Thursday, October 15, 2009

Scary Costumes

This week is weirdly both long and short. In a way, I'm like "I can't believe it's already Thursday," but at the same time, I woke up this morning thinking it was Friday, so now I'm like "you mean it's still just Thursday?" Not that Friday has the same allure to it that it did before I was self-employed. I usually end up working just as much on Saturdays as I do on other days of the week, and I'm more likely to have to get up early in the morning on Saturdays. Still, there's just something about the concept of Fridays.

I don't have to go anywhere today -- no classes, rehearsals, meetings, funerals, errands -- so I'm hoping for some quality working time. Taking apart a book and putting it back together again is a lot of fun. It's like getting a do-over.

I can't believe Halloween is only a couple of weeks away. I've got my costume planned for the party I'm going to, and it's a good thing I was able to come up with something non-commercial (as in not buying a pre-made costume) because there was a flyer for a party/costume supply store in the newspaper yesterday, and the costumes in it were truly frightening. Not in the "Eek!" way, but in the "What the hell is wrong with these people?" way.

Apparently, the only Halloween option for women is to be a slut. Almost all of the female costumes were stripper-caliber. I thought the lingering popular culture messages of "boys can be doctors and girls can be nurses" from when I was a kid were bad, but now it's "men can be doctors and women can be naughty nurses." Wherever they showed a male/female costume duo, the man was something reasonably normal, while the associated female costume was slutty and subordinate. In addition to the doctor/naughty nurse, we had the prison guard (male, fairly normal police-type uniform) with the female prisoner, in a skin-tight, extremely low-cut, miniskirt "jumpsuit." Even where it seems like the two people were meant to be peers, the woman was the slutty version, so there was the male cop with the female "cop" low-cut, miniskirt uniform or the male racecar driver in jumpsuit with the female version in unzipped minidress with push-up bra showing (you know, that jumpsuit is to protect the driver from fire, so when it doesn't cover the skin, it's sort of missing the point).

The costumes advertised as for "teens" were even worse, as all of the teen girl costumes seemed to have been made from the same French maid outfit pattern -- corset-like bodice with really short flouncy skirt -- just in different colors and with different accessories to convey different characters. In red satin with a horn headband, it's a devil. In black with fake fangs and a high collar it's a vampire, etc. But then it got really creepy when there was the slutty version of Raggedy Ann, slutty Holly Hobby and slutty Strawberry Shortcake (all of them with the same low-cut very short dress and with thigh-high stockings and platform stripper shoes). What pedophile decided to make slutty Lolita versions of children's toys for teens to wear?

There's a very fine line between "confident in your own sexuality" and "desperate for masculine attention," and most of these costumes seem to veer onto the desperate side of things. Girls and women, have a little self respect. You don't have to flaunt yourself or demean yourself to be attractive or sexy.

Yeah, I know, I'm the person who wore a midriff-baring top and pleather pants for Halloween last year, but that was to mock the typical urban fantasy book cover, not to gain masculine attention. This year, my costume will be as far from sexy as it's possible to get, but knowing the crowd I run with, it may be the kind of thing that gets me even more masculine attention because they'll be amused at what we've put together (it's a group thing). And no, I'm not saying what it is. It's going to be a surprise.

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