The first “holiday” of the cooler months is now behind us. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, because I get to see so many people of all ages playing dress up, and it’s pretty entertaining, creative, cool, fun, sexy, hilarious and scary! This is the one day out of the year we get to step outside of our boxes and be someone else for the day! It’s the one day out of the year that we get to forget the restraints of our work attire, our mom leggings, our suits, our teacher slacks, basically everything that screams “responsibilities.”
It’s been a while since I’ve dressed up and gone out to the bars. I did go to a Halloween party a few years ago, right before Covid. I was Alice in Wonderland and my fiance was the Mad Hatter. It was a super uncomfortable costume. It itched. Also, I was sucking it in all night long. It was good times, but I was ready for my lounge pants.
I go on Facebook, (lol first mistake) and I’ve kind of made my feed consist of people who spread positivity and rarely post politics. I do keep a few around who will annoy me every now and then, but I see greater redeeming qualities in them that keep me from unfollowing them. I rarely unfriend people, I usually unfollow. Anyway, I went on FB and of course, there it was. The post that caused me to write this blog.
I’m going to basically just tell you the gist of what it said, and not the exact words so I’m not singling someone out. It was a post complaining about the Halloween attire of some women and how their skimpy dressing is ridiculous and they are making spectacles of themselves, and some are "too old" for that, and how every year it’s an excuse to dress like a slut and how this person is sick of it.
Scroll and roll… that’s what I usually do. However, in this case, I stopped and read the comments, which were more of the same, all but one by other women. Each of them voiced their disapproval of said costuming. I really wanted to post a comment, but didn’t have the capacity to comment and that comment starting a whole thing. I’m not afraid of confrontation, but also, if I’m not in the right head space to deal with opening my mouth, I’ll usually keep it closed. So I’ll use this platform to comment.
Here is what I said, and then didn’t post:
“It seems like I'm the minority voice here- I kinda like seeing women own their sexuality and embrace their fun, sexy playful side! More power to them I say. I couldn't do it anymore, I'm just not in that space. However, to those who ARE, good on you ladies! Sexy has no age limit or body discrimination. Sexy is all relative - it's in the eye of the beholder. Obviously it's not for everyone and we all express ourselves differently. Whether you dress up for Halloween modestly or show a lot of skin - Go Ladies! You do you. 💓 💓 💓”
I feel this way because there are SO MANY reasons that women choose their Halloween outfits! It’s rare when we choose one with no thought put into it. I’ll just be honest and tell you that I’ll never be Jasmine from Aladdin, I’ll never be a mermaid, I’ll never be anything that shows my tummy. I’ve had four children, and it’s not the tightest around my midriff, and it’s an insecurity of mine that I’m not ready to have on display. I got good boobs though, so I might choose a costume that enhances that feature! Or I may choose a costume that just lets me be comfy like the year I was a dragon and wore pajamas with dragon feet slippers.
Halloween is a night when moms who normally are wearing sweatshirts with hot chocolate spilled on them, or are usually in leggings with thick socks, can just be free and feel sexy because daily life doesn’t allow for that. Maybe it’s a 50 year old nurse who is constantly in scrubs surrounded by illness and irritable patients who just wants to be a sexy delivery girl one night out of her life. Perhaps it’s a business woman who is constantly in suits who thinks it would be fun to show some skin because she works out every morning before the company meeting, and the thought of showing off her progress makes her decide to be a Playboy bunny. Or maybe the girl who was 200 pounds shed some weight, and although she has a ways to go, she feels GOOD being 165 pounds and she is a sexy cat for Halloween; she doesn’t care that her arms aren’t yet toned, or her inner thighs touch- she’s feeling amazing!
I could go on and on, but my question is this: WHY does this bother some people SO much? How does it affect your life if another female is owning her sexuality and her body, and chooses to embrace it and show some skin? Why does this make you so upset that you need to go and put them down on social media? What insecurity does this trigger for people? This makes me sad actually, because especially today, when we are learning to accept our bodies for how they are, when we are learning not to shame other women, but rather be their cheering section, this is what one woman decided to put out there.
Now before you think I’m shaming this one person for her post, I want you to know that I don’t want to bring shame on her. I would like people to instead just take a hard look at themselves and determine what it is that we are putting out into the world. Especially us women. We raise boys to become men. We raise girls to become women. We are aunties, mothers, grandmas, friends of people who have children… let’s do our part and raise them with the idea that they will accept other people as they are.
WHAT ABOUT MORALS??? I can practically hear some of you scream. Ok ok, I get it. There may be a time and a place for sexuality when it comes to a naked or partially naked body. (Only because of children present whose brains aren’t developed to process the message of sexuality) That is also going to vary from person to person. My thoughts are, I’m not wearing a risqué, sexy Harry Potter costume to a child’s Halloween party. But, you may encounter me going out in my sexy ass costume later in the evening, and playfully shouting “Expecto Patronum” as I point my wand at you! And I’m 48 years old. Life does not require me to start shopping at Target’s Cottage Core inspired frocks now that I’m almost 50. Who made up that rule?
Look, I understand that not everyone is comfortable with sexuality and naked bodies. A lot of that has to do with our upbringing, our environment, and our religious beliefs. That’s perfectly ok to NOT be comfortable with this. You don’t have to go out on Halloween. You don’t have to go places where people are partaking in beverages and grinding away on the dance floor. However, if you choose to, that is what you may encounter. Choose to enjoy it and be entertained! Admire their courageousness, their unabashed zest for playing dress up, their wild side they’ve unleashed for ONE FUCKING NIGHT out of the year!!!!
On the other hand, I remember a time when I didn’t appreciate other women in their skimpy costumes. It was around the time I was feeling insecure about my own body, insecure in my own attractiveness and appeal. It was when I didn’t want my significant other noticing other women’s bodies that were “socially more acceptable” than mine was at the time. Maybe you’ve just gone through some life altering sickness, or perhaps covid caused you to gain weight, or maybe you’re having rough times in your relationship… maybe it’s all of that or none of that, but in any case, maybe your security is at an all time low right now and that is the reason it’s so tough on Halloween. I’m here to tell you, you are beautiful. You are. As women, we posses a beauty that we just need to tap into, and usually that can be done once we start accepting ourselves the way we are and the way we look.
I’m not always great at doing this myself. I still use a filter, I still practice my angles. But the difference in me this year as opposed to last year, is that I am forgiving myself, loving myself, and deciding that if people do not like how I look, they don’t have to look. So next Halloween, when I’m feeling like going out, when I’m 49 years old, I may just sex it up a bit and be ok with it! I hope you are too, and that you won’t judge me or put me down, but that you’ll say, “Dang! Look at her! She’s pretty inspiring!” And if you can’t do that, that’s ok, you don’t have to look at me.
I guess to sum up, let’s just accept each other’s bodies and attire. Let’s not slut shame, or age shame, or put people in a box. Let’s not put other women down. There’s enough in this world to do that already; please, women of social media, let’s be kind.