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Why are you so angry at her for being a sexy... giraffe?
October 28, 2011 9:11 AM   Subscribe

"For the last two weeks, people have been like, "talk about sluts on Halloween!" And at first I didn't even really want to make this video because you, my friend, are talking to a slut on Halloween. But because people kept bombarding my social media platforms with requests for me to do a video on sluts on Halloween, I'm gonna do a video on sluts on Halloween. But I'll tell you one thing right now: you're not gonna like it."

(nsfw language, her avatar is a lingerie pic, plus it's a single-link vlog post)

You might remember Jenna Marbles from "How to Trick People Into Thinking You're Really Good Looking" (previously).
posted by juliplease (146 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have my "Sexxxy Medico Della Peste" outfit all ready to go, and I will tell you what: I will not be shamed.
posted by everichon at 9:23 AM on October 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I was loving this until I noticed how wide the vlogger's eyebrows were. And then I really couldn't concentrate on anything else.

The line about Mary Magdelene dressing as Sexy Jesus for Halloween was pretty hilarious though.
posted by seanyboy at 9:24 AM on October 28, 2011


Jenna Marbles is hilarious and a great storyteller, one of our rarest assets.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:25 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've never been more annoyed by someone I agree with.

I was thinking about this issue from the other day's "It's a culture, not a costume" thread, and have come to the conclusion that Astronaut is the last acceptable costume.

Witches, devils and demons are out because they are religiously insensitive and scare kids. Indians, pimps, and geisha are out. Pretty much everything is out in the "merry not scary" movement.

No to hobos, nuns, priests, or fairies (especially if you want to make one sexy).
posted by cjorgensen at 9:27 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


... Astronaut is the last acceptable costume.

That reminds me. (Possibly NSFW)
posted by griphus at 9:29 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Astronaut is the last acceptable costume

Unless you go with the ironic Depends adult diapers.
posted by SoFlo1 at 9:31 AM on October 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Oh, wait, damn, that's the diving suit ad. They made a cosmonaut ad in the same general idea but I can't find it :(
posted by griphus at 9:31 AM on October 28, 2011


Pretty much everything is out in the "merry not scary" movement.

You didn't explicitly say this was something new and I'm glad, because it totally is not. 30 years ago I always dressed as a pumpkin, an M&M or (once) a hobo. You fairly often saw girls with pointy black hats, but that's hardly scary and you never saw anyone with fake wounds or anything.
posted by DU at 9:32 AM on October 28, 2011


"You keep on ho-in', you ho!"
posted by DU at 9:35 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


SEXY ACTUARY

I'll stop now, and actually pretty much agreed with Ms. Marbles.
posted by everichon at 9:36 AM on October 28, 2011


GROW UP SHEEPLES!

Halloween is for kids, not grown-ups.

Off my lawn, etc.
posted by Windopaene at 9:36 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Halloween is for kids Carnivale for a sexually stunted United States, not grown-ups.
posted by everichon at 9:39 AM on October 28, 2011 [20 favorites]


"No ones hatin' on you for being a toothbrush."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:39 AM on October 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


astronaut suicides
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 9:43 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Astronaut is the last acceptable costume

We don't need no moon-cheese babies!
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:46 AM on October 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


sexy astronaut trying to get her sexy boyfriend back, stopped by sexy cop?

merry AND scary ???


sexy a-bomb

sexy fortified wine

sexy handgun

sexy street-corner bedbug mattress

sexy staph infection
posted by beefetish at 9:48 AM on October 28, 2011


18-24? No fair! I'm more than a decade older than that and I am not ready to hang up my Halloween slut costumes.
posted by dchrssyr at 9:49 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


sexy inexplicable melancholy
posted by griphus at 9:51 AM on October 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


I can't tell if this is ironic or not.
posted by public at 9:52 AM on October 28, 2011


I can still go as a sexy sexagenarian sextuplet sex-worker, right?
posted by rh at 9:55 AM on October 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


> Halloween is for kids, not grown-ups.

Maybe it used to be, but I see a lot more adults out on the Saturday night before Halloween than I do actual kids on the night itself.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:56 AM on October 28, 2011


I feel like her argument is based on internalized sexism. Two examples stand out in particular: "I could go on forever [about this]. Girls fucking hate each other." and "Halloween wouldn't be Halloween without sluts."

The first is a directly sexist statement about women. She goes on to explain that women's disapproval of dressing sexily in public (not just on Halloween, she says) is rooted in this hate. I disagree. One reason to disapprove of dressing provocatively (that has nothing to do with an implication of promiscuity) is that it contributes to a culture in which women are expected to do so and not doing so is an undesirable act of nonconformity. In many social groups, dressing provocatively signals an acceptance of the male gaze, and can lead to non-provocatively-dressed women being seen as "prudes," which in many ways is just as much of a problem as viewing provocatively dressed women as "sluts." People are free to dress how they want, of course, but it doesn't happen in a vacuum.

The second statement is also sexist. The implication is that some women must dress as sluts or else it's not a proper Halloween. This is an acceptance and reinforcement of the sexist dichotomy between how men are expected to dress for Halloween (any way they want) and how women are expected to dress (provocatively, even or perhaps especially if they wouldn't normally dress that way).

