“In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”
–Cady in “Mean Girls”
Never have I ever been something slutty for Halloween. I’ve been a fat pumpkin (age 1), an innocent angel (age 5), Miss America (age 9, because I was weird) and an American flag (age 17). Never have I ever bought
denim underwear short shorts or tiny triangles attached with thread bra tops to pass off as a “Sexy Cowgirl” or, worse, a “Sexy Girl Scout.”
This year, I wore a giant tutu, glittery wings and pipe cleaners attached to a headband. I was a butterfly.
Perhaps I’m missing out on the fun of dressing provocatively, but I am perfectly content dancing to Footloose and apologizing for accidentally hitting someone with my butterfly wings rather than my exposed chest. Still, Girl World begs us to be
naked scantily-clad on Halloween. After all, that’s what boys like.
It may be part of the college experience to be a “Sexy _____” on Halloween, which is why Grace Hudgins, a UF journalism sophomore, wore a skimpy gypsy costume, complete with a bra-like top and gold jewelry, on Friday night and a realistic Kim Kardashian outfit on Saturday night.
“I’d never worn anything like that before,” she explained, sitting outside in a purple dress she wore to church.
With limited time and money, her gypsy outfit was thrown together with pieces from old dance costumes (hence the crop top) and a repurposed necklace, which she draped diagonally from her shoulder to her waist. Mostly, she didn’t want to be dropping $50 on a costume, Grace said.
Halloween’s traditional spooky music and creepy spider web decorations were not as scary as going to a party in an overtly sexy outfit.
“It’s the most I’ve exposed myself,” she said. Grace had to talk herself into being risqué for the first party.
Why do Gainesville’s gals feel it necessary to look much more than comely (a Nancy-Drew-era adjective we need to bring back)? Why do Gainesville’s gals want to look dangerously seductive on Halloween?
“I think girls do it for attention because they’re either trying to 1) get the attention of a certain significant other— male, female, whatever,” Grace said. “I think they’re trying to get that attention from one person or from [2)] everybody. I think girls crave to be told that they look beautiful, pretty, sexy, anything. I think girls crave compliments. So I think Halloween is a reason for girls to either look their best or, in my terms or other people’s terms, look worse or look very slutty, like go all out for it.”
It’s different for an adult to dress provocatively and a seventh grader to, though, and Grace worries that younger girls are trying to emulate what they see in magazines and on billboards.
“I think women are displayed as sex through marketing, through media,” Grace said. “And a lot of young girls see that and think, ‘Oh, I want to be like those models. Oh, I want to be like that girl on that poster.’ So they think that’s beautiful and that’s what people want, so they’re trying to be that.”
It’s not wrong to like being complimented, but preteens shouldn’t feel pressured to be a “Sexy Cat.” They should just be able to be a cat, without the pressure of sex appeal.
Compliments make Grace feel good, too, no matter what kind of outfit she’s in. Perhaps her friends’ comparing her to Kim K are meant to be compliments, although Grace dislikes the celebrity. On Saturday night, even with a less revealing costume (she werked it like Kim as a joke), Grace was still out of her element.
Even though Grace looked
🔥HOT🔥 very nice, her favorite Halloween costume was much more conservative. When she was 13, her mother and grandmother worked together to plan and make her look like Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz.”
It’s difficult to be a conservative character now, though, said Tineke Swart, a business management senior at UF. When looking for an M&M costume to transform her into the rapper Eminem, Tineke tried on ones from the women’s and men’s aisles at the Halloween store. “The women’s M&M costume literally had my butt cheeks hangin’ out,” Tineke said. She bought the men’s costume.
She’s been the typically sexy Halloween goer before. Last year, Tineke dressed as Tinker Bell, but her tutu was extremely short; it made her feel self-consious.
“The M&M one was more fun,” she explained. “When I was a skimpy Tinker Bell, I was kind of walking around with my stomach sucked in. You know, I was trying to look good in pictures. When I had the M&M on, like, I could slouch over and nobody could tell. I could twerk, and you couldn’t tell.”
Halloween costumes shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable. If you feel great in a loin cloth for a “Sexy Cavewoman” costume, snaps for you. If you don’t, snaps for you, too.
“You have the option to be hilarious,” Tineke said. “You have the option to be sexy. You can really just go however you want.”
Girls, you do you. Just make sure you feel like you.
Photos of Grace and Tineke are their own. All other photos were taken by someone at the party with an available hand.