(This post is part of the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival.)
Thanks to the good folks at NOW, October 19 has been designated Love Your Body Day. The way things are going with Halloween, I think October 31 should be called Patriarchy Day. It’s reached the point that unless you’re a size 2 lingerie model, you’re out of luck when it comes to costumes.
Sure, if you want to wear a microskirt and push-up bra and thigh-highs, then the world is your oyster. You have so much to choose from! Sexy Nurse or Sexy Witch or Sexy Cop or Sexy Parking Attendant or, I kid you not, Sexy Pilgrim. I haven’t seen a Sexy Abe Lincoln costume yet, but I’m sure it’s in the works somewhere. Microskirt, push-up bra, thigh-highs, plus a beard and a stovepipe hat. What’s sexier than the Gettysburg Address? So freaking hot.
This, people, is why Love Your Body Day even exists. Men don’t need a “Love Your Body” day because they’re not being bombarded from birth with a constant stream of messages telling them that: a) their degree of hotness is the only thing that matters about them, and b) said hotness comes in exactly one form (size 2, voluptuous, white).
Don’t get me wrong: I have no problem with sexiness. Women should have the freedom to dress however they want, and if any woman wants to go sexy for Halloween, good for her. What I have a problem with is when sexiness stops being a choice and starts becoming a requirement.
A post I saw on a college website a couple of years ago illustrates the point. A young woman had come up with a fabulous, creative idea for a historical costume, but she was too embarrassed to wear it. At her school, the only acceptable costume was the kind that comes in a Leg Avenue bag. It was Go Sexy or Go Home.
For me, it feels like patriarchy has invaded my favorite holiday. Halloween used to be wide open: costumes were all over the place, the more elaborate the better. Now everybody’s supposed to conform to the rigidly prescribed Sexy Female uniform.
That’s why we started Take Back Halloween. It’s a labor of love, our little attempt to break out of the uniform, to offer women costume ideas that span history and culture. You can go as a volcano or an Egyptian pharaoh or a 17th century Mexican nun or a 20th century nuclear physicist. Or a queen. Or an axe murderer. Or a movie star (which is actually a pretty sexy costume, in a very old school Hollywood way). Why not? Women don’t all come in the same shape and size, and neither should Halloween costumes.
Love your body, love your Halloween costume.
Posted in response to NOW’s Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival. Follow #lybd on Twitter.