Finally, she assumes that a provocatively dressed woman is doing so because she wants to, and thus her dress should be cheered as an act of empowerment and self-determination. Is it not possible that a significant number of women would prefer not to dress provocatively for Halloween but do so out of social pressure or simply because they can't find a decent non-sexy costume? I would have liked to see her address that issue with more than just "No ones hatin' on you for being a toothbrush." It should be explicitly stated that choosing to be a toothbrush is also worthy of being cheered and encouraged because, in fact, there are people who are hating on the toothbrushes (e.g. sexist men who expect women to dress sexily for Halloween).
posted by jedicus at 9:58 AM on October 28, 2011 [40 favorites]


sexy fortified wine

you laugh, but a friend of mine in college was once a box of wine, complete with working wine tap near his crotch.
posted by indubitable at 10:01 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


On Halloween, I'm going dressed as a sexy plate of beans.
posted by seanyboy at 10:02 AM on October 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


I'm going as "Sexy Web Developer" this Halloween...just like every Halloween, and every other day of the year.
posted by Kwine at 10:02 AM on October 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


indubitable, i am seriously considering "sexy a-bomb" now.
posted by beefetish at 10:10 AM on October 28, 2011


A friend of mine in college was a sexy roadkill possum. That is all.
posted by gnutron at 10:11 AM on October 28, 2011


also was the wine tap to scale or did your friend just stick a spacebag in his pants

inquiring minds man
posted by beefetish at 10:11 AM on October 28, 2011


sexy inexplicable melancholy

Sexy inexplicable melancholy is so boring.

I'm going as sexy sense of ennui.
posted by kmz at 10:15 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


indubitable, i am seriously considering "sexy a-bomb" now.

But will you be the Sexy Fat Man or Sexy Little Boy?
posted by griphus at 10:18 AM on October 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


Sexy 1900's steel conglomerate tycoon
posted by Mayor West at 10:19 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


mixing thanatos and eros never works out
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:19 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've recently been convinced that we need a year where an enormous number of people world wide dress up as zombies for Halloween, but sexy zombies are okay too of course.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:19 AM on October 28, 2011


indubitable, i am seriously considering "sexy a-bomb" now.
posted by beefetish at 1:10 PM on October 28 [+] [!]


Fat Man or Little Boy?
posted by McCoy Pauley at 10:21 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm going as sex. Sexy sex.
posted by found missing at 10:23 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the top? Cut a face-hole out of a sheet of foam core and decorate the rest of it as one of those "this is not okay" posters, only with a sexy woman as the model, I'm thinking sexy suicide bomber. On the bottom? Skin tight spangly spandex briefs. Sexy Racist "Sexy Racist Halloween Costumes Are Not Okay Poster" Halloween costume.

I think I'll write a Bing Crosby/Irving Berlin type holiday crooner lyric this weekend called "Have A Sexy Racist Halloween You Stupid Motherfucking Crackers"... just to twist it in a little bit more at some point in it I'm going to rhyme "motherfucking crackers" with "tits painted like maracas".
posted by nanojath at 10:23 AM on October 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


Last year I was a sexy Pippi Longstocking. It mostly involved wearing braids, stuffing my bra to an absurd degree and wearing those candy red lips. I don't know if everyone got it.
posted by book 'em dano at 10:24 AM on October 28, 2011


Go as a sexy snack cake! A Ho Ho!

Or is that sexy conjoined twins?

I should have dressed as a sexy sock puppet before making this comment.
posted by zueod at 10:24 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm going as sex. Sexy sex.

Pfft, going to Halloween as yourself is lame.

(YOU SEXY BEAST)
posted by nanojath at 10:24 AM on October 28, 2011


I prefer the Arbor Day sluts.
posted by XMLicious at 10:25 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


sexy richard brautigan
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:25 AM on October 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


One reason to disapprove of dressing provocatively (that has nothing to do with an implication of promiscuity) is that it contributes to a culture in which women are expected to do so and not doing so is an undesirable act of nonconformity.

I dunno what Halloween's like where you're from, but I haven't seen an over-riding expectation for women to dress slutty on Halloween, and that those who do not are frowned upon. I have seen women get props for a good, creative costume, and sighs for unoriginal, uninspired costumes, whether they're slutty or not.

I'm sure there are a good amount of women who dress slutty on Halloween out of some perceived or real social pressure to do so, no disputing that. But this is surely not the sole reason behind women deciding to dress this way on this one day of the year. I think we ought to give people a little bit more credit for the decisions they make than that.

The point being, I can appreciate your overall point regarding expectations of dress on women - and yeah, the whole "women hate each other" thing is pretty tired - but stuff like this is seldom as cut and dry as it seems. The motivations behind behaviors, especially on a holiday where it is not only expected but encouraged to get ridiculous with your appearance, are probably spanning a wider spectrum than this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:25 AM on October 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


mccoy i will answer you as soon as im done choking on my laugh spittle
posted by beefetish at 10:25 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Anyone who can't "find" a non-sexy halloween costume lacks an imagination and any fabrication skills but that's ok the world needs accountants and I used to have fun and made an ok living making costumes for those people. Personally, i'll be rocking a moderately sexy day of the dead costume. The make-up is going to be so much fun and will take hours. :)
posted by Gwynarra at 10:26 AM on October 28, 2011


All you need is an all-black outfit and a roll of masking tape to make some bands around your arms, legs, and torso, and BAM--instant chromosome costume.

Get a partner to dress the same way and you can do a meiosis dance, which is, by definition, sexy.
posted by straight at 10:32 AM on October 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


Hate
posted by gonna get a dog at 10:33 AM on October 28, 2011


Now I want a sexy accountant costume.
posted by griphus at 10:33 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


People aren't against sexy costumes. That's ridiculous. They're against the fact that for women, sexiness is marketed as the only viable option.

A woman who wants to be a sexy fairy and one who wants to be a regular fairy both have the right idea. How do we encourage one without discouraging the other?
posted by hermitosis at 10:34 AM on October 28, 2011 [10 favorites]


I prefer the Arbor Day sluts.

