For all my annual Halloween outrage, it may surprise you to hear that I’m not actually opposed to sexy costumes, although I confess to not always fully understanding the way “sexy” has become as central a part of Halloween as, like, candy, or scary things.
EVEN SO, I’ll allow there are many sexy costumes that are totally cute like this sexy ringleader, sexy cigarette girl, sexy “flapper” (note: this has nothing to do with flappers but is just a cute costume), and sexy flight attendant (YOU’RE TOXIC I’M SLIPPIN’ UNDER).
Ladies have a right to their sexy costumes, and I’m not about to judge a woman for wanting to spend the last night in October with her ass hanging out of some $40 plastic costume assembled by sad children making 2 cents per 16-hour workday in some poorly ventilated Halloween Factory in China.
But some of these costumes really are stupid.
Exhibit A: Sexy (and Drunk) Racism
Nothing makes offensive racial stereotyping go down smoother than if it's been liberally lubricated with the sweet judgment-destroying power of alcohol. This “Sexy Shooter” costume manages to hit both the random-sexiness trope AND the cartoon Mexican trope, and comes complete with a belt fitted with plastic (for safety, I presume?) shot glasses and a “holster” designed to hold a bottle of tequila.
Similarly, the “Shot Glass Geisha Girl” costume comes with a vaguely kimono-y garment with several plastic shot glasses fitted to what might be loosely identified as the obi of this utterly fake kimono. Did you know that the geisha tradition dates back to the 1700s, and that geishas were primarily artists and performers, and that the geisha profession offered many women an opportunity to support themselves without the pressure of landing a husband? WHO THE FUCK CARES, right? History and culture are SO BORING.
Exhibit B: Sexy Logic
Via Boing Boing, I learned of the existence of this “sassy” -- “sassy” being inoffensive code for “sexy” for “family-friendly” environments -- costume repping the famously zaftig Ursula from “The Little Mermaid,” a much-beloved DIY costume choice for many an inventive plus size lady.
It’s cute, right? And officially licensed, demonstrating that even Disney recognizes that the battle against Halloween sexification is a losing one.
The only catch? IT’S NOT ACTUALLY AVAILABLE IN PLUS SIZES. Womp womp. If you’re a fatass bro who wants to be Batman? You’re covered. But anyone roughly the size of Ursula in the movie could not wear this costume. That’s what I call sexy irony, my friends.
Exhibit C: Sexy Food
Speaking of being fat, hamburgers are seriously underappreciated as sex objects. Or maybe the level of sexual appreciation they receive is pretty apt. Either way, this burger is so bread-heavy it doesn’t look very appetizing to me.
Maybe if it had some sexy mustard:
Or for the discerning sexy vegetarian, some sexy corn:
In truth, I think the sexy corn costume is absolute genius. I can’t even pretend to lie about that. (Thanks to the astute commenter who first put me on to it!)
Exhibit D: Sexy Anachronism
Sexy Mental Patient has been a common theme over the past few years, one often illustrated with the use of straitjackets. Straitjackets have largely fallen out of use as chemical means of controlling mentally ill individuals have become more reliable and common; the abuse of straitjackets in late 1800s asylums, and their later employment as torture devices in prisons have left this garment with a tragic name.
These days, straitjackets are mostly of interest to folks with certain sexual kinks, or people interested in escapology (or both). Of course, that doesn’t stop us from associating them with crazy people.
Or “sexy” crazy people. Like this “Anita Sedative” costume below.
Do you want to know how much higher instances of rape are amongst mentally ill women, both in and out of institutionalized settings? OF COURSE YOU DON’T, that’s not fun or sexy AT ALL.
Exhibit E: Sexy Schoolgirl
Guys, this is not a schoolgirl costume. At best, it's plaid. Sexy plaid. But it's not a schoolgirl costume.
I have nothing else to say. It’s just not.
Exhibit F: Sexy Colonialism
Every year, Native American costumes are everywhere, and it still seems like most of us just don’t get why they’re so damn offensive. Simply put, these costumes are caricatures of a monolithic “Indian” culture that ignores the tremendous and magnificent diversity of the various peoples who were the original inhabitants of this country, until Europe invaded and basically ruined EVERYTHING.
What were the happy results of having destroyed untold unique cultures and lives? Now we can dress up like them and call it cute! Check out this “Reservation Royalty” costume, rendered all the more bizarre by the “reservation” in the name, which would seem to suggest this is a post-invasion Native American costume. Reservations didn’t exist until the mid 1800s, when it was decided that the federal government would kindly move those troublesome Native Americans to some often-unfamiliar land -- usually difficult-to-cultivate land nobody else wanted -- as a path to “peace” with these people who were still having a hard time accepting that white Europeans owned this joint now.
Oh and they could get taught about Jesus and how not to be so Indianish anymore too.
The above costume boasts an “authentic Native American beading applique.” AUTHENTIC, everyone. Pair this with the “sexy” male counterpart costume -- “Chief Wansum Tail” -- and see how long it takes for someone to tell you what assholes you both look like.
Also, check out my recent revelation that the only difference between many “sexy” adult costumes and their “tween” versions is the name. If it’s on a woman over 18 it’s sexy, but on a girl under 13 it’s sweet?
I mean, aside from being gross in a cultural appropriation sense, these two “Eskimo Princess”/”Sexy Eskimo Kisses” costumes are IDENTICAL. It seems the only thing that makes one sexy and the other innocent is the age of consent in your particular locale.
Had enough costume commentary yet? TOO BAD, we’ve got three more weeks of this to go, so get comfortable.