Halloween as a child is all about trick-or-treating, sugar highs and dressing up in fun costumes. As an adult, things are much harder, especially when you’re a woman looking for a costume.
After deciding to dress up for Halloween this year, I headed to a local costume store to pick something out. As I was looking at the women’s costumes, most of them had the word “sexy” in the title.
I decided I wanted to be the infamous clown Pennywise, and I wanted to be scary. When I told the worker I wanted to try on the Pennywise costume, he informed me it would be waiting for me on the back table. I walked back there, and it was not Pennywise.
There was no mask, no long ruffled pants or thick collar. It was a skimpy dress with knee-high stockings. I wondered why this was considered to be a Pennywise costume. When I asked, the worker just stated that it was the women’s Pennywise costume.
After he told me that, I went back and looked at the differences between the men’s and women’s costumes. Men’s costumes would be labeled “Police Officer,” and the women’s version would be “Sexy Police Officer.”
If the difference in titles didn’t make you cringe, seeing the costumes may. The men’s are just like wearing a police uniform. The variety of women’s were tight fitting spandex, cute frilly skirts, and low cut tops. I have never in my life seen a cop wearing a low cut, skintight spandex suit with pigtails in her hair.
To be clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman wanting to show her feminine beauty. I am all for a cute miniskirts and low cut tops on any day. It is the limited options women get for Halloween costumes that bothers me.
One of the main experiences you get from Halloween is to be able to dress up and be someone you are not. Sexualizing costumes not only makes that more difficult, but it takes away from the character itself.
The “sexy” version of Pennywise the clown looks nothing like the character is supposed to look, and I don’t want to be explaining what my costume is all night.
The selection of women’s costumes should not be so drastically different from men’s costumes. Dressing cute and sexy on Halloween is fun, but not all women want to look like that. For those who don’t, there are no options in mainstream Halloween stores—unless you choose from the men’s selection or make your own costume.