From childhood there’s a single Halloween choice that’s crucial to the whole holiday. This one deciding factor changes your entire outlook on life… for a whopping few hours. It’s the most difficult decision you’ll have to make for the entire month of October–it’s even trickier than deciding between eating a Three Musketeers bar or breaking yourself off a piece of a Kit Kat: I’m talking about picking out your Halloween costume.

With so many costume options available and so many indecisive people, there’s a lot of opportunity for costumes to go horribly wrong. To be honest, costume shoppers aren’t completely to blame. Costume manufacturers should be held accountable for some of the unrealistic, feathered, poorly-constructed Halloween eyesores they’re mass producing every year. In a fit of Halloween journalism, I went over to Party City’s website (that’s where I got all my costume as a kid) and decided to take a look at what they have to offer for Halloween 2012. …My reaction ranged from being blatantly shocked to being very, very bewildered.

Mouthwatering Infants

Why do some parents have a fascination with dressing up their infant child as food? Is it because, technically, if they really wanted to, they could pull a Hansel and Gretel on their spawn and pop ’em right in the oven? What happened to the cute pumpkin onesies? The darling little candy corn outfit with the matching hat? I know some parents might think it’s adorable to see what their little bundle of joy would look like as a hot dog (though I have no idea why, don’t people know what hot dogs are made of?), but the next time I see a kid in a stupid food costume I hope an actual witch or some Halloween baby snatchers come out of the woodwork and eat it.

Costumes for Women
When you’re a woman, your costume options are very limited. Either you dress up in garb that would be common to any hard-working Las Vegas hooker, or you actually put in the effort to craft an awesome, unique costume. Most of the time though, buying the skimpy packaged costume is a lot easier.

Unconventional Career Uniforms
A major category of these risqué costumes fall under the career category. You know the ones I’m talking about: nurse, police officer, stewardess, maid, etc. I think it’s really a shame these are the only types of occupations that costume manufacturing companies can think of a way to objectify. What about all those cashiers, loan officers, engineers, or hair stylists that are being overlooked? I think costume shops should have a revealing costume variation of every profession, from perfume saleswomen to lady lumberjacks! Equal opportunity.

What I find most interesting about these professional costumes is how incredibly UNLIKE the costume is from the actual uniform. Let’s take a look.

Have you ever seen a female police officer in anything remotely close to this get-up? She wouldn’t be able to reach for her handcuffs without falling victim to a wardrobe malfunction, all to the delight of her unattractive, doughnut-munching, misogynistic partner. Let’s take a look at another unbelievably impractical costume:

Maybe maids in France dress this way, but no maids I’ve seen driving to work in the real world look like that. Seriously, all that cleavage? Think of the dust particles that would get lodged between the girls! I’m pretty sure wearing a maid outfit like this to clean someone’s house is only a a recipe for infidelity (that’s something I learned from the first season of American Horror Story). That’s a lot of implications to stitch into one cheap-looking yet overpriced Halloween costume.

Animal Amusements
If you don’t dress up like some skanky career woman, the other common fallback for us ladies is some kind of animal costume. Now, as an animal lover, I hate to see any disservice being done to the animal kingdom, so I have to ask: what zoos have these costume executives been visiting? Real animals do NOT look anything like these costumes! If these animal costume renditions aren’t clear indicators that animals have no business being sexualized, I don’t know what is. Take this “flamingo” costume for example…

What the… That doesn’t look like any flamingo I’ve ever seen. And what is this model thinking? You always see flamingos perching on one leg. She should’ve been fired. Let’s just call this costume what it really is: “feathered corset costume that happens to be in the same color family as a flamingo.” Maybe a raccoon costume will be better… (It won’t.)

Let me backtrack for a second. Are there actually women that want to be a raccoon for Halloween? Could you really not come up with anything else? Isn’t it our life’s mission as women to avoid raccoon eyes, and now you’re dressing up as the enemy for Halloween? Just awful.

Masquerading Men
There isn’t much to say about men’s Halloween costumes. Either they go the typical humorous route, they go as a famous celebrity/superhero, or they get one of those random oversized adult costumes. Most men don’t give a shit about costume they wear, if they even wear one at all. If you’ve learned anything from what I wrote above about women’s Halloween costumes, you know that this holiday is really just a spectator’s sport for the guys. Sometimes you’ll see that poor, unlucky dude with the overbearing girlfriend that insisted on coordinating the tackiest couple’s costume of all time. Leave that guy alone–by every indication his life is hard enough without you busting his balls over his embarrassing costume. 

I hope when you chose your costume this Halloween, you kept in mind that next year at this time you’ll be making mindless small talk with someone, and you’ll say, “Well, last year I went as ________.” I hope you can utter than sentence with pride… and without the residual effects of Halloween costume shame.

9 thoughts on “Costume Conundrums

  1. Great post! So fun and SO true!! Your post reminds me of a scene in the first Sex In The City movie where Miranda is shopping for a costume for herself with Carrie in tow. She notes that there are only 2 options for grown women: Sexy Kitten or Witch. “This is how the world sees women.” Miranda says. “You’re either a Sexy Kitten or a Witch.” And then she chooses the Witch’s costume. 😉

  2. A couple years ago, I went as Guinevere. I got blank stares even when I told them the name of my character. I had a cape and a medieval looking dress… still nothing! People would ask about my costume and by the end of the night I just started saying “King Arthur’s wife… He’s a prominent character in English myth, it’s okay if you don’t know that.”

    My disappointment in humanity reached terrifying proportions that night.

    1. Ha! It was always the worst when people didn’t recognize what you’re supposed to be. I remember in fourth or fifth grade I was wearing some medieval-themed costume and literally no one understood what it was. …Truthfully, I’m not even sure I knew what it was myself, all I knew was that it came with a pretty blue and white dress that I wanted to wear.

  3. You’re so not kidding about the costumes for women. There’s a shop with a Halloween costume display around the corner from where I work, and I swear it looks like a porn shop. Evidently scantily-clad Cinderella sells…

  4. Laughed my ass off at this. It was funny, yet true to the bone. Though, personally, I am a strong believer that Halloween costumes should always be SCARY. I don’t think they should be sexually explicit as in the Police Lady or Maid outfit. Unless, of course, it is a vampire Police Lady and a zombie Maid, both accompanied with the appropriate blood and gore.

    If I wanted to be turned on by skimpy women I’d go to a strip club. On Halloween I want to see people dressed in scary and grotesque costumes.

    1. Hahaha, I agree. But I figure if you MUST dress slutty, at least make it realistically slutty. If you’re wearing one of those costumes above, all you have to say is you’re going as a stripper in a police officer uniform–then I’ll be happy.

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