Dude, Halloween is the Arbor Day of urinating. And Arbor Day is the Wimbledon of having sex.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:35 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Halloween is the Super Bowl of drinking."

"The Super Bowl is the Halloween of football."

"Halloween is the Arbor Day of urinating."

"Arbor Day is the Wimbledon of having sex."

posted by kmz at 10:36 AM on October 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Holy crap. Happy Endings jinx.
posted by kmz at 10:36 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sexy Rutabega. Sexy Undead Rutabega.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:38 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


30 years ago I always dressed as a pumpkin, an M&M or (once) a hobo. You fairly often saw girls with pointy black hats, but that's hardly scary and you never saw anyone with fake wounds or anything.

I call bullshit (1973), but maybe that's because I grew up in Detroit.

Last year I was a sexy Pippi Longstocking. It mostly involved wearing braids, stuffing my bra to an absurd degree and wearing those candy red lips. I don't know if everyone got it.

What was the joke?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:38 AM on October 28, 2011


People aren't against sexy costumes. That's ridiculous. They're against the fact that for women, sexiness is marketed as the only viable option.

A woman who wants to be a sexy fairy and one who wants to be a regular fairy both have the right idea. How do we encourage one without discouraging the other?


Encourage both maybe? I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say sexy costumes are marketed as "the only viable option". They're marketed alright, that's for damn sure, but in my experience, I think original-well-made/non-sexy costumes trump tired-uninspired/sexy costumes any day.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:38 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


She goes on to explain that women's disapproval of dressing sexily in public (not just on Halloween, she says) is rooted in this hate. I disagree. One reason to disapprove of dressing provocatively (that has nothing to do with an implication of promiscuity) is that it contributes to a culture in which women are expected to do so and not doing so is an undesirable act of nonconformity.

But women hate on other women's fashion holistically, i.e. it's not about sluttiness. I would argue that our culture encourages them to do so. I took her comment as acknowledging that effect of the patriarchy.

The second statement is also sexist. The implication is that some women must dress as sluts or else it's not a proper Halloween.

I thought the statement was more of an attempt to state her opinion that she enjoys sluts on Halloween, and was encouraging those who agree to raise their hands in the air and wave them.

Amirite?

Is it not possible that a significant number of women would prefer not to dress provocatively for Halloween but do so out of social pressure or simply because they can't find a decent non-sexy costume?

Does she not explicitly say that no one should be pressured to wear such outfits?

Slice and dice and distort all you want, it's a good message overall, imo. (outside of the ageism, that is. what up, JM?)
posted by mrgrimm at 10:39 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


stick a spacebag in his pants

"Stick a spacebag in your pants" would make an excellent slogan for something. Wish I knew what.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:41 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Of course I should have linked this with my jinx comment.
posted by kmz at 10:42 AM on October 28, 2011


Is that a spacebag in your pants, or is your wine tap to scale?
posted by found missing at 10:43 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just realized that the reason commercial outfits only do "sexy"/skimpy women's costumes is because they can charge just as much as men's costumes but use way, way less fabric.

MIND BLOWN
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:46 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm a woman who stopped going to Halloween parties precisely because there was so much pressure to be "sexy," even in my fairly nerdy social group. I had some creative, well-made costumes, but no one would comment on them, no strangers would make small talk with, and I occasionally would get mean-spirited comments (from men and women) about the unsexy nature of my costume. I'm not conventionally attractive, and already felt shitty about the way I looked, and Halloween just because another thing that I failed at. Even years I tried to do a sexy, but stil mostly clothes costume--same thing. Lots of pressure to show more skin, advice on how to make it sexier, etc.

I'm 30 now, so probably too old for sexy Halloween anyway, but just imaging the pressure to be "sexy" (in a pretty narrowly defined, conventional kind of way) is enough to make me stay home this weekend.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 10:47 AM on October 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


Stupid sexy Stallman
posted by urschrei at 10:48 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


metafilter: stick a spacebag in your pants (???????????????????????)
posted by beefetish at 10:48 AM on October 28, 2011


Last year I was a sexy Pippi Longstocking. It mostly involved wearing braids, stuffing my bra to an absurd degree and wearing those candy red lips. I don't know if everyone got it.

What was the joke?


Something about taking to an absurd degree the dumb idea of making ordinary costumes "sexy" when marketed to women. I will admit now that I could've easily been mistaken for a sexy Anne of Green Gables.
posted by book 'em dano at 10:49 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


MIND BLOWN

I used to do business with a number of sexy costume companies that also happened to sell men's costumes. The men's costumes have more fabric, yeah, but the women's costumes are a lot more complicated and detailed. There's definitely more work involved, and a larger array of fabrics. However, I don't think guys are buying their costumes from the Women's Sexy Costume catalog, so there's a big It Depends in there.
posted by griphus at 10:49 AM on October 28, 2011


sexy dostoevsky

sextoevsky
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:49 AM on October 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Zombie seem to be the default costume this year. This is one of those "easy to learn, difficult to master" sorta things. Sure, all you need is torn clothing, blood-and-bruise make-up, and a general look of "GNUUUH"on your face. Anyone can do that. But then you have the folks that go all out with the spirit glue, latex, fake intestines hanging out, false teeth and such.

I want to see fewer shuffling zombies and more running, grabbing [REC] zombies, though.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:54 AM on October 28, 2011


I'm a woman who stopped going to Halloween parties precisely because there was so much pressure to be "sexy,"

What, really? I don't mean to be rude, but your friends sound like jerks.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:58 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


in my experience, I think original-well-made/non-sexy costumes trump tired-uninspired/sexy costumes any day.

Perhaps sexy Halloween costumes are like hot sauce. If it's a great costume, a little sexiness of the right order only makes it a little better.

