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I love Halloween.
With all the candy and costumes, it’s by far my favorite holiday of the year. I can spend months planning out my costumes. The possibilities are endless, and I love most of all that I can be absolutely creative for this one wintery night.
But sometimes your costume doesn’t quite come together and you have to resort to shopping at a Halloween super store, like the Black Widow Halloween costume store on 28th and Arapahoe.
When you’re in the women’s section, you look and suppose there is a sort of creative variety of costumes to choose from. Like an angel, a witch or a vampire. But then you realize that these are all of a “hooker” variety.
To my dismay, the ENTIRE wall of the women’s section in the Black Widows store is covered in packaged outfits made by the Leg Avenue brand, as in “as much leg as possible.”
That was it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love provocative Halloween costumes. They can be a fun and sexy way to mix things up. But it’s a little upsetting when there are seriously more varieties of porno-grade pantyhose for sale than there are of actual accessories for legitimate Halloween costumes for when you want to do something different.
Last weekend, my roommate and I were looking for accessories for her Lara Croft from Tomb Raider costume. All she wanted was a badass gun holster that she could attach to her thigh, Angelina style. But we could find no such item in the whole store. The closest thing we found was a stupid, lacy, jeweled garter that held a “Hottie Police” pistol.
It’s frustrating to resort to “stupid,” when you were going for “badass.”
It’s even a bit disappointing when I look at the bigger picture of Halloween costumes.
If you’re shopping in the women’s section, you can be a sexy devil, a sexy piece of candy corn, a sexy school girl or even a sexy police woman, complete with a “Hottie Police” badge. Other areas of the section include a rack of all the different kinds of sexy latex and pantyhose you could ever want and a display of platform hooker boots, perfect for Colorado Halloween weather.
And when you’re picking from the guy’s section, you can be anything. Anything from a pirate, to a cartoon character, to a superhero, to a beer pong table. A beer pong table.
My gut tells me that I shouldn’t be ok with this… But it’s hard to simply point an accusatory finger at the companies who sell this crap. After all, these things are selling. We, the customers, present a demand for these costumes, and they in turn supply them. Are we to blame for this skew in Halloween creativity?
The idea tastes bitter in my mouth.
There’s a part of me that wants to be disgusted by all of this. However, my feelings are further complicated when I begin to ponder the concept of Halloween itself.
Halloween, also known as the Eve of All Saints Day, is a day without judgment, as a day of holiness follows after. Essentially, it’s kind of a spiteful and unholy “screw you” to All Saints Day. And all that we do on Halloween night embodies this very philosophy.
We dress up as devilish creatures, like monsters and witches. Costumes are showcased in blood and gore. We indulge in tricks, treats and all things that are sinful. So, based on our societal values, wouldn’t sex and sexuality logically fit into this mix?
On a night when we can get away with exposing our inner demons, do we overindulge in our sexuality because this is the one night that we can get away with that, too?
When I first looked at how overtly sexualized Halloween is as a holiday, I couldn’t help but feel a little disgusted and angry. But then I thought perhaps that it was our own demand for these things that caused this rampant takeover of Leg Avenue costumes. However, in realizing why we are looking for costumes in the first place, I grasped just how tragically poetic it all really is.
Halloween is about turning ourselves upside down and inside out. For one day out of the whole year, the deepest, darkest parts of ourselves can come out all at once as we celebrate. Instead of hiding our monsters and witches with the masks we wear every other day of the year, we can put on monster and witch masks instead. All of our inner demons can come out, and sexuality plays a large role in all the things that we repress and reject about ourselves.
The fact that sex and sexuality is so prevalent on Halloween reflects the degree at which society condemns outright female sexuality in normal settings. It also shows our capacity to be two-sided and hypocritical as a culture, with the whole chastising and simultaneously capitalizing on sex thing.
That is why we pay for stupid lacy props on Halloween.
Like I said though, I love great Halloween costumes, sexy and non-sexy alike. And I really enjoy how creative people can be in putting together their costumes. I just don’t think it is right to HAVE to go out of your way to be creative to avoid being limited to blatant sexuality.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Natalie Bui at Natalie.email@example.com.