Newsflash: Halloween Costumes Go Sexy
The New York Times article Good Girls Go Bad, For a Day has spawned a series of opinion pieces concerning “costumes of questionable taste [that] will be barely covering thousands of women” on Halloween. The NYT wonders if “the abundance of risque costumes that will be shrink-wrapped around legions of women come Oct. 31 prompts a larger question” about feminism (impervious to irony, the NYT includes a series of images of the said costumes). A few of the talking heads questioned by the NYT had a few interesting facts and figures.
Christa Getz, purchasing director for BuyCostumes.com said that “there has been an emergence of ‘ultrasexy’ costumes in the last couple of years” and that “probably over 90 to 95 percent of our female costumes have a flirty edge to the,” adding that sexy costumes are so popular the company had to break its “sexy” category into three subdivisions this year. Heather Siegel, the vice president of HalloweenMart.com, said her company’s sexy category is among its most popular.
USA Today has Young adults go for sexy over spooky. Laura Petrecca and Matt Friedman write that the share of online searches for “sexy Halloween costume” was up 400% for the four weeks ending 21 October; and the amount spent on costumes is also up 38% over 2005 among 18- to 24-year-olds, 17% 25- to 34-year-olds. Costumes are mostly aimed at young adults, but teens appear to be joining in. (This news item has more on the web stats). USA Today has a blog with lots of comments and a series of links to other reports on this subject (they note, since they are also impervious to irony, that “Covering the trend has become a bit of a trend itself this year”. Really?).
There are lots of articles in addition to those listed by USA Today (Salon.com has the wonderfully titled “Taking back ‘Slut-o-ween’”, but you have to register to read the article). My favourite, though, is this one by ‘Brunettechicagogal’; who has a dig at the NYT piece, and the talking-heads questioned, then writes:
I’ll admit, I helped promote this weird trend once when I was in college. I dressed as a slutty witch (sorry, Dad), although my costume back in the late 80s was tame compared to what the ladies are wearing these days. It consisted of a lot of eyeliner and lipstick, and a really short skirt. Cleavage wasn’t involved at all. And I certainly wasn’t proclaiming to my housemates as I put on my costume, “Gee, isn’t it clever of me to objectify the image of the witch, who has been maligned throughout history as being a disciple of Satan but is in reality a worshipper of nature and the symbiosis that can emerge when we all respect nature and its elements. Thus, by dressing like a slutty witch, I am thumbing my nose at the patriarchal notions that have disparaged witches since the beginning of time.” Au contraire. I was hoping the guys would dig me. And some whacked-out cultural messages put the notion in my head that sexing it up was the way to do that.
Here are some of the “costumes of questionable taste” at http://www.buycostumes.com:
[UPDATE: for all my posts on the subject of sexy witch costumes, see: Sexy Witch Costumes Index.