If it's a bad costume, a large dose of sexiness (male or female) can save it or destroy it even further.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:58 AM on October 28, 2011


I'm going as sexy Warren Buffet.
posted by found missing at 10:58 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy crap. Happy Endings jinx.
posted by kmz at 1:36 PM on October 28 [+] [!]


Can I derail for a second to talk about how all the sudden freaking EVERYBODY has caught on to Happy Endings? Like, I watched the first episode this season because 30 Rock hasn't started yet, and I was like; "holy crap, why is no one watching this?" Now I know like 3 people who independently have been like "dude, Happy Endings, have you been watching it? spawn Wayans is in it. very funny, watch what happens, characters welcome" Okay those were just taglines for TBS, bravo and USA, but you know what I mean. How come the show waited till Oct 2010 to blow up? Did it, like, suck last year?

Anyway, back to Slut-o-ween.
posted by midmarch snowman at 11:00 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, last comment, I'll guess that people who agree with Ms. Marbles here likely don't go to many Halloween parties where the majority of the women are in sexy costumes. Context and POV are kinda huge here, as Ideal Impulse indicates.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:00 AM on October 28, 2011


I dunno what Halloween's like where you're from, but I haven't seen an over-riding expectation for women to dress slutty on Halloween, and that those who do not are frowned upon

You know, that's a reasonable criticism (i.e. observation bias), and I looked to see if anyone had done any proper studies on whether women feel pressured (or not) to dress in a particular way for Halloween and what effect (if any) that pressure has on their costume choices. I couldn't find any. There were a couple of studies regarding sexualized children's clothing and gendered children's costumes, but nothing about teenagers and adults. Seems like there's a sociology thesis or two in there.

Does she not explicitly say that no one should be pressured to wear such outfits?

That's contradicted by her other statements. For example, she says that women should be congratulated for dressing sexily. That is an explicit encouragement—or pressure—to wear such an outfit. The implication is that if you dress sexily, then cool women like her viewers will congratulate you for it. Again, another contradiction is her statement that sluts are a required part of Halloween.

There are certainly a lot of positive elements in the video, but I think it could have been more nuanced.
posted by jedicus at 11:02 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


in the classic sexy modular look, your first halloween steps are with bare breasts matched by bare below, alternatively go bra-n-thonged. as you make your route around town you pick up your costume pieces which you cleverly hid the evening before. by the end you somehow have madonna-esque boobie balcony structures and an open 'cellar door'.
posted by past at 11:06 AM on October 28, 2011


Seems like there's a sociology thesis or two in there.

Totally! I completely recognize I'm speaking from my own little sliver of the world here. That's all I have to go on when it comes to sexy Halloween costumes. Ideal Impulse offered her unfortunate experience with Halloween, and it sucks to hear she's got "friends" like that.

I completely, totally appreciate that there are definite societal pressures on women regarding appearance, often with very contradictory messages. But Halloween, for me, has always been a time of reality-suspension. We can transform into whatever we want to be for that one day, the idea being to put on a mask - often literally, more often metaphorically - play with identity, and have fun. I think we ought to give people a little credit for why they've made the costume choices they've made.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:12 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's contradicted by her other statements. For example, she says that women should be congratulated for dressing sexily. That is an explicit encouragement—or pressure—to wear such an outfit.

No, it's not. Congratulating a person on an outfit does not mean you can't congratulate other people on their outfits. Also, there is no implicit reason that everyone else should conform because of that congratulation.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:13 AM on October 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Huh... so is it too late for a sexy The Thing?
posted by Slackermagee at 11:17 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


To clarify, I was thinking banana hammock, fanged chest mouth filled with flailing tubes, scissor jaw head, uncanny valley dog head hands, etc.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:19 AM on October 28, 2011


A sexy spider head with tentacles lashing out of it?
posted by P.o.B. at 11:19 AM on October 28, 2011


As long as it's sexy, Slackermagee. That's all that anyone asks for.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:20 AM on October 28, 2011


I used to live next to a university where thousands of people would come from out-of-town for Halloween weekend. There was a pressure to have an awesome costume because everyone (read: thousands) congregated on the main street going in and out of apartments to parties, but mostly just to stand around and look good. But there was an unbelievable pressure for women to look sexy by way of costume because college girls as just naturally hot and who doesn’t want to show off their hotness, right?

What it turned into was a sexual harassment free-for-all. Being unapologetically “sexy” in public means people can yell from their balconies about how slutty you are. Guys got complimented on how clever their costumes were, but girls were allowed (only time of the year) to call each other whores to their faces.

Yes, you chose to be a slut on Halloween which means you automatically “chose” to sign up for all the harassment that comes too. It’s this weird prudishness conflated with sexy “empowerment.” Like, I’m only a slut for the lulz, but you must be a slut because you really are a slut.
posted by book 'em dano at 11:21 AM on October 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ok, I'll admit, I watched a bit without sound, and I was all being a fuckin hater. But then, I seen all the love hear, so I said, OK, I'll give it a go and mounted up the phones.

I was very pleasantly surprised, by her humour and attitude. So long as I don't look at the eyelashes, I quite enjoyed it. Good post.
posted by Bovine Love at 11:26 AM on October 28, 2011


A sexy spider head with tentacles lashing out of it?

I'm actually terrified of spiders, so I was thinking more along the lines of that guy at the end of the row of chairs whose head splits in half.

Its been too long since I've drunk in that movie.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:26 AM on October 28, 2011


Maybe it used to be, but I see a lot more adults out on the Saturday night before Halloween than I do actual kids on the night itself.

