The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Costumes objectify

Janie Boschma

This past Halloween I did not have much money to spend on a costume, but I still wanted to dress up and take part in the festivities.

So to give my finances a break, I incorporated items I already owned into the old standby costume: the wicked witch.

Using the dark makeup, black boots and long black skirt I already had, my only purchase was a pointy hat to complete the costume.

On the big night, I was proud of my garb and its thriftiness. However, after stepping out onto Water Street on Halloween night, I noticed there were other penny-pinching ladies about.

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Most of these women paired lingerie and underwear with heels and called it a costume.

Remember that quote from “Mean Girls,” where women think it’s perfectly acceptable to dress scantily on Halloween by just throwing on some bunny ears and lingerie? Well, that sums up my experience on Water Street.

I saw way more cleavage, belly buttons and legs that night than I cared to.

My experience got me thinking. Why is it acceptable for a woman to go out in public for this holiday dressed like she’s hooking?

I would like to point a finger at a plethora of revealing Halloween costumes for women being sold everywhere from Wal-Mart to Savers.

Retailers everywhere are normalizing the over-sexed look and making it a trend for women’s Halloween costumes.

On my search for the perfect witch hat, and later looking for a costume for my boyfriend, I went to the Oakwood Mall and several other stores selling costumes and accessories in Eau Claire.

Walking into Spencer’s in the mall, I found a wall of over 50 women’s costumes.

No costume was especially creative, but all made sure that you could see loads of the women’s bodies.

All the women’s costumes seemed to follow this formula: miniskirts cut at least four to five inches above the knee, low-cut tops to show cleavage, and many left the women’s midriffs exposed.

Disturbingly, most of the costumes were school-girlish and looked like they should be worn in some pervy fantasy.

Hot Topic, next door, was the same, offering short skirts paired with knee-high stockings and shiny pleather boots.

I was most surprised to find these sorts of costumes offered at Savers, and especially at Wal-Mart, which claims to be family friendly, not to create walking sex objects out of its customers.

So why are women buying these costumes?

Anna Swenson, a columnist in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, had this to say in her column titled “Sexy Halloween costumes: Scary trick or tart treat?”

“Dressing provocatively to a degree of distaste gives in (to) the societal pressure that women have to be sexually satisfying to a man in order to feel beautiful,” she wrote. “Women dress in impractical, uncomfortable, potentially dangerous costumes with only one goal in mind: to be desired by men.”

So please, ladies – next year, let’s try to don a little more self-respect as well as fabric.

After all, this is Wisconsin, and you wouldn’t want to freeze any of your assets off.

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