McWilliams: Halloween is meant for slutty outfits, let’s stop slut shaming

Leta McWilliams

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board. 

Halloween seems to be the one time of year where women are heavily slut shamed for what they wear because it’s too revealing.

Ad

In the famous words of Cady Heron, “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

While the part about girls wearing what they want is true, people still have a lot to say about revealing costumes. This behavior of slut shaming women because of a costume they choose needs to stop.

Slut shaming can be defined as, “the action or fact of stigmatizing a woman for engaging in behavior judged to be promiscuous or sexually provocative.”

Slut shaming is a common occurrence for women on a day to day basis. During Halloween season, slut shaming seems more persistent due to the choice of costumes woman can pick from. People know women are going to show more skin, making the problem much more of a regularity during Halloween. 

People dress up and go out on Halloween because it’s fun. Whether your idea of fun is scary, sexy or funny doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re having a good time. Slut shaming has no place in a holiday meant for dressing as someone you are not. 

Many women share their stories of the negative impacts of slut shaming on Halloween, stating that it ruins their experience. You wouldn’t make someone feel bad because their zombie make up scares you. You wouldn’t make fun of someone because their Ted Cruz/Zodiac Killer costume made you laugh. The same principles apply to that girl you see wearing a Playboy bunny costume. Everyone wants to have a good time and dress up, that’s the point—no need to comment. 

This also brings up problems regarding sexual assault. Taking advantage of a woman because of what she’s wearing brings up the recurring issue of victim blaming

Many women have spoken out about being assaulted on Halloween because of their costume. Being in a college town, we are surrounded by bars and party culture, especially on Halloween. Just because a woman is showing more skin does not mean she wants to be taken advantage of. Though she might be attracting more attention, her sex appeal does not justify sexual assault or rape of any kind. Colorado State University issued a statement Thursday explaining that: the only form of consent is saying yes.

This problem isn’t just coming from one side. Women put down other women for wearing revealing costumes, and slut shaming another woman just gives men more power in doing so. Putting down another woman for her costume is enforcing the idea that because they’re showing a little more skin than usual, they require less respect. It is the first step in allowing men to think their disrespect is justified.

Women need to empower one another, not put each other down. It doesn’t really matter how you feel about revealing Halloween costumes, because you’re not the one wearing it. Ruining someone’s night because you feel uncomfortable by their confidence isn’t going to help anyone.

Ad

If someone is confident with how they look, they shouldn’t be put down, especially on a holiday meant for dress-up. Problems regarding self-esteem often stem from feeling bad about physical appearance, so a person’s confidence should be praised. Simply put, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

If you’re planning on wearing a revealing costume this Halloween, remember to have fun and be confident regardless of what other people say, but also remember to be safe. Surround yourself with friends who empower you. There’s no reason to feel bad about choosing a particular costume, so rock it as best you can. Halloween is a holiday to have fun, so don’t let anyone ruin it, and don’t ruin it for someone else. 

Leta McWilliams can be reached at letters@collegian and online at @LetaMcWilliams