For Halloween in 1994, my mom sewed me a Lamb Chop costume that pretty accurately mimicked the childhood puppet favorite, minus Shari Lewis’ hand and voice controlling my every move. The full-fleece body suit was cozy and, in my opinion, pretty funny. Needless to say, I looked and felt pretty good.
But to wear a Lamb Chop costume today for a college-aged woman is different; it would have to be a sexy or a dominatrix lamb because a costume without either of those qualities deems me both unattractive and homely, naturally. Since we live under an unyielding gaze that fools us into thinking that it’s wrong to do otherwise, some of us feel trapped in the cycle of animal ears and sex-ridden, unfunny and unspooky outfits that transform an ancient celebration into a glorified orgy, if you will.
In the attempt to grasp the blurred line between sexy and awesome, Halloween is now more overwhelming than anyone ever wanted, at least for some of us.
I’m not sure if the topic is incidental, or even amusing, especially on a broader level, but since it’s Halloween I thought I’d scare some readers into inspiration. Now, I’m not undermining the empowering sexiness that can come with a righteous Halloween costume. I’m all for being, feeling and living sexy.
But dressing hotly for anyone but you and for the wrong reasons only sustains the grip that society has on us, and it makes an appearance every Halloween. It’s one thing to dress as awesome Lara Croft and threaten people with a whip that you made yourself; it’s another thing to buy the “Naughty Little Red” costume from Party City that is made of felt and tissue paper for $49.99 and sits next to “Mile High Captain.”
See what I mean? Just don’t shop at Party City, for one thing. But the other thing is that there’s so much more to Halloween than those shitty costumes that allow us to be pornified, year after year. Book characters, puns, metaphors, TV role models: The list goes on, as does the potential for wittiness, humor and downright awesomeness.
While some of us are expected to wear petite onesies, football jerseys without pants, and ass-bearing miniskirts, I see Halloween as a chance for us to be anyone in the world, and the world is a lot to work with that goes beyond using yourself as something to sexify, only because you’re told to do so by places like Party City.
I encourage all of us to aim for hilarity over skimpy, scary over submissive and smart over stupid. All of those together make for a sexiness that carries itself past Halloween throughout the year – maybe you won’t even need a costume this time around.