By Susannah Lewis
I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a prude. I’m completely comfortable being a prude. I always have been.
I’m also not ashamed to say that I don’t want to dress like a whore on Halloween.
When I was young, single and my boobs had yet to be tugged on and misshapen by newborn gums, I still opted for “funny” costumes on Halloween, as opposed to whorish ones. Keep the fishnet stockings. I’m rocking the heck out of that Gumby suit.
I had a vision for last year’s Halloween party. I would go as a Kleenex. Husband would dress as a booger. I know it sounds absurd, but I thought it was a brilliant idea. Hubs would wear green, throw some slime in his hair, and pin a “booger” sign to his chest. As a Kleenex, I would dress in white with tissue protruding from my hair. We go together like a booger and Kleenex. It was an epic costume idea. (And a frugal one, too!)
But wearing a white sweat suit with toilet paper spewing from my headband wasn’t exactly “sexy”, and most women use Halloween as an excuse to dress very, um, scantily.
“It’s Halloween. You have permission to run around half-naked,” my husband said.
That would be awesome if I harbored secret desires to run around half-naked the other 364 days of the year. But I’ve never stood in my closet and called out, “Hey, Babe! Have you seen my edible underwear and tassels? I’ve got to be at the PTO meeting in ten minutes!”
“But I don’t want to run around half-naked,” I declared. “I just want to be a frigging Kleenex!”
“Let’s go to the Halloween store and see what we can find,” he said.
We walked into the store and I saw exactly what we needed.
“Look! They have a slimy green wig! That would be perfect for a booger!” I jumped up and down with excitement.
“What about this?” he asked, holding up a piece of thong-cloth.
“Or this?” he examined a women’s Tinkerbelle costume folded into a neat 5-inch square.
I don’t get it. My husband usually appreciates the fact that I like to dress respectably. Why does he want me looking like a prostitute on Halloween? He’d never suggest that I go to Target in a garter belt and thigh boots. Why does he want me to dress like this on Halloween?
I searched the store for a wholesome alternative, but I could find none. Where were the funny costumes? Marge Simpson or Wilma Flintstone? A giant hot dog or slab of bacon? Why were all of the women’s costumes so inappropriate? Do women feel that it is mandatory to toss aside all self-respect on October 31st? Only the half-naked girls get candy, is that it? Does dressing this way positively affect their self-esteem?
We spent nearly two hours in that store. Hubs did a lot of begging. I did a lot of refusing. The loud heavy metal music and the crowds of young girls digging through a 2 for 1 bin full of glowing underwear nearly gave me a panic attack. I knew I had to go outside for some fresh air.
“Just pick out something! I’m going to the car!” I exclaimed, no longer caring what kind of inappropriate costume he picked for me.
When he exited the store with a Cheshire grin, I knew I was destined to look like a slut puppy.
He opted to be the Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood. He wore a red flannel gown and a wolf mask.
Of course I got stuck as Little Red Light District Riding Hood with a black vinyl-like corset, red cape, mini-skirt and fishnet stockings.
I’ve heard the story of Little Red a million times and I never pictured a trash bag skipping through the woods with a basket of contraception and penicillin. I looked more like a Swedish bar maid with a case of the Clap. There were laces on my shirt, for goodness sakes!
But I wore it, as a favor to my husband. However, the party was outside, and it was freezing, so I was covered by my long pea coat all night. People thought we were rocking some weird kind of sleepy wolf/ coat girl theme. But I didn’t care.
As I hid beneath my warm wool coat and looked around the party, I noticed that ALL of the ladies at there were half-dressed. There was a nurse who probably needed the help of a doctor when trying to remove her skin-tight uniform. There was a referee who couldn’t find her whistle in her cleavage. And there was Cinderella who should have been more worried about finding the missing 3 feet of her dress than her misplaced shoe. I looked around the bonfire and all I saw were weird porn-versions of otherwise normal occupations/fairy tale characters.
If dressing that way on Halloween makes you feel beautiful then go right ahead. Maybe you like the sensation of crisp night air on your butt cheeks. Maybe showing your nipples to a drunk guy in a Scooby Doo costume makes you feel empowered. Maybe it boosts your self-esteem. Maybe you wait 365 days a year to dress like an escort.
It’s your thing. Do what you want to do.
But for the ladies that don’t feel comfortable in that sort of Halloween attire, you don’t HAVE to wear it! Please don’t feel pressured into painting on your costume. Funny costumes and outfits that cover your body are just as sexy.
The stereotype that all women should dress like hookers on Halloween is degrading and disgusting.
I just wanted to be a Kleenex last year. A white, wholesome tissue. And I’m not ashamed of that. I’m not ashamed that I don’t want strangers to see my areolas. I’m not ashamed that I like to dress conservatively.
And if you feel the same way, you shouldn’t be ashamed either.
I would have been more comfortable in the wolf’s gown.
That’s exactly what I plan on wearing this year. And my husband will look great in that vinyl-like corset.