When it comes to Halloween, men have it easy. If they want to be a cowboy, there's a cowboy costume for them. If they want to be a slice of pizza, then there's a pizza costume for them. If they want to be Donald Trump, then there's a Donald Trump costume for them.
But for women, it's more complicated. There's a question they have to ask: "Do I want to be a cowgirl... or a sexy cowgirl? Do I want to be a slice of pizza... or a sexy slice of pizza? Do I want to be Donald Trump... or sexy Donald Trump?" (No, really.)
These might seem like frivolous questions, but with articles titled "Why you shouldn't pick up the Halloween slut," it remains a contentious subject, with men and women both judging and telling women how they should dress.
In that article, the male author wrote, "Take the high road and don't run after the girl who is pretty much naked. Chances are, that road has been traveled many times or it's just a big canvas painting of a road and you're yet to see the two guys carrying it across the screen."
And just recently, some women were puzzled by why women would want to dress as sexy ghostbusters at all.
What obviously gets lost amid this slut-shaming spiral is that this is Halloween we're talking about and women can, just like every other day, wear whatever they want.
Save for costumes that are legitimately offensive, like blackface or sexy Harambe, there is no reason for not being 100% OK with women dressing like a sexy remote control or a sexy mime. Being sexy doesn't mean that you don't respect yourself, just like not deciding to dress up like a sexy remote control means that you don't respect yourself.
If anything, though, Halloween should be a time (if you wish) to feel sexy on your own terms.
Because of the options women have in terms of sexy Halloween costumes, there's almost an expectation, even for very young girls, that what they wear should be a little suggestive, and that is not only just gross but also hinting at yet another expectation women have to maneuver around. They're supposed to maybe want to buy these outfits, but then when they do, they're shamed for them. And that's fucked up.
Whether women decide to wear or not wear a sexy Halloween costume doesn't change anything about them or how they should be treated.
So how do we rid society of these expectations placed specifically on women?How do we gain more equality within Halloween costumes as a whole? One option, which would be quite simple, is that sexier Halloween costumes could also be readily available for men.
For men, if you want to dress like a lumberjack, there's pretty much one option, and it's a costume that looks like this:
For women, it's more like this:
Why can't men also have the option of a lumberjack costume coming with, say, a ripped shirt, or no shirt at all? If they did, then men would be asking themselves the same question as women: "Do I want to be a lumberjack, or a sexy lumberjack?"
Men, just like women, should have the opportunity to dress as they please on Halloween.
And maybe if that option were out there, people would spend less time attempting to shame women for wearing sexier costumes and more time thinking about what they really want to wear, whether that be a pizza slice costume, or a sexy pizza slice costume.
So for Halloween this year, you do you. Wear what you want. It sucks that society has its expectations and loves to shame women for wanting to dress like, say, a sexy pizza rat or something, but pay that no mind. What matters is that you're happy with your costume (which hopefully doesn't offend anyone) and you feel fly as fuck.