All Sides of Your Halloween Self

Boo!! Halloween is next Friday, so two lingering questions await.  First of all, what type of candy should I buy to give out to children (read: eat myself)? Secondly, what costume should I wear? Answering the former question tends to be easier for me.  My strategy is to walk into the depths of the candy aisle at the grocery store and buy whatever strikes my fancy.  Though effective, this strategy is also expensive and tends to lead to a stomach ache.  Answering the second question is definitely more complicated.

As a woman, I feel bombarded with the pressure to only be sexy for Halloween.  It seems that the entire world of Halloween costumes is not geared towards women, and the sexy costumes that are designed for women are often deemed “slutty.”  To be clear, women should absolutely feel free to be sexy, sexual, and sensual, but we should also feel free to be scared, gross, ugly, and weird!  

Herein lies my perennial frustration with Halloween.  Is Halloween just a holiday on which women are scripted to be sexualized, or can we be free to express ourselves as lumberjacks, athletes, and tacky 80’s prom dates? 

One of my favorite Halloweens was Halloween 2009.  In 2009, my partner and I dressed up as each other.  He was a muscular, solid 6’ 2”.  I was half a foot shorter with long red hair.  Besides the hilarity that we experienced poking fun at each other all night and acting silly, the highest compliment that I was paid that evening was when men and women thought I was a man.  I still glow with pride as I think of how I effectively fooled dozens of our friends into thinking that I was a man. 

An important memory I took away from Halloween 2009 was the widely positive reactions I received from friends and fellow-party goers when I was dressed as an over-masculine man.  It was nice to be affirmed in my costume choice despite shirking Halloween’s unwritten rule of sexualizing women.  As stated previously, I encourage women to explore their sexiness; however, don’t be limited by your sexuality or reduce yourself to only a sexual being.  We are funny, smart, independent, creative, and sexual beings.  

So whether you spend this Halloween as Catwoman, a tandem horse, a bloody zombie, or a sexy nurse, embrace all sides of your being.  Moreover, do not let others reduce you to just sex.  Be sexy, smart, sassy, and beautiful.  Or dress up as a man with a fake 5 o’clock shadow and a dirty-brown shaggy wig…

Happy Halloween!

- Written by Katy Owen 

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