“Look What She’s Wearing!”

Controversy Around the “Sexy Costume” Trend

by Ida Derish (Opinions Editor)

We all know what is coming when the insufferable “Backto-School” theme that assaulted our eyes for God knows how long disappears to make place for the orange and black. Halloween is a time of scary stories and horror movies, but mostly, it is known for the vast array of characters that run eagerly through the dark streets in search of loot (candy) and the houses illuminated by the smiling Jack-O-lanterns. No matter the nature of the costume (scary, alluring, or comical), one thing is certain: everyone is dressed to impress! Lately though, there is a pattern that one cannot avoid when entering the store or surfing the net: a sexy nurse, a sexy Freddy Krueger, a sexy Storm trooper, a sexy potato for all I know…clearly, there seems to be a trend
going on. One can draw a link between these costumes: they are short, revealing, provocative…and worn by women.

For the last few years though, people started calling out on this type of costume, fervently declaring its lack of resemblance to the character that is “supposedly” portrayed, as well as the absurd nature of walking around in underwear when it’s freezing outside. Many blogs and sites such as Feministing.com went too far. It is one thing to moderately call out the vice and unpracticality of such a wardrobe, but going as far as calling the wearers heinous names is immature, ridiculous, and idiotic. Imagine a young woman dressed up as a female Thor; now think about something not-so-nice that rhymes with it to nickname her incessantly while rolling your eyes during the party. It’s too easy. You probably think you’re so clever. Don’t pretend you don’t know exactly what I am talking about. This is just to show how society has inculcated into our minds that throwing such words at women is fine, as long as it’s justified. The problem is that it isn’t. Never. Used by both women and men, very nasty terms are constantly pinned onto girls that dare show some skin. This kind of attitude is called slut-shaming. According to Feministing.com, women are “walking and talking demonstrations of sexism” when they don anything described
as “sexy”. This isn’t just light criticism: it is assault, harassment, and degradation of one’s identity. It needs to stop.

Revealing your body and being comfortable with your sexuality does not mean you are an anti-feminist. It does not mean you are sexist and feel like condemning other women to subjugation of the male sex for years to come. I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a paranoiainduced conspiracy theory to me. Even if in your eyes the costume is foolish (and chances are it might be), the
person wearing it is just trying to look good. If a girl wants to rock racy Ewok garments, why stop her? Most women will not wear this to a kid’s festival; they will put it on to go party with some friends, so please tell me: what is the harm?

This kind of backlash is not only unacceptable, but it also defeats the whole “intended” purpose of the party that advocates equality and freedom of expression. Obviously, cleavage and scantily-clad underwear is not for everyone: many prefer to stay true to the characters they embody. Some girls do enjoy going out as the 11th Doctor, going to great lengths to recreate the iconic screwdriver and the bowtie. But expressing disdain toward provocative clothing is just rude and ignorant.

If it’s in an appropriate place at an appropriate time, why not let a girl show off her assets?

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