On Halloween

It’s October, and we all know what that means. Pumpkins and candy and…women dressed up like hookers.

Manolo for the Big Girl had a post up today about luscious ladies dressing like skanks, along with a polite request not to do so. They argued it from the point that dressing up like a cheap hooker smacks of desperation, and we buxom dames need not sink that low. But I think there’s another point which could be reasonably argued as well, which is that dressing up like a skank is demeaning. It’s not empowering. It’s not sexy (at any size). It’s just sad.

My gentle readers know that I am not the rabid feminist type, champing at the bit to attack any perceived slight to the female gender, but I really think that dressing up like a slut is denigrating. There are a lot of things that bother me about it, living in the sexualized culture that we do, although Brendan might argue that it bothers me because we live in a culture where that kind of clothing has become charged. When I see women tarting themselves up in too-tight clothing with heavy makeup and teased hair, it fills me with abject sadness and pity.

This is not an issue of fat. I am well aware that many people in this culture claim to find anybody over a size six physically repulsive, and that many of these same people make humiliation of fat people a mission. If it was just an issue of fat, I would say that large ladies should live it up in tight clothes, pointing out to the rest of the world that we do exist, damnit, and a lot of us actually have really nice bodies. But I don’t think anyone should take the cheap route by dressing up as a hooker for Halloween because…well, because it’s cheap. And degrading. And sad.

One of my male friends dressed up as a “naughty nurse” last year, which was sort of funny in that he was making fun of the whole concept of dressing up like a hooker. The pictures are pretty priceless. But seeing a woman in the same costume raises a lot of issues for me, as it cheapens the nursing profession while also devaluing the wearer. Why would anyone do that to herself voluntarily?

We ladies have a lot to offer to society. Why not wear costumes which are actually empowering and cool, rather than just slapping on a pair of hot pants and calling it good? One year, I went as Queen Elizabeth I, which required an awesome costume with huge skirts and a tightly laced top, and hours of careful makeup and hairstyling. It was a lot of fun, and I got a lot of comments. In fact, while the sluts/skanks/hookers/naughty whatevers leaned against the wall looking petulant, the males at the party crowded around me to compliment me on my costume.

So, if it’s about attention, wear something awesome and over the top. Go as a Scrabble board, a Jenga set, a historical figure, a horse, something weird and eye-catching. Use some imagination. If it’s about empowerment, go as a strong historical figure like Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Susan B. Anthony, Alexander. Personally, I’m tempted to go as Napoleon. Or maybe Genghis Khan.

But please…ladies…don’t dress up as skanks this year.