The Scariest of all Halloween Costumes

Ah, yes: it’s that time of year again. As the leaves fall from the trees and carpet the world with a golden dance floor, we use the chilly weather as a justification to drink way too many pumpkin spiced lattes. Gourds are being turned into great works of art, and dentists are drooling over the *cha-ching* of the influx of little children with candy-coma cavities that will soon be headed their way. When I was younger, Halloween was all about the costumes. For me, it was the opportunity to transform myself into something delightfully unrealistic. It wasn’t about the fright or thrill, but rather the fantasy that was to be found in the limitless possibility of my imagination. My debut as a pumpkin, a pirate, and even Ozzy Osborn hold fall memories of going door to door and moaning “Shaaarrroooon, bring me some caaaannddyyyy”.

But as I grew older, my baseball pants, bandana and eyepatch combo weren’t quite comparable to the outfits sold in stores and flaunted by my peers. While I was still rocking the stuffed-oversized-orange-sweatshirt-and-green-stem-style, some of my friends were decked out with french maid costumes that I know made their fathers cringe. Why had I never noticed the lineup of sexy zombie, sexy crayon and sexy lamppost in the costume isle? All around me it seems that halloween had suddenly turned into one big parade of bodies. When did that ever become OK? Who decided that ‘sexy mustard’ was a thing? (yes, that’s actually a marketed product…)

Ladies, when did we trade our creativity and wit in for nothing more than overglorified lingerie? While society may condone this ridiculous display, it’s important to realize the implications that such standards have on the objectification of women. As much as some may  argue in opposition, a serious desensitization has been at work within this arena. When a friend called my attention to this extraordinarily distasteful ‘Anna Rexia’ costume on the market, the result of this desentization had been proven to me. The appalling reality is that our society, which promotes the glorification of a woman’s body is now making a mockery of the very disorders that it creates through the exorbitant pressure placed on young girls who see such a display of the ideal body as necessary to be accepted. It’s no longer subtle. A disease that takes lives is being used as a sick attempt at a seductively comedic costume. Where are we going to draw the line?

So what can you do? Firstly, it’s necessary for women to start rejecting the position that society has deem appropriate as seductive playthings to be on display. If we continue to play the role, no productive paradox shift will have the opportunity to take root. We hold a great amount of power in the way that we dress and act. If we want respect, we should dress in a way that demands it.

Social advocacy is a great way for us to make our voices heard. One young women has refused to condone this absurd mimicry by creating a petition to the vendors of the Anna Rexia costume. You can sign the petition here. We know there is power in numbers. Over 40,000 people-men and women alike have already signed the petition, and I am proud to place my electronic signature next to theirs.

And this year, skip the store bought costume, and use your brilliance to create something of your own! I’m excited to be going as ‘Gender Discrimination’: because that’s some pretty scary stuff!

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One Response to The Scariest of all Halloween Costumes

  1. Kari November 22, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    I hate a lot of the Halloween costumes marketed to women, especially the racist or downright inappropriate costumes like the one you’ve mentioned in your post, “Anna Rexia.” These costumes are offensive and crude.

    However, if the costume is merely “sexy” and doesn’t offend via cultural appropriation or insensitivity toward real disorders, then I don’t see what the problem is. Women are allowed to be sexy. I think being sexy is great.

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