Words by Honor Tuttiett
So, I found Halloween quite a disappointment this year. After stepping into a fancy dress shop in the week coming up to the night of looking scary, I found the costumes for women pretty limiting in the frightening department. There were hilarious and monstrous costumes for the men’s sizes, but just a shitter short skirt or jumpsuit version for every woman’s.
When chatting this over with my male friends, I found that the majority thought that all women used Halloween to look sexy. I happened to feel differently about this, but they felt sure they had it right for most women. I concluded that it must be a pesky chicken and egg situation, as we can never really know if the costumes are made for our real desires. Or that they may be contrived out of wanting women to take on this holiday by dressing revealingly.
It got me thinking though; surely if I wanted to actually look scary, then other girls did too? For us this meant breaking away from the fancy dress shops and getting creative. Which could be a metaphor for what I find myself doing a lot in life. Discovering that there are set ways that women are believed to behave usually via men or historical residues that we all wish would wear off faster. This chicken and egg situation seems to kick us in the bum a lot. As many women do want to use the holiday to dress up in a revealing manner, and because this is what is advertised to women for Halloween by shops, I can understand why it would appear that this is the female’s main desire for the holiday.
However, I wanted to be a dead rat because I had seen one earlier that week and thought it looked good and scary, as well as it being an inside joke at work. There were no animal costumes for women except for ‘sexy black cat’ in the shop, so I went online. Here I typed in ‘women’s rat costume’ and found that there was nowhere that did that kind of costume for women. Some of the websites actually made me laugh at the considerable contrast between the men and women’s costumes, http://goo.gl/OIKm8I.
So, I suppose it would be fine going on finding this major stereotyping amusing as I do. But when does the world actually catch up with the fact that there are endless variable types of women? It didn’t ruin my life that I saw no place for me in any fancy dress shops, but it did ruin my day, and I fondly imagine many other girls shared this disappointment. There was an obvious pressure to dress in a sexy manner this holiday and I thought this was blatant and out of place in a holiday meant for scaring. Therefore it I thought I would mention it here, as it was a real situation of gender stereotyping that is curbing the options for women to express differently.
What do you think?