Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Open Letter

Dear Women-

So it's Halloween today. Which means all across the country, you guys are putting on the fishnets and bustiers that go along with your "naughty nurse" or "sexy school girl" costumes. To you I say, seriously? Isn't that SO played out by now? Don't you feel like a giant cliche when you say to yourself, "I'm not just a policewoman, I'm a SEXY policewoman!!!" Can you still do it with a straight face?

Let's just set aside all the feminist and social implications of the hordes of women who use Halloween as a time to wear costumes inspired by the sex trade industry, shouldn't we as a gender be embarrassed at our complete lack of imagination when it comes to this holiday? Those costumes are not interesting, they are not clever, they are not funny-they are obvious and boring. I realize that for many of you out there, Halloween has become Slut-oween and you just can't wait to play out your long held dream of being a pole dancer but I'm asking you, as a fellow female, to think about what kind of message you are sending about ALL of us when you choose to wear something so completely devoid of imagination.

If you are super attached to the idea that Halloween needs to be Show-some-skin-oween there are still plenty of options that will at least show the world that you put a little thought into your costume beyond "what would a porn star do?" I'd rather see 1000 Wonder Women costumes than one more cleavage bearing nurse. At least Wonder Woman has serious super powers right? Not just the ability to attract men using a naked upper thigh. I am not advocating pioneer costumes for all, observe for instance the ladies from the apparel department here at work:

Still attractive, still feminine. But also creative. And awesome. Girls that are more Project Runway than The Real World Las Vegas.

Ladies, let's stop being the props in the Girls Gone Wild version of Halloween. Let's be the kind of sexy that is smart and strong and confident. Let's give the men some credit that while they might get a short-lived rush out of a half naked "teacher", the good ones just really want to see you show some personality.

the girl getting laughs in the frog costume


ThomCarter said...

Modest = Sexy.

Word to you . . . now you need to send this out to every one!!!

Chris said...

Let's just set aside all the feminist and social implications of the hordes of women who use Halloween as a time to wear costumes inspired by the sex trade industry, shouldn't we as a gender be embarrassed at our complete lack of imagination when it comes to this holiday?

Shouldn't adults generally just be embarrassed generally by this holiday?


Sherpa said...

Joel Stein wrote a great op-ed in the LA times last week about this same subject.

Dainon. said...

I'm wearing a sexy cop uniform today, showing way too much leg at work. How you like me now? Or do you hate me?

I love Halloween.

k8 said...

here is the link to the article Sherpa mentioned,0,1575456.columnist?coll=la-opinion-center

the best quote:

"I understand that the masquerade ball is a classic that faded away, and that people need an opportunity to hide behind a mask in order to safely express their hidden selves. It makes sense that once a year I get to peek into your psyche and find out whether you think of yourself as a whore nurse, a whore pirate, a whore angel or a whore whore."

and dainon, there is a dude in a tennis dress here at the office today and let me tell you-when the legs are hairy, all the sexy goes right out the window.

Dainon. said...

Oh, but you haven't seen these legs.

Lee said...

I agree with a lot of what you're saying, but don't you ever EVER put down Real World Las Vegas again.

cropstar5 said...

can we see the frog costume? please?

brent said...

I was thinking about this yesterday. Halloween serves absolutely no purpose for adults, really. Why dress up? Why? If it's just for fun, then do it whenever, don't single out the last day of October just because kids do it. It's a shame I lack a spine or else I wouldn't have "dressed up" as Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer this year.

The slutty aspect to it is truly fascinating. I think it stems from some kind of desire to differentiate oneself from childhood. And for a lot of girls not much has changed since they were nine, except they have boobies and hair down there now. And, in the spirit of fairness, not much has changed for guys, either, who think of Halloween as a legitimate excuse to ogle.

Dainon, please tell me you didn't dress up as another leg-baring officer of the law: Lt. Jim Dangle of the Reno PD. Eww.

chloe elizabeth said...

