I’m generally a pretty open-minded person, and I believe that everyone is entitled to celebrate Halloween in their own way. But there’s one Halloween trend these days that really gets my knickers in a twist, in a manner of speaking. And that is the Sexification of Halloween.

I’m referring to the ridiculous costumes they’re making for women these days! You know what I mean… the Naughty Nurses, Sexy SWAT Snipers, and Spandex-clad barely dressed pirates… or outfits based on super-short skin-tight tube dresses that look like someone forgot to include the pants?

Adults dressing up for Halloween is a relatively recent phenomenon. For those of us who dressed up to take our kids out for Trick-Or-Treat back in the day (or just because we wanted to!), there were few store-bought costumes to choose from. Most of us made our own costumes.

Then in the 90s, cheap costumes made in China began flooding the market. The manufacturers pushed sexy costumes because with less material in the costume, it’s cheaper to make them and ship them. Combining the sexualization of society in general with the cheapness and availability of risqué costumes, they’ve become the norm, and that bothers me.

There’s nothing wrong with having fun and dressing up in a risqué costume one night a year. But why is there so much pressure for women and girls to wear costumes that don’t even resemble what they’re supposed to represent? Especially when most of the costumes available in stores or online for adult women (or for teen girls) are provocative and revealing. These are real examples that are available online and in stores: 

  • Sexy Cop
  • Sexy Ninja
  • Sexy Disney Characters (Minnie Mouse is called “Mousie Mistress,” they don’t want to get sued!)
  • Sexy Muppets
  • Sexy Food, including Sexy Pizza, Sexy Taco, and Sexy Hamburger.
  • and even Sexy Transvestite Donald Trump – aka “Donna T Rumpshaker”

Arrgh! Where is the brain bleach when you need it?

Perhaps I’m just a sexually repressed old lady (though I hope not). But some women are modest and don’t want to show that much skin. Some of us just don’t have the body for it. And some resent the sexification that adds body image pressure to a holiday that should just be fun… 

Which is why I was so excited when my daughter turned me on a couple years ago to Take Back Halloween.
Founded by writer/actress/historian Suzanne Scoggins, the site was launched in 2010 “to make the world safe for creative and empowering costumes.” Take Back Halloween offers free instructions for costumes that represent renowned women, both real and fictional, including historical figures, goddesses, actresses, warrior queens, movie stars, heroines, and inventors. They’re inspired by notable women from cultures around the world and throughout history, from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to Hollywood, from feudal Japan to Russian folklore.

Costume categories include:

  • Glamour Girls like Mae West, Billie Holliday, Anna Mae Wong, and Diana Ross
  • Queens like Nefertiti, Boudicca, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and shaman queen Himiko of Japan.
  • Goddesses and Legends including Artemis, Baba Yaga, Hecate, Pele, and Isis.
  • Other notable women like Amelia Earhart, pirate Anne Bonny, Frida Kahlo, and Joan of Arc.
  • … and many, many more!

Each do-it-yourself costume idea is accompanied by illustrations or photos, background information, and direct links to buy the elements you need to assemble the costume. No sewing is required!
Take Back Halloween.org is a labor of love; it sells nothing, so it’s supported by donations. It’s a great example of how you can finance your dream with crowdfunding if you can build a fan base. And thanks to successful Kickstarter campaigns since 2013, there’s an alternative for women who don’t want to appear in public as a Sexy Firefighter, Sexy Hamburger, or Sexy Elmo.

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