Halloween is a big deal to me. As a kid I always loved dressing up. I took great pride in my costumes. In 10th grade, I dressed as Alex from “A Clockwork Orange” and no one knew who I was. My dad thought I was Liza Minelli from “Cabaret” and most of my friends said, “Hey your eyelash fell down.” One teacher at the school got it, and he asked me, “Are you a ‘Clockwork Orange’?” And I said yes, and he said, “That worries me.” (Love you, Mr. Everett). I made that costume using things from my closet and my high school’s wardrobe room and now they sell pre-packaged Clockwork Orange costumes for both men and women (the woman’s version is a dress/skirt). And there’s a photo going around on Pinterest of some toddler dressed as Alex, which is a super cute idea, to dress your little son as a rapist. Have people actually watched this movie the entire way through?
As I got older, I got less inspired. I actually started to have dreams, not just around Halloween but year-round, that it was Halloween and I didn’t have a costume and I was scrambling to find one. This has to mean something deeper, and if you want to figure it out, go for it. This year I really wanted to be Jarvis Cocker or Paul McCartney, but to find a good Beatles suit is expensive and I am not nearly skinny enough to be Jarvis Cocker (though to be fair, few are). So I decided to cave and buy something. I got into a nostalgia kick for “The Lion King” and thought the best idea ever would be to dress as Simba.
My mission became far more difficult than I ever thought. First of all, all Simba costumes I found were for toddlers, which is fucking bullshit. At most it went up to 10 year olds. For adults, there was, I kid you not, a “sexy” Nala costume. What the fuck is this malarkey? How is that even close to a lion costume? Why do you have to make Nala sexy?
And it just got worse. Every single lion costume I found was a “sexy” lion. Here are some examples. I just wanted to be a normal, giant-ass jungle cat. But all the good lion costumes were made for men or boys. And the men’s costumes don’t fit well on me, because I am a petite girl, like Estelle Getty sized, and I can’t wear something unisex and expect to be able to move in it. I succumbed to the Cushzilla lion onesie/pajamas and it’s comfy and I love it, but it made me sad that the best thing I could find was a unisex jumpsuit that is meant for someone way, way taller.
I also wanted to be Han Solo. Hey guess what? Even though it’s Halloween, a time when people are supposed to dress up as whatever or whomever they want, female Han Solo costumes do not exist, unless you’re into cosplay and you make one, and I barely know how to properly put on a bandaid, let alone sew something. I also thought about being Indiana Jones. I’ll let you compare the male Indiana Jones costumes to the female ones.
Yes, I could thrift and come up with an Indiana Jones costume, but why should I have to? Why are the only available female versions of Indiana Jones costumes sexualized? It’s Harrison Ford, he’s already sexy. Why doesn’t anyone want women to dress up as a non-sexualized version of a Halloween character? Do they not trust us? Do they think we won’t make it look good because we have boobs?
If you want to dress as a sexy version of something, I don’t care. Go ahead. You have every right to wear whatever you want. But I wonder if by supporting costume companies like Leg Avenue and Dreamgirl, companies that saw a huge boom within the past few years, we’re telling people, “Yes, this is how we always want to look, please make us sexy versions of everything, like Bert and Ernie.” And they did.
And honestly? It makes me sad. What do you think?
Don’t forget to check out my “Sexy” Costumes = Normal Bowie Costumes here on my blog and a slightly extended version on Hello Giggles. And if you’re looking to be Shelley Duvall from “The Shining” look at my post Fashion and the Shining.