Out where? I suspect that the demographics of Halloween revelers depends on your location. In my quiet little suburban enclave of Los Angeles, I don't think I've ever seen an adult trick or treating. The adults are always just accompanying their small children from house to house.
posted by The World Famous at 11:28 AM on October 28, 2011


Boston's big costume shop puts up subway ads for Halloween and usually they're covered in pictures of Sexy Professions, but the one I saw this year wasn't full of St Pauli Girls or whatever. The prominent costumed woman in the ad was going as Sue Sylvester from Glee. Next to her was a guy dressed up as DJ Lance Rock.

I figure maybe they had a run on tracksuits, but that's a costuming trend I can get behind.
posted by Spatch at 11:31 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


If it's a great costume, a little sexiness of the right order only makes it a little better.

Gah, no. Not every costume needs sexy. A girl dressed up as 70s Paul Simon does not need any sexy up in there. A girl dressed as Data from the Goonies does not need any sexy on her. If you have a great costume, THAT is sexy enough.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:32 AM on October 28, 2011


If you're going to go 'sexy___'costume, go for a challenge of making the unsexy sexy:

- Sexy Niels Bohr and his Orbiting Harem of Sexy Electrons (I'm calling dibs on this one)
- Sexy Chicken Sexer - Bring a box of plush baby chicks and sort them into other boxes marked 'cockerels' and 'pullets' as fast as you can. Whoever is willing to listen to the explanation of what the hell you are doing gets a plush chicken, two if they don't slowly back away and avoid you for the rest of the party.
- Sexy TV Golf Announcer - just show up with a mic and a sports coat and talk softly, but about sexy things, but be nice, otherwise your outfit instantly turns into Creepy Fucking TV Guy, and that no fun.
- Sexy Ruth Bader Ginsburg, hmmm, too mean? Maybe to be more fair, get a bunch of friends together and go as the Sexy Supreme Court
- Sexy AARP Magazine Special Sex Issue (sandwich board, no concept of shame, and Photoshop skills required)
- Sexy Amoeba - see how many people remember that amoebas are asexual. Enjoy a bit of private smugness all evening! But keep it to yourself - your a sexy amoeba tonight, not an Unsexy Irritating Know-It-All.
posted by chambers at 11:33 AM on October 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


Oh how I miss the glory days of inline images here. Comments would have been so much better.





Maybe better. Definitely sluttier. And funnier.
posted by dios at 11:36 AM on October 28, 2011


Halloween is for kids, not grown-ups.

So is Christmas, but people still do it because it's fun.
posted by Hoopo at 11:45 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


In our small town everyone comes into our downtown for a parade, and then the kids all come together to kill this past year's Harvest King and partake of his blood, while the grownups all drink and catch up.
posted by everichon at 11:50 AM on October 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Sexy Big Bad Wolf - NSFW
posted by xod at 11:56 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I immediately thought of 11-year-old blogger, Ruby Karp: "NOTE TO PEOPLE WHO MAKE THESE COUSTUMES: we are not 25. We are 11. Start making costumes like it. AND FAST." (link)

Adults dressing however they want to dress on halloween isn't a terrible thing, but I really don't want to see grade-school girls being sexualized by what limited choices are available when it comes to costume-buying. Girls are getting fewer and fewer costume choices that are age-appropriate, and this is an issue.
Just to give you an idea of what I see (SFW link to ) when I look at costumes for tweens and teens:

Boys' choices:
Fireman
Policeman
Doctor

Girls' choices:
Sexy Firewoman
Sexy Policewoman
Sexy Nurse
posted by erasorhed at 11:58 AM on October 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


Saw this video and loved it, and then read the comments, now feel less sure about it. Interesting discussion!

I will say that I don't think "women hate each other" is internalized sexism. I think it's challenging internalized sexism. I can see the argument that the dressing slutty on halloween thing is anti-feminist, at least to the extent that it exerts pressure on women to all do it, but I think she's making a valuable point about not letting one's disgust or disappointment with that translate into judging and slut-shaming the people who choose to participate in it. Which I've heard, at least, from some of my I-Hate-Slutty-Halloween friends.
posted by likeatoaster at 12:04 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think we ought to give people a little credit for why they've made the costume choices they've made.

Amen. When I'm from, we all made and still make our costumes.

That's contradicted by her other statements. For example, she says that women should be congratulated for dressing sexily. That is an explicit encouragement—or pressure—to wear such an outfit.

No, it's not. Congratulating a person on an outfit does not mean you can't congratulate other people on their outfits. Also, there is no implicit reason that everyone else should conform because of that congratulation.


Yep. I took it to mean a simple form of congratulation for achieving what the person set out to do, i.e. look sexy. (It's not easy.) Likewise, if someone's goal was to look scary, you would then congratulate them if they looked scary.

Gah, no. Not every costume needs sexy. A girl dressed up as 70s Paul Simon does not need any sexy up in there. A girl dressed as Data from the Goonies does not need any sexy on her. If you have a great costume, THAT is sexy enough.

I said OF THE RIGHT ORDER. ;) A girl (or guy) dressed up as 70s Paul Simon can certainly be sexy; as can Data from the Goonies. Perhaps I have a much more active sexual imagination than most ...

but of course you are right. It's hard to sex up the AWESOME-O 4000 (though now that I think about it ...) or babies.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:09 PM on October 28, 2011


I think she's making a valuable point about not letting one's disgust or disappointment with that translate into judging and slut-shaming the people who choose to participate in it. Which I've heard, at least, from some of my I-Hate-Slutty-Halloween friends.

Yeah, that's it. You don't have to dress up to enhance your sexual appeal on Halloween, but it's not inherently wrong to do so. I think that's the message.

