It’s almost Whore-O-Ween; the time of year when women who might normally blush when wearing a plunging neckline show up at events wearing micro mini versions of Little Red Ridding Hood, police uniforms or even pizza. This weekend anything and everything that can be translated into a costume with hooker heels and a short skirt will be.
The super sexy costume phenomenon has been growing over the past several years. Adults are spending more and more on costumes each year. It’s hard to get a solid number but estimates for 2015 range from $250 million to $6.9 billion in the United States. No matter what the number, all you have to do is enter a costume shop to see that a lot of that money goes to sexy costumes for adult women. The walls are lined with prepackaged styles as well as tons of accessories to either make your own or add to the polyester cheapie number.
Haters are quick to see the trend as yet another sign that society is doomed and we’re all on the highway to hell. Personally, knowing the history of this type of costume, I see something much more positive. I see women who are grabbing at the chance to express their sexuality and break out of America’s repressive sexual roles on the one night of the year when as Lindsey Lohan said in Mean Girls, “You can dress like a slut and no other girls can say anything about it”.
Sexy costumes are nothing new. Look at any era with lots of societal repression and you will see a proliferation of costume balls where ladies (and gentlemen) pushed at the constraints of what was considered proper. In Victorian times masquerade balls were all the rage where a proper woman might dress like an geisha or peacock or if she’s really daring, wear pants.
The current wave of sexy costumes started following the sexual revolution of the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. Early adopters were those eager to shake off the rigid sexual norms of the 1950’s. It wasn’t until the sexual revolution spread from the coasts into middle America (at a snail’s pace), sometime in the 1980’s that the trend really grew. Fueled with the booming economy of that same era, Midwest moms now had the money and the inclination to throw on a mask and become their sluttier alter ego. I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely more powerful and outgoing at parties as Wonder Woman than I ever am as Karen. I think this expression of sexuality is fun and healthy, especially for one night.
Which brings up the other point about whore-o-ween costumes. If we wore them all the time they wouldn’t be nearly as much fun. Only dressing erotically occasionally keeps it sexy. It’s partaking of the forbidden fruit and the rush of freedom that comes with it. If you follow fashion you will see that despite some insanely crazy sexy Halloween costumes this year, the true trend in fashion is very conservative. Look for lots of 70’s style turtlenecks this fall along with wide-leg pants and boxy dresses. Victorian style, high-necked lace blouses are a hot trend too.
I love this holiday and I love my costumes. This year I’m sexy Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz on Friday night (minus the hooker heels, because owww!) and Wonder Woman again this Saturday. I can’t wait to see how crazy my friends will get. The wilder the better. I applaud women who show a little chutzpah and defy societal “rules” of what you are allowed to wear based on your age, body type, marital status, and on and on. I say Viva Whore-o-ween! So this year, when you see more of your neighbor than you had planned because she shows up at your party in the tinniest fire-fighter uniform ever, give her a high-five for bravery and tell her she looks “smokin’ hot.”
(Note: I’ve only focused on adult women wearing sexy costumes for this post on purpose. Over-sexualized children’s costumes are not the same thing and I do not endorse them. If you are too young to fully understand sexuality then you are too young for a sexy costume.)
What’s your take on Whore-o-ween? What costume are you wearing this year? Is it daring for you? I’d love to hear from you. Join in the conversation in the comment section below.