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Something Scary about Halloween: The Objectification of Women

Halloween is without a doubt a lot of children and adult’s favorite holiday. There are some pretty clear reasons. Besides the most obvious one of candy, it’s the costumes. Regardless of age, there’s nothing better than dressing up and spending Halloween having a fun night out with friends.

The most stressful part about this holiday is having to choose a costume… especially if you’re a woman.

I remember being in the seventh grade searching for the perfect costume, which was a disaster. My version of a bumblebee definitely wasn’t what I saw in the teenage section of costume shops. What was staring back at me was quite terrifying. It was a yellow and black striped tube-top made of spandex material that was attached to a short yellow tutu – not a skirt, a tutu (yes, there’s a difference).

Wondering how I was going to wear this, I looked at the model on the cover of the packaging. She was blonde, tall, thin yet somehow curvy, and her only other clothing items consisted of sky-high stilettos, fishnet stockings, and a bumblebee head bopper. Because in case you couldn’t tell, she was a bumblebee, duh. Being a stubborn thirteen-year-old, I was oddly determined to be a bumblebee for Halloween that year, and nothing was going to stop me. Not even that woman on the cover. So I bought the costume, wore it over black skinny jeans, and paired it with a black cardigan and flats.

My friends and I all had the same experience with searching for a costume that Halloween, which led us to also share one common question: why couldn’t we find any modest, simple Halloween costumes for people our age? Why was it only girls with this issue? I didn’t see any racy costumes in the guys’ section, so why was it necessary for all of ours to be sexualized?

What’s wrong with an actual bumblebee costume, one that people can look at and tell that it’s a bumblebee? Why does it have to be sexy? Bumblebees aren’t sexy! Don’t even get me started on the sexy fruit costumes.

The reality is that women are objectified. This is something every girl is aware of, regardless of how awful it is. All this says to a woman is: “You always have to look sexy! If you want a costume, you have look sexy! If you want to look sexy, you’ll dress like this! You’re supposed to look sexy!” The issues that can arise from a simple costume are far too many to list, but most rest on the foundation that from the time we’re little, women are told to dress in a way that men find attractive.

But what scares me the most is the fact that these types of costumes are hung in young teenage girl sections. Now don’t get me wrong, if there’s anyone that’s pro-female empowerment, it’s me. There’s just something genuinely wrong with sexy costumes being displayed in a section for young girls, without any other options.

Halloween is fast approaching, but with everything being said, women should always wear what they feel comfortable in. If you feel confident wearing a sexy watermelon dress, do it! If you feel like that’s too risqué, wear something that makes you feel at peace. But never wear something just because society tells you that you should look a certain way, or because you think that’s what men find attractive.

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