Would anyone argue that it is inherently wrong to sex yourself up in a Halloween costume?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:12 PM on October 28, 2011


I think a lot of this depends on location and cohort. In Halifax I never felt any pressure to be sexy at Hallowe'en (or sexier than I would normally be, I suppose, since there's always that background expectation for women), but when I moved to Tennessee and was also hanging out with a younger group, the pressure was so overwhelming that one year I dressed as a nun in rebellion, and then ironically all the girls loved my outfit and I got more compliments than I probably ever have on any other Hallowe'en outfit, except for when I was the Great Pumpkin when I was three.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:14 PM on October 28, 2011


I have a few "sexy" Halloween costume stories.

One year, I didn't get around to buying or making a costume, and a friend invited me out at the last minute. I threw on black yoga pants and a black turtleneck, some cat ears, and painted on whiskers with eyeliner. Meow. Weirdly, I got whistles and freaking TON of "pussy cat" and "sexy kitty" comments. I was not trying to present as sexy at all, and was wearing a freaking long-sleeved black turtleneck and totally unsexy pants. In hindsight, yeah, maybe cats are "sexy" but I wasn't thinking of it at the time. I just needed an easy costume, cats are awesome, and I had once dressed as a cat as a little girl, so it was innocent to me. So I learned if you wear anything besides a box, people are going to sexualize it anyway.

Oh, and here's my other boring story: Last year I wanted to go as Alice in Wonderland, because I love literature and I'm blonde and I thought it would be easy and not too slutty. To my dismay, I had to look through like 5 slutty Alice in Wonderland costumes to find one that wasn't too sexy. And it was still pretty short. And Alice in Wonderland is a little girl.

I don't even know where I'm going with this, but it's just kind of messed up.
posted by Nixy at 12:15 PM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


More Jenna on YouTube:
People That Piss Me Off At The Gym, People I Would Fuck, How To Get Ready For A Date
posted by Lanark at 12:28 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Out where? I suspect that the demographics of Halloween revelers depends on your location. In my quiet little suburban enclave of Los Angeles, I don't think I've ever seen an adult trick or treating.

I live in downtown Toronto, where there are always tons of adults on their way to bars and parties (last year my wife and I were invited to three different parties) on the Saturday before Halloween. Not trick or treating, though...that would just be weird.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:33 PM on October 28, 2011


Finally, she assumes that a provocatively dressed woman is doing so because she wants to, and thus her dress should be cheered as an act of empowerment and self-determination. Is it not possible that a significant number of women would prefer not to dress provocatively for Halloween but do so out of social pressure or simply because they can't find a decent non-sexy costume?

It's not sexism to dress up slutty, or to encourage people to dress up slutty. It's sexism to tell people who aren't dressed up slutty that they should be.

I don't buy for a second that a "sexy ____" Halloween costume should be taken as an "implicit endorsement of the male gaze". What happened to the "Slut Walk" feminism we had a few months ago? It's seems pretty fucking absurd to me that women should only be encouraged to dress slutty when it is convenient for the political narrative.

Power to the slutty policewomen, and power to the people in full-body dinosaur costumes. Don't attack a girl with gender politics because she has a different idea of a fun Halloween costume than you.
posted by auto-correct at 12:33 PM on October 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


How come the show waited till Oct 2010 to blow up? Did it, like, suck last year?

Last season was actually pretty great, though I'd say overall this year as been stronger. But eps like Of Mice and Jazz Kwon Do and Dave of the Dead were awesome.

Part of the problem was that it was a mid-season replacement that premiered in April. And it was one of a gaggle of Friends-ish sitcoms ("Perfect Couples" which I never saw, "Traffic Light" which I actually liked) that all showed up at around the same time. It also had a not great timeslot, if I remember right. It just sorta got lost in the shuffle.

But apparently the higher ups at ABC liked it and gave it another shot, and now it's got an awesome timeslot right after Modern Family.

ABC's been pretty on fire with their comedies lately. That said, I still mourn Better Off Ted. And I'm eagerly awaiting whatever Cougar Town is going to be renamed to to show back up.
posted by kmz at 12:39 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


That said, I still mourn Better Off Ted. And I'm eagerly awaiting whatever Cougar Town is going to be renamed to to show back up.

Damn the fact that you're already married. Oh, and that we're both straight.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:52 PM on October 28, 2011


The Card Cheat: Maybe it used to be, but I see a lot more adults out on the Saturday night before Halloween than I do actual kids on the night itself.

Me: > Out where? I suspect that the demographics of Halloween revelers depends on your location. In my quiet little suburban enclave of Los Angeles, I don't think I've ever seen an adult trick or treating.

The Card Cheat: I live in downtown Toronto, where there are always tons of adults on their way to bars and parties (last year my wife and I were invited to three different parties) on the Saturday before Halloween.

I suspect that's more a function of downtown Toronto bars and parties being more for adults than for kids. In places where adults go to party, you'll see more adults than kids. In places where kids go to party (e.g. my kids' elementary school), you'll see plenty of kids doing Halloween stuff.
posted by The World Famous at 12:52 PM on October 28, 2011


Is it not possible that a significant number of women would prefer not to dress provocatively for Halloween but do so out of social pressure or simply because they can't find a decent non-sexy costume?

It is possible, but then I'd have to assume women do not have the imagination required to come up with a non-provocative costume or are too weak of spirit and mind to resist social pressure. Seems kind of sexist (and condescending) to me.
posted by Bovine Love at 1:17 PM on October 28, 2011


Better Off Ted (and Andy Richter Controls the Universe, which was pretty much Better Off Ted Beta) was one of the greatest television shows ever.
posted by griphus at 1:19 PM on October 28, 2011


You can acknowledge social pressure without denying the agency of people who choose to do what you would not.

