Full disclosure: I have never been sexy for Halloween. One year in college I bought a pair of black wings and some sort of headband and convinced myself for a moment that I would be a “cute bat.” But that little voice in my head reminded me, “You know what rhymes with ‘bat’? ‘Fat.’ Everyone will think of you as the fat bat.” Immediately that sapped whatever shred of confidence I needed to pull off any type of sexy costume then — or ever.
This was back in the late '90s/early aughts, when sexy Halloween costumes were relegated to about three things: a schoolgirl, an angel or a cat. It was sort of nice, actually. If you were purposefully sexy, you pretty much decided that you weren’t going to be clever. And if you were a sexy nurse, there was a good chance you’d be competing with a lot of other sexy nurses. It’s sort of like guy costumes; you could be “edgy” by either dressing as a priest or a buxom woman, but it meant you were pretty much wearing a sign that said, “I am not original.”
Man have things changed. Since then a whole industry has boomed around a variety of sexy costumes. If you want to look slutty on Halloween, no longer are you relegated to the same old three costumes. Now, apparently, you can be a sexy-practically-anything, including:
Sexy Bert or Ernie
Sexy Marvin the Martian
Sexy Mrs. Potato Head
Sexy Kermit the Frog
(Have you noticed that most of these costumes aren’t actually costumes but just slutty outfits with the face of the costume concept pasted onto the dress? Does that even count as a costume?)
My theory is that we’ve gone beyond costumery at this point and are just witnessing Halloween jokes. After all, the “sexy mental patient” was parodied in this video — but is actually available. This is now just a real-life meme, designed to see what inappropriate objects or characters can be co-opted into sex. I mean, the sexy honey badger is, literally, a meme turned into a costume. I can guarantee you that there are going to be some Mitt Romney’s binders full of women walking around this Halloween, and then we’re going to have. . . sexy binders full of women? How will that work? (“Duh, a binder with boobs on it, Claire.”)
But the point of being sexy and slutty on Halloween is to be sexy, right? To make people want to have sex with you while wearing a costume? I know people’s standards are seriously altered when alcohol is involved, but other than Ernie, who would ever be turned on by sexy Bert? The definition of “sexy” is being stretched too far. Next year we’ll probably start seeing things like a sexy Mr. Peanut, a sexy STD Test or a sexy turd. Maybe in two years we’ll see girls dressed as sexy penises, just to see how far they can push the limits of desperate heterosexual men.
Meanwhile, I’m worried that women will start thinking these horrifically unsexy/sexy outfits are actually funny and will start wearing them as jokes, which really sort of ruins the whole joke experience for those of us who like actual jokes that are more about humor and less “weird things with boobs incorporated into them.” Soon we won’t be able to tell what’s really sexy and what’s supposed to be a joke and before you know it everyone’s going to be walking around naked every Halloween laughing about how clever and sexy everyone is. Where will that leave those of us who don’t go for the sexy costumes? Being left alone and eating all the candy, that’s where.
Actually, that doesn’t sound so bad. Carry on, you slutty weirdos. Carry on.