So...I ventured to a party last weekend. It was not a church party, but as I live in P-town, I guess I had expectations that were a little high. It made me sad. Seriously sad.

k8 said...

i have no issues with a fun holiday where you get to dress up. saturday night and today at work there were plenty of funny and cool costumes. Halloween is fun. When it's Halloween. Not Skank-oween.

Miss Hass said...

I dread this holiday round these parts since their is a certain segment of the female population that thinks that animal ears and a bustier make a costume. I boycotted the holiday this year--mostly because I have a new haircut, but also because I hate it.

elizabeth said...

yeah. modest is like, totally the hottest. lolz.

f*bomb. said...

Whatever. I freakin' LOVE my Wonder Woman costume. Not only is it supercomfortable and it comes with a tiara AND fabulous boots AND amazing accessories AND fantastic red lipstick, but I save the world's humanity, one truth at a time. It doesn't get any better than this. Don't be surprised if you walk in and I'm just hanging out in my costume, eating a pizza and watching tv.

Thanks for the shout-out, K8. I'm glad she inspires other little girls to grow up to be Ultimate Justice League servants as well.

f*bomb. said...

And did Brent really just say what he said? Because, um...ew.

f*bomb. said...

My favourite part:
"Slut Day also can replace the "Pimps N Hos" parties scattered across the calendar, which are racist and sexist, with an event that is only sexist. That's a 50% reduction in offensiveness." You can't argue the math. The dude speaks in percentiles, and that just says "legit." TOO legit to quit.
"Let the Japanese hide their perversions in creepy clubs; we shall have a day when CBS will broadcast a parade where the grand marshals are Tila Tequila, the Pussycat Dolls and whoever is dating Brandon Davis."

Laurie said...

I was hoping to see some modestly dressed whores this year. No dice.

Sherpa said...

Dainon-only if you were what's his name from Reno 9-11. Only then.

Halloween used to be this fun, fairly innocent (more or less) halloween where kids could dress up as whatever, or the young at heart could dress up as fun costumes. Now, its turning into the holiday of the year for sex trade industry, and that I have a problem with. Here's another piece that talks about how hard it is to get an age appropriate costume for a pre-teen.

Sherpa said...

I should couch my last comment with the fact that I discussed that article from the WaPo as my best friend and I were walking back from the annual high heel race in Dupont Circle. That was incredible. Watching a drag race? Simply incredible. Now that's the spirit of halloween.

Whits said...

Amen to the Wonder Woman comment! I LOVE my wonder woman outfit that I bought 5 years ago. I think I've worn it like 10 times (even not on halloween!). Anyway, I completely agree with all you wrote.

Last night my brother and I were walking down Marlborough and Newbury. There was a group that walked past us and one of the women was dressed up as a sailor, so of course we saluted her and said "Ahoy!". The other girl was just dressed slutty so cam was like "are you just supposed to be a slut?" as we walked by.

HILARIOUS. but nonetheless, sad.

Salt H2O said...

Amen and Amen.

PS Did I miss some talk by a GA that said it's ok to remove your garments for a Halloween costume, because it's Halloween?

I was disturbed a few years ago when at a singles party in the HB, the Elders Quarm presidency showed up in speedos.

f*bomb. said...

Slutty is one thing; speedos are ALWAYS acceptable.
sheesh, Kory. Surprised you didn't know that.


k8 said...

a speedo is ALWAYS funny. and funny I approve of.

Sherpa said...

Speaking of which, this just landed in my e-mail today. Its a song Jill Sobule wrote for the Bryant Park Project on NPR.

"Women Whose Halloween Costume is Just That They're Slutty -- That's Not a Costume at All."

Halloween was my favorite holiday, but in these last few years
Something so terrible has filled me with fear.
It's not the razor in the apple; no, I heard that never happened
No, it's something much worse.