But it continues to be a popular pasttime.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:22 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


jedicus: "I feel like her argument is based on internalized sexism. Two examples stand out in particular: "I could go on forever [about this]. Girls fucking hate each other." and "Halloween wouldn't be Halloween without sluts.""

Hers is basically a stand-up act. If you take it as serious social commentary, I recommend you stay away from any of the comedic stylings of Chris Rock, et al.
posted by mullingitover at 1:23 PM on October 28, 2011


I really do think that there are more women empowered by Halloween to get a hall-pass to try out a daring look that is normally completely socially prohibited for them, yet continually blasted at them as desirability. Maybe that social prohibition is a bad thing, maybe it's not, but Halloween serves a function in a buttoned-up society that constantly bombards with sexy ideals with one hand while with the other hand punishing people who act on those messages.

If there is an axe to grind (and there is), barking at sexy Halloween is barking up the wrong tree. It's being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. It's Not Helpful and it's being Part Of The Problem.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:42 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I dunno what Halloween's like where you're from, but I haven't seen an over-riding expectation for women to dress slutty on Halloween, and that those who do not are frowned upon.

Dude. I live in a university town, in a university neighbourhood. Halloween is the single largest event on the academic year calendar after Fresher's Week. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most popular costume for these young women is Street Walker. I'm sure they're calling it a variety of other things, but certainly that's what it looks like. This costume is distinguished from their normal Saturday night attire primarily by the amount of makeup involved, rather than the shortness of their skirts, the height of their heels or the skimpiness of their tops.

While I'm not a huge a fan of this, I worry more about how cold they must be. It's 11 degrees here.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:45 PM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Which is why I'm abandoning Conan the Librarian this year.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:47 PM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


Because you don't know the Dewey Decimal System?
posted by asperity at 2:59 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't buy for a second that a "sexy ____" Halloween costume should be taken as an "implicit endorsement of the male gaze".

I didn't say it always was. I said it was "in many social groups." There's a huge difference between the context of a Slut Walk and the context of a fraternity Halloween party. Dressing like a "slut" in the first is a defiance of the male gaze, doing so in the second is (often) an acceptance of it.

Obviously, the best thing would be for men not to be sexist jerks, for men and women to be social equals, and for everyone to celebrate (or not celebrate) Halloween in whatever kind of costume suits them. But for now it's a complex social issue that deserves more nuance than the link gives it.
posted by jedicus at 3:05 PM on October 28, 2011


Is it not possible that a significant number of women would prefer not to dress provocatively for Halloween but do so out of social pressure or simply because they can't find a decent non-sexy costume?

White sheet. Scissors. Ghost. Is it really that difficult? If a woman is that easy to reduce to helpless tears at the tyranny of the week she really needs to ovary up. No study is going to fix that.
posted by moneyjane at 3:18 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Which is why I'm abandoning Conan the Librarian this year.

Crom laughs at your filing system.
posted by 2bucksplus at 3:22 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


What is best in life? To file books correctly, see patrons get good information, and hear no lamentations or any other loud noise.
posted by kmz at 3:35 PM on October 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


I would like to see Marbles the dog in his/her Lady Gaga costume.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:36 PM on October 28, 2011


He is Conan, Cimmerian. He will not file. (I don't really know how he got the librarian job, honestly. Probably favoritism from Crom. To hell with him.) So I file for him.
posted by kmz at 3:37 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh... so is it too late for a sexy The Thing?

It's a very easy costume. Knock someone unconscious. Steal their costume. Repeat.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:46 PM on October 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


It's being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Good analogy. The problem (imo) isn't that women are dressing sexily. The problem is that women feel pressure to dress sexily, or possibly that costume manufacturers are artificially creating demand for sexy costumes (because ...)

You don't solve that by shaming people who want to dress sexily. Some of the best costumes my friend's have done have been pretty sexy (Wonder Woman!) and I would feel sad if they had been ashamed to go for it.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:51 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I keep meaning to be Sexy Abe Vigoda but it really just seems like a lot of work.
posted by elizardbits at 4:04 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


o snap maybe i will be a sexy alot
posted by elizardbits at 4:04 PM on October 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


You don't solve that by shaming people who want to dress sexily.

And I agree. I don't approve of slut-shaming. A major part of my initial comment was that there are reasons to disapprove of sexy-Halloween-culture that have nothing to do with whether people who engage in it are "sluts." This runs contrary to the linked video's assertion that women only hate other women for dressing sexily because they think the other woman is promiscuous.

Another major part of my comment was that sexist men are the largest part of the problem (e.g. the ones who regard non-sexily-dressed women as prudes or the ones who expect women to dress sexily for Halloween). That's quite the opposite of slut-shaming.

It's a very easy costume. Knock someone unconscious. Steal their costume. Repeat.

If you want to be a sexy The Thing then you will have to be careful only to steal sexy costumes.
posted by jedicus at 4:07 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you want to be a sexy The Thing then you will have to be careful only to steal sexy costumes.

I'm sexy enough all by myself to make any stolen costume sexy.
posted by The World Famous at 4:12 PM on October 28, 2011


Go sexy. Go non-sexy. I've been both in equal number, and I've never felt pressure to be one or the other, due to the fact that for the most part, I do not shop for a "costume"... I put together a costume.

