This article in the New York Times discusses a trend i have been noticing for some time: pornified Halloween costumes.
If there is any doubt about the porn industry’s impact on costumes, just notice that in the picture accompanying the article the Playboy logo is on the witches’ hat. Near my house is a Halloween costume store that has a poster in its window featuring a sexy schoolgirl costume that also features the Playboy logo.
There’s something wrong with us if that doesn’t concern us.
Playboy and underage schoolgirls. Seriously.
The author of the Times piece asks this question:
But the abundance of risqué costumes that will be shrink-wrapped around legions of women come Oct. 31 prompts a larger question: Why have so many girls grown up to trade in Wonder Woman costumes for little more than Wonderbras?
The author also makes the point that many women’s costumes, “with their frilly baby-doll dresses and high-heeled Mary Janes, also evoke male Lolita fantasies and reinforce the larger cultural message that younger is hotter.” Of course they do, because in a hypersexualized society awash in pornography, there is no place for real bodies that are subject to the natural aging process.
Probably the most salient point of the article was this one, made by Tanda Word — a 26-year-old graduate student — who wrote a piece about the sexualized Halloween costumes for her school newspaper:
I think it’s damaging because it’s not just one night a year,” she said. “If it’s all the costume manufacturers make, I think it says something bigger about the culture as a whole.
It does say something bigger about the culture as a whole. It says that we are simultaneously confused about sex and consumed with an insatiable desire to sexualize as much of life as possible. Sex is what our culture worships.
We are so confused that we sexualize Disney characters, and storybook characters, and schoolgirls. We are so consumed with sex that we sexualize police officers, and referees and pirates. The world of pornography has been doing this for a long time, but mainstream culture’s full endorsement of this sexualization is something altogether different.
These sexy costumes aren’t new as of this year. But at the same time, the Times article points out that there has been an emergence of “ultrasexy” costumes in the last couple of years, according to Christa Getz, the purchasing director for BuyCostumes.com. Getz says that, “Probably over 90 to 95 percent of our female costumes have a flirty edge to them.” She also said that sexy costumes are so popular the company had to break its “sexy” category into three subdivisions this year.