- Posted by Johanna on October 19, 2006 at 12:30 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
As more fodder for the never-ending discussion about how women are portrayed in superhero comics, I found this NY Times article on female Halloween costumes that expressed many of the same concerns and justifications.
In her thigh-highs and ruby miniskirt, Little Red Riding Hood does not appear to be en route to her grandmother’s house. And Goldilocks, in a snug bodice and platform heels, gives the impression she has been sleeping in everyone’s bed. There is a witch wearing little more than a Laker Girl uniform, a fairy who appears to shop at Victoria’s Secret and a cowgirl with a skirt the size of a tea towel.
Anyone who has watched the evolution of women’s Halloween costumes in the last several years will not be surprised that these images — culled from the websites of some of the largest Halloween costume retailers — are more strip club than storybook. Or that these and other costumes of questionable taste will be barely covering thousands of women who consider them escapist, harmless fun on Halloween.
… Dr. Nelson, a professor of sociology at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, said the trend toward overtly sexualized costumes actually begins with little girls.
… many women think that showing off their bodies “is a mark of independence and security and confidence,” said Pat Gill, … a professor of gender and women’s studies
… Many women’s costumes, with their frilly baby-doll dresses and high-heeled Mary Janes, also evoke male Lolita fantasies and reinforce the larger cultural message that younger is hotter.
… Ms. Getz of BuyCostumes.com said she wished there were more sexy men’s costumes on the market and that the lack of them is but further evidence of the gender double standard.
There’s more in the article, which ends by reminding the reader that Halloween takes place in the fall and in some places, it’s awfully cold to be wearing so little clothing.
Here’s a reprint of a similar piece, although from a more personal point of view.
Personally, I never considered buying a costume of this sort, because they always looked cheap and uncomfortable to me. I either cobble something together or just don’t bother. The only place I have to wear a costume is work, anyway, and that puts a restriction on choices to what’s considered “appropriate”. Instead of purchasing something, whatever happened to ideas and creativity being the most important costume elements?