Everybody likes to dress up in fancy dress. Even the most conservative dresser secretly loves to masquerade as something extravagant and out of character for at least one night of the year. October 31st provides the perfect excuse to do just that; an American holiday that has been adopted as a night for horror films, guilt-free sweets and house parties, where the aim is to scare and be scared. It’s traditionally supposed to be a happy-go-lucky celebration of all things spooky rather than an excuse to reveal all, yet modern tradition has seen the rise of the latter in women’s costumes.
If you walked into any high street shop during mid-October, you are likely to have been met with a line of Halloween costumes for women that are advertised as ‘sexy’. From ‘sexy nurse’ and ‘sexy devil’ to such creations as ‘sexy pumpkin’ – two words that should never go together. What should be innocent has been subverted into a provocative design and mass-produced to encourage more women to buy them. Alice in Wonderland was not a femme fatale; she was a seven year old girl!
In our daily lives the media is pre-occupied with perpetuating the sexualisation of women so why must it transcend into festive holidays too?Perhaps this branding has wider implications about the state of society today. Women are criticised if they choose to be promiscuous yet encouraged to adopt that persona at every given opportunity. It’s no wonder that so many women buy into the myth that wearing next to nothing will turn heads. Conversely, this constant reminder to look sexy has seemed to have bypassed the male market, as most men will dress as something funny, geeky or suitably scary, if they dress up at all.
Why the fascination with female sex appeal? Instead of perfecting cat whiskers, let your hair down and party instead, carve pumpkins, play tricks on your housemates… Deep down you know your student loan doesn’t really cover the £35 for that ‘sexy’ costume anyway. By all means make the effort to dress up, (as we established earlier – we all secretly want to) but donning another set of bunny ears and French stockings will only make you seem easy and slightly insecure. This false advertising of ’sexy’ is really a synonym for a more cynical word and in the words of my flat mate Will: “I’ll let you in on a secret, men don’t actually find bunnies and cats attractive.” What people do find attractive is confidence and individuality so you’re far more likely to impress if you get creative with your look. This isn’t a choice between looking good or looking geeky and you shouldn’t feel pressured to dress in a certain way to please certain people. Gaining attention for your natural beauty beats a wolf whistle for a skimpy outfit anyway, so take heed of my friend Will’s wise words, ladies.