I DO have a problem with the following conversation I had with a FIRST GRADER the other day:

1st grade girl: Hey, Ms. R, guess what I'm going as for Halloween?
Me: I dunno, what?
1st grade girl: I'm going as a call girl!
Me: Ummm....
1st grade girl: I don't have the boots though.
Me: o.O
posted by RedEmma at 4:16 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


chambers: "- Sexy Niels Bohr and his Orbiting Harem of Sexy Electrons (I'm calling dibs on this one)"

Actually, Schrödinger was the one with the harem. And he was pretty sexy.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:16 PM on October 28, 2011


RedEmma: "1st grade girl: Hey, Ms. R, guess what I'm going as for Halloween?
Me: I dunno, what?
1st grade girl: I'm going as a call girl!
Me: Ummm....
1st grade girl: I don't have the boots though.
Me: o.O
"

I read that as "I don't have the boobs though" at first.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:19 PM on October 28, 2011


I've never felt pressure to be one or the other, due to the fact that for the most part, I do not shop for a "costume"... I put together a costume.

That would be the biggest difference I see between now and 30 years ago. When I was growing up, it seemed like everyone made their own costumes, but that's probably my limited perspective.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:32 PM on October 28, 2011


Now this is a hot costume that really has me drooling!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:33 PM on October 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure what I was getting at with the scare quotes around "costume." I was in a rush.
posted by RedEmma at 6:49 PM on October 28, 2011


I like what she has to say but she makes me miss "the show" from Ze Frank :(
posted by HappyHippo at 7:37 PM on October 28, 2011


I seriously never heard of sexy as important for Halloween costumes until I saw it in Mean Girls (2004). I don't know if I'm just clueless or what, though that's possible. It might be because I usually go to Halloween things with a bunch of artsy people who like to dress up and don't buy their costumes. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, esp. in the college scene. I went to college in the city and we didn't really have that type of stuff -- I went as a "Wall of Graffiti" one year, a sandwich board with brick wall design on both sides and graffiti I had painted on it -- not sexy and frankly weird. Nowadays I go for "cute" rather than weird, but if I showed up in a storebought sexy costume (this one is my personal WTF WHY) one, people would think I was really odd. I'm in NYC too.

Not saying it doesn't happen and I'm sorry to hear women are being pressured into sexy Halloween. And pressured into buying something instead of coming up with something, because that's always the most fun part for me anyway.
posted by sweetkid at 7:57 PM on October 28, 2011


Y'all. I was a sexy giraffe last year. With a dyed-purple tongue and everything. Serious. One of my friends joined me as a sexy lobster (with oven mitts for hands).
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:01 PM on October 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


I was a giraffe once with the tongue and the eyelashes! I wasn't all that sexy though. Maybe I was? I had a turtleneck on. I called myself a "Shetland Giraffe" because I'm short, like Shetland ponies but with giraffes.
posted by sweetkid at 8:04 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


A lot of this may be concentrated on university campuses. I never noticed the sexy-costume phenomenon until I started graduate school and lived on campus. The silliest moment I remember was when two different archeology students had decided to dress like Indiana Jones, only with a mini-skirt instead of trousers. (Never mind that Indy was a terrible archeologist, and didn't keep good notes on his digs or anything....)

About the kid thing: that's just disgusting, that anyone would even THINK to make child-sized sexy costumes. Why aren't these banned as child porn?

When I was 11, I dressed up like the Dread Pirate Roberts, only I forgot that he wore all black (didn't have a copy of the movie) and wore a white shirt by mistake and everyone mistook me for Zorro. It could have been worse.

This year, I have a calf-length skirt. I think that's daring enough, showing off my ankles.
posted by jb at 8:21 PM on October 28, 2011


My favorite awful sexy halloween costume? Naughty Nemo. Yes, as in from Finding Nemo. *despairs for humanity*
posted by Devika at 8:25 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


MY EYES, Devika. Gah, whyyyy.
posted by sweetkid at 8:53 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


hermitosis: A woman who wants to be a sexy fairy and one who wants to be a regular fairy both have the right idea. How do we encourage one without discouraging the other?

By letting adults choose their own path in life, as they do, and giving them credit for that, instead of obsessing over the rhetoric that women are pawns caught in some pointless power struggle between (takes a long drag on cigarette, blows to side) patriarchal male gaze and status-conscious judgments of other women, supporting the status quo by their implicit disapproval of self-expression and individualism.

It's the basis of my graduate thesis.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:06 PM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


OMG I want to dress as a sexy sheeple.
posted by Theta States at 9:47 PM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have determined that jeffburges wants me to be murdered by my roommate for reasons I do not yet comprehend.

This makes me sad.

(Zombie things give me night terrors. Screaming night terrors. I think that if that happened, my roommates would come into my room and accidentally kill me trying to get me to stop screaming.)
posted by mephron at 12:26 AM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, at Guyism... 8 Slutty Halloween Costumes and What They Say About the Girl.
posted by troll at 2:13 AM on October 29, 2011


I just want to know; where are all these men who demand women dress in slutty Halloween costumes? Is this like a movement that I'm not aware of? #DressSluttyCostumes?
posted by P.o.B. at 3:20 AM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I mean if the answer is "at the Fraternities", then we're talking about a very, veerryy small fraction of not only men, but Halloween festivities that occur.

Those Frats wield some crazy power.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:21 AM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shouldn't the singular form of sheeple be "sherson"?
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:59 AM on October 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shouldn't the singular form of sheeple be "sherson"?

It's certainly more graceful than "h-ewe-man being."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:33 PM on October 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ohio Emergency Responders Stage Mock Zombie Invasion
posted by jeffburdges at 10:52 AM on October 30, 2011


I call bullshit (1973), but maybe that's because I grew up in Detroit.

Holy crap! That woman's wearing an Hourman costume. HOURMAN! FTW!
posted by snottydick at 8:36 AM on October 31, 2011


Holy crap! That woman's wearing an Hourman costume. HOURMAN! FTW!

On second thought, that could just as easily by a dude. The point is... HOURMAN!
posted by snottydick at 8:39 AM on October 31, 2011


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