by Maggie Kerry
Every year during this time, there is the never-ending discussion about women and their choice of Halloween costumes (I know what you’re thinking, and chances are you have probably read a handful of stories similar to this one). A lot of these discussions result in slut and body shaming. Halloween does not mean that you can simply dismiss those values of what it means to be accepting and body positive towards others. It does not mean that you have a free pass to slut shame either.
It is already an issue that a lot of Halloween costumes for women are aimed to objectify. It is already an issue that some women may feel pressured to wear these costumes. An issue that people often dismiss is the issue of shaming women when they choose and want to wear one of these costumes.
The really cool thing about feminism is that it empowers women to wear what they please. It empowers them to not feel afraid to dress in a way that society may frown upon. Some recent wise words from Lena Dunham were, “A huge part of being a feminist is giving other women the freedom to make choices you might not necessarily make for yourself. Just like we should respect women who cover up for reasons of shyness or modesty or religious beliefs, we have to allow for the woman who wants to walk down the street in booty shorts.” What makes a Halloween costume any different?
So, here is a list of tips and reminders to be respectful towards others and their choice of attire this Halloween season.
Let’s call this Halloween Etiquette.
Don’t let society fool you into thinking only certain body types fit particular types of costumes. Society tends to do a pretty good job at that. The model on a pre-packaged sexy Judy Jetson costume (rad example right?) does not mean only the body type of the model can fit and pull off that costume. To criticize a woman’s choice of costume because of her size and your belief that she might not look right in it is hurtful and disrespectful. No matter her shape or size, she is wearing this costume because she wants to. I bet she feels damn good in it. Accept her choice and remain body positive. All bodies are flawless. Period.
Don’t assume or judge. Just because a woman might choose to dress up as a sexy Judy Jetson is not an implication that she is sexually promiscuous. Even if she is sexually promiscuous, is it really your business or concern anyways? Believe it or not, it is totally okay for a woman to dress sexy and to feel empowered. Feeling sexy and empowered does not make you a slut. That sexy Judy Jetson costume does not determine her worth as a woman.
Come to think of it, does clothing really define a woman as a slut? Does it define their worth? I don’t think so. When it comes to the word sexy, anything can be defined as sexy. I think knee high socks are sexy. There are other people who may think otherwise. And there are probably people who think breakfast for dinner is sexy. You don’t see people assuming or defining someone’s worth over that though, right? So to define sexy clothing as slutty when sexiness if subjective is kind of pointless.
She is not asking for it. Just because a woman has chosen to wear a sexy Judy Jetson costume does not mean she is asking to be cat-called or asking for unwanted sexual advances.
There are obviously so many more reasons, tips, and reminders to be respectful this Halloween, but I feel that these are the three that some (well many) often forget. So, let that woman rock that sexy Judy Jetson costume without being judged. Metallic spandex and all.