veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

veritas exquirere

Talon

Facing the stigma of female Halloween costumes

Where is the equal selection of costumes?
Facing+the+stigma+of+female+Halloween+costumes
Party City

Halloween is a time for people of all ages and backgrounds to dress up as their favorite sports players, movie characters, career aspirations and other popular figures. However, through all this festive fun, as two high school females, we have noticed that the female costume market has dwindled into projecting only one type of costume to women: sexist and overly sexy, confirming gender stereotypes for women and girls. 

If a woman were to shop for her Halloween costume online at Amazon.com, they would be met with a plethora of costumes with revealing features. These costumes stray away from the true appearance and features of the character or person they are modeled after. They highlight sexual aspects of the individual that may have not existed in the first place.

Women have the choice to wear whatever they please, but what is offered in today’s costume market severely limits those choices. Overly sexualized costumes seem to be the majority of what is available for purchase. 

Monmouth University Professor Katherine Parkin expresses our opinion brilliantly by stating, “I’m not trying to be critical of sexuality. I’m just concerned that it has become the only way for women to express themselves on Halloween. Men have all kinds of options, but women have few options other than to take traditional costumes and sex them up.”

When typing “women’s cat costume” into the search bar at Amazon.com, we are met with instant results with options ranging from a plain t-shirt with a cat pun on it, to skin-tight bodysuits. As we continue to scroll and explore, we notice that many of the costumes available for purchase are purposely made to fit one’s body tightly, revealing one’s features. However, there are other, more conservative options for people to buy. The majority, however, are skin-tight.

Although there are other costumes available for purchase, we believe the over-sexualized costumes that are commonly seen on social media are likely to persuade young women to wear these costumes simply because it is an idea perpetuated by media.

The discrepancy between men’s and women’s Halloween costumes is hauntingly vast. For example, when searching “career” for men on PartyCity.com, a set of five costumes is shown: a man as a judge, a man as a boxer, a young boy as an astronaut and a young boy as a construction worker. Alternatively, the women’s costumes feature a woman in fishnet tights, bright red lipstick and a short black dress holding a duster as a maid. We cannot be the only ones who see a problem with this. 

Notice that the words “sexy costume” were not searched. Even so, the female representation in a “career family costume” is overly revealing and sexualized, and not even close to the actual clothing or uniform that a maid would wear. The title of the female maid costume is “Adult Sassy Maid Costume,” while the male judge costume is titled “Adult Judge Robe”. 

As you can see, even the wording of the costume titles is sexist and narrow. This could lead young girls to believe that to become a firefighter, maid, doctor, judge or any other respectable profession, they have to be sexy or sassy. 

When little girls around the world think about what they want to be when they grow up, the futures they dream of are endless; but, the costumes that are marketed in many specific professions set an example that narrows a girl’s future to a glorified and sexy version of the true profession. 

After seeing the plethora of unique costumes worn by people of all ages on Halloween, it is clear these pervasive societal norms have a strong influence on what women feel like they are expected to wear. 

People can of course wear what they desire – whether it be revealing or conservative. However, we believe that in this age of modernity, the costume market needs to stop presenting women specifically with only limiting options that are damaging and unrealistic portrayals of idolized figures in society.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Talon
$238
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Oak Park High School - CA. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Brooke Herstein, News Editor
Sydney Herstein, Features Editor
Donate to Talon
$238
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All Talon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar