As the weather heats up and we all strip down as bare as we dare, the debate over modesty in American culture, much like the heat, rages on. One particularly fiery area of this debate centers on the popular trend of wearing sexy costumes on Halloween night. October is rapidly approaching so the question becomes: are sexy costumes fun or too far?
The Case Against Sexy Costumes:
Some argue that Halloween just gives people (read: women) an excuse to look totally inappropriate without being yelled at by their grandma or arrested for solicitation by the police. As a female, I can tell you that both of those things often happen anyways. Also, as someone who didn’t exactly jump for joy when I saw a sexy Koala costume last year (Seriously? Now I can’t even go to the marsupial exhibit at the zoo anymore without feeling dirty!), I can understand why that argument can seem valid. Why not cover up and look cute on Halloween? Why the fishnets and bustiers?
Not only are sexy costumes “inappropriate,” they also can be quite uncomfortable. Nobody likes pulling down their skirt all night or trying to avoid eye contact with the middle-aged creep who’s eying you across the room at a college party. Maybe it sends the wrong message. Though it may not be an ideal first impression, a sexy costume says…sex. It says it loud and clear. Maybe that’s not the word us ladies should be projecting on a night when too often people get drunk off pumpkin punch and make poor choices. Perhaps modesty is the best policy. These are arguments repeated time and time again by worried parents, gossipy middle school girls, conservative Republicans, and protective older brothers.
The Case For Sexy Costumes:
To those who don sexy costumes or support them, these arguments are either wrong-headed or irrelevant. Not only do sexy costumes themselves not send an inherently immoral message about the character of the woman who wears them, but even if they did, it doesn’t matter! Hating on sexy costumes is just another way of people (read: men) trying to tell women what to do. Men dress up completely inappropriately on Halloween all the time and nobody bats an eyelash, but as soon as a girl wears a mini skirt and some clear heels the whole world has to splash holy water and cry “Sodom and Gomorrah!” I once saw a man in a skin tight Batman costume. You could see ALL of his business. But nobody was running around behind him telling him to cover up his little caped crusader! This isn’t the 17th century. Women can read. Women can vote. And they can wear whatever the feel like, whenever they feel like it. It’s that simple.
Sexy costumes are just another avenue of expression. They are a way to step into a fantasy, even if just for one night. There’s no reason adult women shouldn’t be able to wear whatever makes them feel sexy. I was once a sexy school girl for Halloween and found the whole thing quite liberating, even if some drunk dude kept snapping my suspenders. It was a night of pure fun and isn’t that what Halloween is all about?
Also, who says that sexy is just for women? Men who want to show a little skin should feel totally free to do so! I know I enjoy it. So carry on, skin tight Batman. Carry on.