What do you think about wearing skimpy or revealing Halloween costumes; are they empowering, demeaning, or just simply costumes?
How a woman decides to present in a public space is her choice. To police what a woman wears is to police her body, which denies female autonomy. With that said, the female body is perpetually hyper-sexualized in order to reduce women to their bodies . . . Skimpy Halloween costumes undoubtedly articulate that reduction, because they highlight the sexuality of the female body. If you purchase a skimpy costume, you’re inevitably buying (literally) into this patriarchal reduction (and commodification) of women and their bodies. If you’re ok with that, though, or if you’re wearing that skimpy costume for yourself because you feel attractive in it . . . of course you should feel free to wear it. Your body, your choice.
I’m all for women wearing whatever they want, unless it’s culturally appropriative or offensive. I also don’t have time for slut shaming. But women don’t make decisions in a vacuum, and we live in a society that hyper-sexualizes and objectifies women. But maybe it’s not about the fact that women wear ‘slutty’ costumes, but more about the patriarchal motivation to commodify women’s bodies. Also, to men, revealing costumes do not equal consent and are not an invitation. The clothes mean nothing and consent is fucking necessary. That’s really my biggest concern when it comes to revealing costumes.
McLagan: Ooh, I wouldn’t say they’re empowering. I would say the people that would wear them are looking either to show off what they’ve worked on — meaning if they go to the gym hard, then they would wear them to show off — or they are looking to find attention somewhere else, from the male or female gender.
Armstrong: I would have to agree that they’re not empowering, and I would also have to agree that they’re trying to show something off. I think they get a lot of attention, and that’s true, and it kind of depends on what the person’s looking for. But, I mean, if it was me, and I wanted to dress up for Halloween, and I was a girl, I don’t think I would do that. I would have more fun putting together something that people would think was funny — I’m a pretty humorous person. But I don’t know, I don’t think you need to do that, but some people enjoy that.
Hamdi: Yeah, I would say they’re just costumes. I mean most people wearing them — in my opinion — are just looking for attention. So yeah . . . if you’ve been out to the gym a lot, show off what you’ve worked for and see about attracting that cute guy or girl.