Remember that scene in Mean Girls where Lindsay Lohan walks into the Halloween party dressed as a zombie bride/ex-wife?
In the movie, the only thing more surprising than the scare factor of her costume was that it was not slutty. At all.
She says something really remarkable that highlights a crazy phenomenon in our society:
“In the regular world, Halloween is when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In girl world, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”
So how did Halloween go from dressing up as our favorite superheroes or fairy tale princesses to dressing up as the sluttiest possible thing we can get our hands on?
And more importantly, why?
TV producer and host Glenn Beck has joined forces with a group to fight the sexualization of Halloween costumes. On his show, The Glenn Beck Program, he spoke with a panel of women to discuss the consequences of gendering young boys and girls so early.
“I think one of the things that we see, Glenn, is that boys are able to run and play with their costumes, and with girls it’s about looking cute,” one of the panel members said.
You see this in the image above with the female and male lumberjacks. The man could actually pass as someone who could cut a tree down at any given time. The woman is not only dressed unrealistically-who goes into the woods like that?-but posed in a way where it is about her being a model rather than a lumberjack.
The pressure for women to prioritize vanity in everyday life has remained unchanged. But during Halloween, it’s hard to miss the absence of appropriate clothing on women and the hyper-sexualization of rather normal costume ideas.
“That’s why I love Halloween! Because of all the slutty costumes. Slutty zombies, slutty police officers and slutty firefighters…” a coworker said to me when I discussed this blog post with him.
His words highlight the problematic attitude revolving the issue. You might be a lifesaving firefighter, but your sexuality comes first. You might be a heroic policewoman, but your sexuality comes first.
It also illustrates the exact expectation for women. But one thing that needs to be looked at is whether women succumb to it because of the pressure or by choice.
Truthfully, we live in a society where women, particularly young women, are being bombarded with the importance of appearance: what is hot and what is not. Young girls are growing up in a society that strictly revolves around rating the attractiveness of their outward appearance.
Take lip injections for example. the newest phenomenon as of late due to Kylie Jenner’s recent ‘lip job’. Teenage girls are now under the impression that full lips equate to beauty. But who is setting this standard? And better yet: why are women allowing this standard of beauty to be set?
We are the ones who hold the bar, and we are the ones in control of how high or low we want to raise it – while you can hell as sure wear anything you please this Halloween, perhaps take into account whether or not you allow yourself to become a sexualized object.
The overjoyed reaction from most males this holiday seems to stem from the sexualization of the female body, not about what they are wearing, but rather what’s under it (and before you lash out, note I wrote “most” not “all” males).
I’d rather not be subjected to sexualization this Halloween, just as much as I don’t appreciate having my outward appearance rated by the opposite sex.
Because despite the popular trend of pricing females as “dimes”, we are priceless.
Maybe Lindsay Lohan had a point. The competition between females to constantly outdo each other is a sad reality we face daily. But if this “girl world” we’re living in is now functioning on our ability to “outslut” each other to fulfill the expectations set by men, we have some serious rethinking to do.
This blog post featured a special guest and friend of mine, Samantha Turchan. Check her out at http://www.samturchan.com