There was a time when Halloween was predominantly for young children to dress as pirates and princesses and map out neighborhood routes for the night to target all the houses that gave out the best candy.
However, somehow we have turned a fun holiday into a day when wearing lingerie outside of the house is normalized.
The sexualization of Halloween costumes needs to end and the holiday should be given back to the kids.
While shopping with my niece for Halloween costumes, I was perplexed seeing almost every costume had two versions available; a normal costume and a “sexy” version.
You can be a sexualized version of any of your favorite fictional characters by adding fishnets, short skirts and thigh-high boots. From Toy Story characters to Disney princesses or Minnie Mouse, we have turned traditionally childish characters into outlets that objectify women.
Halloween stores have begun emulating costumes being sold at sex shops and deeming it acceptable to also be offered in young adult sizes.
Girls are bombarded with sexualized costumes even at young ages and females are pressured into purchasing these sexualized costumes to feel accepted by society.
Even in films such as “Mean Girls,” Halloween is glorified as being “The one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girl can say anything about it.”
Young girls, who are continuously exposed to messages promoting these cliche stereotypes, can develop insecurities and set unrealistic expectations according to the American Psychological Association.
For years, many women have advocated for the discontinuation of some sexualized costumes. For example, there is the sexy nurse costume. This is a well-respected profession that is being demeaned by being sexualized in a Halloween costume. When you search for a nurse costume online, the only ones that appear are sexy and exaggerated — looking nothing like the traditional uniform.
With the sexualization of costumes like police officers, firefighters, doctors and teachers, the achievements of women in professions usually dominated by men, are trivialized by society still pushing for these stereotypical gender portrayals.
Halloween does not put the same amount of scrutiny on men as it does women. Boys are not looked at differently for their costume of choice, but girls may be teased and viewed differently by their peers.
Boys are also not faced with the progressive sexualization of costume choices as a little boy vampire costume will look exactly the same as an adult male.
Women are expected to dress in a hypersexual way on Halloween to fit into the social norm of the holiday. You will not go to a Halloween party without seeing at least one sexy cat.
Halloween is meant to be a fun holiday for kids with ghosts, goblins and candy. Halloween should no longer be an excuse for selling sex.