Dear Halloween,

I think you are a lot of fun. When I was a young girl, I relished the opportunity to dress up in a scary costume and go out with my friends at night. The candy — a big plus!

As I grew older, I started to go to parties. My friends and I would watch scary movies, gorge on candy and chocolate, and hit as many haunted houses as possible. Even now, at 26, I enjoy dressing up and going to Halloween-themed parties. It’s just an excuse to be a child again, right?! And there is nothing wrong with that!

But, I have to say: the older I get, the more disappointed I become. You’ve become very sexist, my dearest Halloween, and it’s becoming really hard to love you.

I was having a hard time coming up with a costume idea this year, and decided to go to a party store for inspiration. I wandered up and down the aisles, looking at all of the outfits labelled for women. It was disgraceful. Everything was “sexy”: sexy cat, sexy devil, sexy milkmaid, and sexy foods (you think I’m joking, but I’m not). Anything not labelled “sexy” was revealing in nature. All the dresses were really short and the tops were a little more boobilicious than I would like.

Of course, the male costumes are all weather-appropriate for the month of October in Canada.

Then, I made the mistake of googling “halloween costumes – ideas for women”. Oh dear, Halloween, what have you transformed into?!

You used to be a day of innocence. The day was about the scary stories, the history, and of course, the candy. People honoured the dead in your name! There would be street festivals, family dinners, and cemetery rituals. Now, even the candy is too expensive for people to care. It’s all about what people wear and who takes notice of those legs.

My biggest concern is that kids are growing up thinking this is the norm. Teenage girls are putting on plaid skirts and letting their bras show through their blouses. Girls are plastering their face with glitter and lipstick, going to parties in bikinis, dressed as pop stars or scantily-clad video game characters. The number of people I see on the subway dressed up in outfits that cover very little of their body is startling. And, it increases every year.

To be clear, if a woman wants to dress up like a sexy kitten, that is her prerogative. A woman should feel safe during this holiday to be whoever she wants to be! I’m just arguing for options!

Halloween, I know you don’t have a lot of control over people’s decision-making, but please tell me this is not what you had in mind! Please tell me you didn’t want people to objectify themselves or parade around in skimpy lingerie. Please tell me that this is all a big mistake!

Of course, you can’t tell me anything. You’ve become too commercialized, too selfish, too self-involved to care what you are doing to today’s youth.  I never thought the day would come when I would be disappointed in you, Halloween. I never thought you would give up on your roots.

At the end of the day, I stayed true to myself. I decided against buying one of those horrendous and sexist costumes, and instead purchased some makeup and went as a scary, sewn-together monster.

Because, Halloween, I will never give up on you. Even when you are at your worst.

Sincerely,

Katherine DeClerq

Author

Katherine DeClerq is the editor of Women's Post. Her previous writing experience includes the Toronto Star, Maclean's Magazine, CTVNews, and BlogTO. She can often be found at a coffee shop with her MacBook computer. Despite what CP says, she is a fan of the Oxford comma.

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