It's women whose Halloween costume is just that they're slutty
That’s not a costume at all.
What happened to Witches and monsters?
They left the Halloween Ball.

Just putting kitten ears on your head is not creative.
A skimpy black dress is not very scary -- unless you're Ann
tiletto heels are not that special unless worn by a man.

I'm not a prude, but I'm not a fan… of
Women whose Halloween costume is just that they're slutty

That’s not a costume at all.
What happened to Witches and monsters?
They left the Halloween Ball.

Okay, maybe if you play a dead prostitute from, say, Jack the
ripper days
Or maybe a zombie whore from outer space.
But the naughty devil outfit in lingerie?
Well, that's... just not good.

She wrote them in a day, so they well, could use a little polishing, but it more or less echoes the general sentiment here. ;)

Salt H2O said...

I completely disagree, you can't critize women for taking off their clothes to be sexy yet commend men doing the same to be funny.

k8 said...

and i respectfully disagree as well. it's the misuse of sexuality i have a problem with, and to me, a guy in a speedo is not sexually degrading.

k8 said...

and sherpa-that is a great song. i've also sent that joel stein piece out to everyone i know. thanks for passing them both along.

Pam said...

Hey! I slutted it up on Halloween this year. I'm not gonna lie. I'll admit it. But here's the thing... did you ever see an overdressed aerobics instructor in the 80's? I didn't think so... ;)

aporitic said...

I agree with all that you've said as it pertains to slutty Halloween costumes.

Long after all the kiddies had gone to bed, we got a ring of the bell and there were two girls in sluttly halloween costumes (slutty nurse and slutty firefighter). They were late high school or early college age (who can tell anymore, they all look like kids to me). They said they just had to trick or treat at one house. I got the impression they had gotten dressed up and then had nowhere to show off their tawdryness (or lost the nerve to show it off in daylight) and just needed someone -- anyone -- to see what they'd done.

I couldn't help but feel a little sad for them. I mean, here is a holiday with nearly no boundaries when it comes to expressing yourself creatively and the best that they could do is a prepackaged, off-the-rack, lowbrow, T&A fantasy get up. Such a waste.


On the other hand, I take exception to that Wonder Woman nonsense. The naked upper thigh IS a serious super power. But then, so is any other body part when attached to the mind of a competent and engaging woman.

brent said...

"I'd rather see 1000 Wonder Women costumes than one more cleavage bearing nurse. At least Wonder Woman has serious super powers right?"

Wait a second here. I don't know how I missed this part the first time.

So Wonder Woman gets a pass because of her super abilities? And a nurse who saves lives and alleviates suffering in the world (and happens to show some cleavage) merits our condemnation? That is a perfect example of abilityism: giving super heroes preferential treatment while the average human gets dumped on. Tsk tsk tsk. Shame shame shame.

And isn't it a misuse of sexuality to fight crime and promote truth and justice, all while scantily clad? I think so. Is Wonder Woman's attire supposed to make me want to obey the law or something? Yeah, right! No wonder she was fighting crime all day long...her "uniform" probably inspired all sorts of illicit behavior, further perpetuating the superhero-villain industrial complex.

I mean, Wonder Woman could have just as easily flown in her invisible jet, deflected bullets with her bracelets and wielded her lasso of truth all in a nice tailored, wool-blend pantsuit or khakis and a button-down. But no...she had to go sex it up with her knee-high boots and her sexy swimsuit.

But in the end, I agree with you, Kate. If you're gonna show some skin on Halloween, heck yeah, choose Wonder Woman. She's the best underdressed female professional out there right now.

k8 said...

full disclosure-the wonder woman comment was a shout out to a good friend, who I specifically didn't want thinking my post was directed to her.

RWest said...

i love this one! mike and i went to a party in provo...and i think it takes the cake for being the hoochiest halloween party i have been to...i am glad to say i was David Bowie for halloween. i liked your costume as well