Your Source for Feminist Discourse

Do You Know What You’ll be for Halloween?

We’re only two weeks away from my all time favorite holiday: Halloween! I mean, who doesn’t love endless candy and awesomely creative costumes. You actually get to pretend to be someone for a night, and I think that’s pretty cool. Before coming to JMU though, I had never noticed how Halloween was really treated in a college atmosphere. The more I look around, the more offensive and degrading I see Halloween costumes getting.

About a week or so ago, my roommate and I were searching for costume ideas on Google and Pintrest. As we giggled through funny pictures and poses, I started to notice how revealing some of the costumes for women were. Not only that, but how some other ideas could really be considered offensive, even if they weren’t set out to be. For example, I came across a sexy nun, a drunken Mexican, and a “typical” Irishwoman. Then it really hit me – not only are these costumes objectifying women’s bodies, but targeting races and cultures. Who says you have to be Mexican to be drunk? I certainly didn’t know that was a rule, and I’m sure that the majority of JMU students (especially on Halloween) don’t either. Last time I checked, nun’s goals aren’t to be sexy, and Irish women don’t look all look the same. One of the most shocking options to buy that I came across was the “Caitlyn Corset.” This was the white bustier from Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover photo when she first announced herself as Caitlyn. The outfit was priced at a ridiculous amount of fifty dollars, and I’m assuming that’s without shipping. I couldn’t decide if the costume was to honor Caitlyn or to make fun of her. Days later, I still haven’t come to a verdict.

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That’s the thing about these costumes; they can sway either direction – if worn for the right reasons, they can be great. Sometimes it’s simply just the name of the costume and how you present yourself, as opposed to the costume itself. Ladies, love the skin you’re in and show it off. Feel comfortable and liberated in your body! Just make sure that you’re doing it for you and not giving in to anyone else’s wishes. Before you put something on or laugh at a “drunken Mexican” costume, think about what you’d be representing for a night. Make sure you decide though, do you really want to participate in that? Throughout the next few weeks when you readers are picking out your outfits for “Halloweekend,” consider what your costume really means. Focus on creativity and fun, and be respectful of what you’re representing! Halloween should be full of innocent joy, and absolutely nothing else. Treat yo’ self readers, happy trick-or-treating!

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