Pride in Your Costume and in Yourself

Written by Hannah Meibers

Ever since I wore oversized gray ears and ran around the neighborhood squeaking like a mouse when I was five years old, I’ve been in love with Halloween.

Whether I was a critter that I saw at the zoo or an evil doer from my favorite “Scooby – Doo” movie, I was always glowing with pride in my costumes. A few weeks into March, at the age of 19, I’d already begun planning my costumes for my first Halloween weekend at Miami University this fall.

Throughout adolescence and even high school, I was blissfully unaware of the skimpy Halloween costumes that girls above the age of 14 wore. As a student on campus, I had been preparing myself for the “sexy” nurses and “naughty” teachers. However, I refrained from taking on these seemingly required college trends, and instead wore my Kim Kardashian butt pad while my boyfriend wore his gold Kanye chain.

Your Halloween costume should make you feel good about yourself | Photo via Creative Commons
Your Halloween costume should make you feel good about yourself | Photo via Creative Commons

I shared my opinion on sexy Halloween costumes with several girls. Lauren Elliot, a sophomore at Miami, gave her reaction with a shy smile, “Honestly? They’re a little bare.”

It was a relief to know that I wasn’t crazy, and that my eyes weren’t deceiving me. The costumes some Miami girls wear, along with girls all over the United States, aren’t generous in material.

The way many women dress on this holiday didn’t come from nowhere — it’s all over the media. Elaine Gossard, another sophomore at Miami, laughed as she gave an example of a costume she saw on Pinterest, a website used for pinning creative ideas to share with others. Gossard talked about the “cultural push” to dress sexy, creating a “sexed up holiday.”

It can be disappointing, as a woman, to see our sex exploited for sales. Dressing in such a way allows our bodies to be over sexualized, and creates a blurry image of who we, as women, truly are. But dressing this way is a choice every woman has the right to make.

Halloween has been a holiday meant for dressing as someone or something you’re not for as long as I can remember. So how can we shame the way women dress on such a holiday? Gossard discussed that as a society, we should encourage others to dress in what makes them most comfortable.

It’s common to feel pressured to cut your skirt just a few inches shorter, or wear a low-cut tank top. Elliot agreed that her friends feel pressured during the Halloween season to dress a certain way, to conform to the standards of the holiday trend.

However, this pressure isn’t limited to one day in October. Our society has a tendency to influence the way we dress, whether it’s to dress conservatively or to dress in a more revealing manner. This pressure isn’t new — but it needs to stop.

No matter what season or holiday it is, wearing what makes you the most comfortable, feel the most beautiful and exude the most happiness is what’s truly important.

For me, I’m most comfortable covering my skin. However, other girls are most comfortable revealing theirs. Halloween, along with every day of the year, should be about what makes you comfortable.

It was so empowering to hear Gossard say, “My friends and I have our own willpower.” Dressing how you want, because it’s what you want, is essential. “Slut-shaming” girls for the way they dress their body is unfair. Our greatest critics are ourselves, we don’t need any more people telling us what’s wrong and right.

This Halloween, my costume kept my legs and chest warm in the chilly temperatures, still allowing me to celebrate my favorite holiday like I do every year. After binge watching classic horror movies and eating handfuls of candy corn, I was in Halloween spirit.

Today, I woke up as Hannah Meibers, my costume hanging in the closet. Even though I won’t be Kim Kardashian anymore, I’m still wearing her type of confidence, knowing that I’m dressed to represent who I am.

How about you?

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