesn’t bother me so much when the adult costumes are sexualized. Being an adult myself I understand that we make decisions for ourselves. But it’s the teenage girl costumes I call into question. Girls from 12 to 17 are not yet at an age where they should be dressing “sexy.” They are still at a time in their lives where they’re figuring out who they are and how they feel about themselves. The pressure to be sexy shouldn’t be one they have to face. During those years Halloween should still be a fun time to dress up in clothing appropriate for them. Costumes like these don’t seem to be age-appropriate despite their advertising as a costume for a teen:


A lot of these costumes are extremely exposed, showcasing a lot of skin. They also have skirts and dresses at extremely short lengths. And when you look at adult versions of the same costumes, they aren’t much different:

It’s disturbing to see how few difference there are from the teen and adult sets of costumes. So it brings me back around to my initial question: why does Halloween have to be sexy? Why are we as females pushed to try to be sexy during a time that is meant to be about having fun and getting candy? I personally see no point to dressing in a provocative manner on Halloween. In fact, I find that you can still look fun, cute and beautiful (if you so choose to) on this holiday without needing to dress sexy. I’m not saying you have to be a prude and dress like a nun. But I think there can be an even balance of cuteness and functionality to Halloween costumes. Here are a few fun costumes that are practical and pretty:

As you can see, it is possible to maintain the fun of Halloween without having to sexualize everything. Hopefully girls this year and in years to come will realize they don’t need to be sexy to have a good time. They are perfect exactly as they are—and that quality shows when they relax and focus on the fun during this festive time of the year.


Shana is an English Literature and Secondary Education major. She loves to write and has been writing since early middle school. She hopes to have her first book published within the next few years. She also enjoys knitting, singing, and cooking.
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