Halloween costumes - too sexy?

Every fall there are new latte flavors to try, apples to be picked, pumpkins to be carved, leaf piles to jump in and most importantly, Halloween costumes to dress up in. Teens are never too old to go all out on Oct. 31 because there are costumes for all ages. Some of the children’s costumes are even made for late teens/ young adults, but what is the difference? It’s all in the look.

Comparing kids costumes like Red Riding Hood and Spiderman to the young adult versions, there is a quite a difference. The costumes themselves are still the same character, but the character is presented in a way typically seen as provocative. However, in my opinion, the costume is only as

scandalous as one makes it.

Picking and choosing a costume through childhood was all about what was popular or who one’s favorite character was at the time. As kids age into tweens, teens and young adults, the decision become more or less based on what their friends are wearing, what makes them

look attractive or what could make them stand out. This relates back to a common school dress code that is frequently talked about- no shoulders showing. I feel that this style of shirt or dress can only be problematic if someone takes it in a sexual matter.

This can also apply to both genders when people compare a shoulder-less dress for a girl, to a deep v-neck shirt on a guy. From the girl’s perspective, her dress is cute and casual to fit the awkward Ohio weather that changes between 7:20 a.m. and 2:35 p.m., but it can be seen as scandalous through someone else’s eyes. From the guy’s perspective, he had to dress up for his sports game later that day, and a button-up shirt could get a little too warm walking from class to class, but anyone else could interpret it anyway they like.

Illustration credit by Taylor Fenton

Halloween costumes are only as sexually-suggestive as one makes it out to be, and this goes for both men and women as young adults. It is somewhat difficult to pin-point an “outline” of or “typical” scandalous

outfit because it truly is a personal opinion. The hard definition of scandalous is [a person, place, or thing] causing general public outrage by a perceived offense against morality or law. Based on that, there is obviously a law for public nudity that cannot be crossed, but even public nudity is complete exposure of nakedness in a public environment.

A Halloween costume that is possibly too revealing or too flimsy is still legally acceptable. I think it comes down to morals, reputation and self-respect. There are over 84 categories of costumes on halloweenexpress. com and figuring that they all have 60 or more costumes, there is such a variety for how someone can dress up for Halloween.

Just remember that Halloween can be such a fun time for children getting to trick or treat, but as teens get older, the wrong costume showing off the wrong features on anyone any age can take a quick turn for the worse- by attracting the wrong attention.

After thoroughly looking at costumes for all ages, I think there is a line that can be crossed in a provocative matter. A costume could be considered “too much” if it is too short, too tight, too many cuts or tears in areas that should not be publicly displayed, or simply not age appropriate for the Halloween fan-goer. If one thinks that their costume is D- none of the above, then go for it. Just keep in mind that a reputation or image that is portrayed by wearing a risqué outfit can give someone a nickname or a “claim to fame” that may not be pleasant.


Print Editions

Online Editions