The Oversexualization of Women’s Costumes


Media by Mason Kellerman (he/him)

From what I have seen, women’s costumes tend to be advertised to be far more sexual than men’s.

I looked at the women’s section of my local Spirit Halloween. “Sexy nurse,” “sexy flapper,” “sexy cop.” 

I looked across the room to the men’s section. “Doctor,” “police officer,” “firefighter.” 

I was confused. 

Even a lobster costume for women was labeled as “sexy.”

Why do all of the costumes geared toward women tend to be far more revealing than men’s, and why do women’s costumes have such sexual connotations to them?

A finger can and should be pointed at manufacturers, as they are making women’s costumes to be far more sexual than men’s. 

I’m not saying women should not wear what they want on Halloween, but that the people creating these costumes fail to realize that some women may simply want to be a simplistic version of a doctor, rather than a “sexy nurse.”

Though manufacturers and advertising companies play a major role in sexualizing women around the Halloween season, it is also society’s fault. 

Our patriarchal society further perpetuates the ridiculous idea that women need to be “sexy” or are merely objects on display for people to view. So, companies take advantage of this sexist ideology and market women’s costumes in the same light. 

It is not okay for manufacturers to label women as “sexy” “slutty” and “skimpy.”

Personally, I prefer to take the “art imitates life” route and go as pop culture references; however, I understand how Halloween is a chance to be whatever you please and different women interpret that in different ways. 

However, what I don’t understand is advertisers and manufacturers restricting women to merely objectified versions of costumes. 

It defeats the whole purpose of Halloween as it limits what women can wear on the holiday.