I am perplexed by women. Young, 20-something women. In fact, I like very few women my age. Most are self-conscious, jealous, and unoriginal. Hence my intense adoration for my mother and my 50-year-old best friend. Example numero uno a la unoriginal: choice of Halloween costume. Could there be a better metaphor for the state of mind of most of my peers? Out of everyone I talked to for this commentary, exactly two girls were thinking outside the whore box.
Nancy Dye, a bartender at Mongo's, was happy to oblige my questions. Her costume of choice? Marilyn Manson in drag. Last year, she was a witch and not a "wicked" witch. Rather than dress to impress, she likes to fool everyone. Her attempt to be unrecognizable on Halloween makes me instantly like her for her originality, of course, and for her goal of coming up with a better costume each year not a more revealing one.
Dye's theory on why girls are more attention-starved on Oct. 31 (and days prior): "A lot of girls don't have a sexual outlet, so Halloween is an excuse for them."
Another girl I talked to, Trieste, agrees that slutty costumes are a stupid trend, but girls wear them because they can get away with it. Her friend, a guy named Garred, thankfully, has taste.
"I don't play into that shit," he said about girls who dress indecently on Halloween.
See, girls? Some guys aren't into it.
Keith Wetzel, co-owner of Costume Capers in San Luis Obispo, confirmed my worst fears.
"The shorter the better," he said, sales-wise. He also contended that since Mardi Gras no longer takes place, girls will get even more wild on Halloween, in terms of costume choice and in terms of everything else, no doubt.
Now for the wannabe harlots. I talked to Paula, a future slutty cop, and two random girls who were dressing as Wonder Woman and a ladybug, respectively. I was shocked and appalled when I learned that Wonder Woman and ladybug costumes could actually be manufactured and sold in a sexual manner. Damn you, Fanny Wrappers!
The three girls agreed that they're wearing the risque getups because, one, they look good, and two, because they can. And let's not forget those accessories, making the ensembles even more sexualized.
"It's all about the handcuffs," claimed Paula, our filthy protector and server.
It's no surprise that Halloween has become another chance for escapism, a day of shameless costuming. Society almost demands it. Girls my age dressing as if they have no idea who their parents are or as if they have no conscience are a marketer's dream. The result? Fredericks of Hollywood, Agent Provocateur, and Victoria's Secret stock rises. And men in all stages of drunkenness get a free-for-all all-night peep show of something they probably won't see again until the following
year. They'll be lucky if one of the scantily clad partiers goes home with them at all.
I want an alternative. And this wanting reaffirms the fact that I was born in the wrong decade. My old-soul status seeps into everything I do, from the music I listen to (Sinatra), to the movies I love (The Thin Man series), and most definitely the Halloween costume I choose.
You would think that someone as sophisticated as myself wouldn't dress up for Halloween and I didn't. Until last year. After receiving a party invite, my creative juices started flowing. First thought: If I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this right. Second thought: What do I like that is scary? Third thought: Hitchcock. Fourth thought: Crows! After a month-long hunt in Los Angeles for "lifelike" black crows, I became Tippi Hedren from The Birds. I was proud of my inspired and non-smutty costume. My 72-year-old dad told me how much he loved it as he fastened the crows to my head. Yes, I was sexy (fishnets and stilettos), but I was bloody ... and fully clothed.
When we were kids, costumes were wholesome: Indian princess, prom queen, hobo, witch. We weren't afraid to be whatever we wanted. As we age, we become more frightened and more concerned with what everyone else on the planet thinks of us and what they want. We forget what really matters: how we feel about ourselves and what makes us contented. Instead of being scared, why not be scary and a hell of a lot more innovative on Halloween? Don't be a slutty (insert whatever you want here) because some costume web site told you to. It's a bad idea because of a lot of reasons I've already mentioned, but most of all it's BORING!
And by the way, girls, you're not fooling anybody. You won't be comfortable in your unseemly getup until you've consumed many, many Jell-O shots. And no good can come of that. Ladies, I challenge you to be more original, imaginative, and thought-provoking and not give into sexual stereotypes just because "you can" on Oct. 31. Or any other day of the year, for that matter.
Christy Heron believes if you have class, you should let it be known. Contact her at [email protected].