A call for creative costumes

Vanessa Roach

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Each Halloween I used to look forward to eating candy until I couldn’t breathe, binge watching old horror movies and dressing up in costumes.

But in my experience, college-aged students have a whole new way of celebrating Halloween. Somewhere in a female’s young-adult years they are expected to trade scary for sexy, and candy for cocktails.

I have a problem with this.

There has to be more options beyond a naughty nurse or a minion. Women may choose to wear a “sexy” costume or a ridiculous one, but few option exist in-between. A mother wouldn’t take her child trick-or-treating provocatively dressed, so stores provide these sorts of costumes for this reason. For the childless, and often younger women, the other spectrum of costumes are available.

To prove my point I typed “women’s costumes” into Google’s search engine. The popular choices were sexy Batman, a Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleader, a plethora of tight Avengers costumes, a sexy Chucky (seriously?) or the Cat in the Hat (again, seriously?).

Further searching brought the usual horde of vampire, witch and cat outfits that were both extremely tight and short, or inappropriate for fall weather.

Halloween costumes used to be about dressing scary  like a favorite actor/actress or to show off a creative outfit, but frankly now it has turned into a holiday where it is socially acceptable and even encouraged to dress provocatively.

As children we are given candy for dressing in cute costumes and showing off to neighbors. But as young adults society often sends girls the message that Halloween is a chance to be someone else—someone more attractive, mysterious, popular and sexy.

High school and college-aged women no longer try to dress cute, funny or scary. Outfits designed to grab attention no longer do that because so many girls wear them. In fact, the more creative and less stereotypical a costume is, the more attention it will grab. And it will be positive and healthy attention from both genders.

Stereotypical costumes like the nurse, cop and cheerleader will always be on the shelves because they sell.

Personally, I take pride in making my costumes creative or unusual. The years that I’ve done so have also been the most fun Halloweens I’ve had, too. Partly because I wasn’t cold or uncomfortable.

Halloween is a time to express yourself by dressing up in costumes. Unfortunately many stores limit their costumes to what is trending including more provocative options. But there are many sites on the internet that sell unusual costumes or give ideas for creative costumes.

Just like finding the perfect dress, when time is taken to find an unusual costume no one else has, it makes the holiday much more memorable.