The Vagenda

Things You Can Be On Halloween Besides Naked

This is my jam. Anyone who has seen Mean Girls/is a woman (same thing, yo) will know what the laydees in this video are talking about. In recent years Halloween has become a excuse for women to shed the clothing in favour of sexy costumes, most of which are either shop bought roleplay ensembles such as sexy nurse, sexy maid, sexy devil, sexy bunny… (ad infinitum) or  simply knickers + bra + animal ears. 
As someone who has always found Halloween preferable to Christmas (too much drama), I can but welcome this video, which essentially says: enough is enough. In recent years I have noted that Halloween costume standards are slipping. Looking back at my joyful childhood memories of October 31st, I cannot help but give a wistful sigh for the days where the whole fucking point was to make yourself look as disgusting and scary as possible. How I LONG for those days.
Of course, American Halloween is permeating British Halloween faster than you can say IT’S A SODDING PUMPKIN NOT A JACK O LANTERN YOU STUPID YANK, which is how we ended up with the perverse situation whereby a country that, having been whipped up into a storm of tabloid hysteria, is absolutely terrified of paedophiles yet sends little their children out to knock on stranger’s doors to beg for sweets. But that is not the only deviation from the pagan tradition, oh no. Seems that, in America, you don’t even need to be scary anymore. You just have to dress up as a thing. This is not something that has fully translated to Britain yet, as anyone who has gone to a Halloween Party party dressed as a fairy and has endured five hours of ‘aren’t you supposed to be scary?’ will tell you (oh, just me?) 
And yet the underwear thing is becoming more and more common, and it really has to stop. Yeah I know, ‘choice feminism’, right? The freedom to dress like a stripper completely independently of any patrirachial or societal or cultural influences (because that happens so often) is like, SO important. But so is not looking like a twat during the BEST HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR!!!
And for anyone who says this is slut-shaming I say: screw you. My friend slut-shamed me two years ago the day after the Halloween I dressed up as a sexy cat (I blame scant resources and peer pressure), in the form of a scathing Facebook post which read simply: ‘I am so embarrassed for you right now.’ And I’m GLAD she did it, because it has put all the childish joy back into my love for Halloween. No longer do I feel like I have to get my baps out/look hawt for men. Instead, I can do the Thriller Dance while dressed like a giant sanitary towel. FUCK YEAH FEMINISM.
Btw, here are some things that you can be for Halloween while retaining your impeccable feminist credentials:
A Witch
Difficulty factor: 3
Slut factor: 7 (see Hocus Pocus- rawr!)
Expense: Minimal (face paint, plastic hat, rubber nose)
Scare factor: high
Ok, so it’s not the most original costumes, and some academic theorists might say that turning what was historically a paganistic approach to female empowerment and a tribute to our fertility into a caricature of a wizened, crooked, ugly old hag with a green face may not be totes PC. Women died because of society’s fear of witchcraft, don’t you know? To which I say: get lost academic theorist! Halloween is fun and therefore not for the likes of YOU. Have you ever seen the Wizard of Oz? That bitch be SCARY. Plus, worrying about being insensitive to 16th century witches is like yelling TOO SOON in the face of someone who just told a joke about a Triceratops. Just how many Jimmy Savilles there are going to be this year? THOUSANDS. And I’m not saying that’s right, but get some perspective, yeah?
The Ghost of Mary Wollstonecraft
Difficulty factor: 10 (for other people)
Slut Factor: 5
Expense: Moderate (18th century period costume, flour)
Scare factor: Medium
She’s back from beyond the grave and she’s vindicating her rights, bitch. Going to a Halloween party as the first ever feminist may sound a little obscure, but everyone apart from those in the know will just think you’re an old fashioned ghost. This means that you’ll have to say the words ‘I’m the ghost of Mary Wollstonecraft’ at least 286 times, but you’ll also look really clever and not at all pretentious, somewhat like the guy at uni who went to a party dressed as the Dutch tilt. Having to explain to everyone what your costume is puts you on another level of cool. I once went to a ‘P’ party as ‘Postmodernism’, so I know what I’m talking about. People will LOVE you.
A Radical 1980s Feminist
Difficulty factor: 10+ (you’re not just difficult, you’re downright unpleasant)
Slut Factor: 0
Expense: Low (dungarees, angry face, hairy armpits)
Scare Factor: High (for men) Higher (for women)
Probably the scariest feminist costume out there, this one will have men and women alike running for the hills, even though the hills probably HAVE EYES (*scary music*) All you really need for this is a pair of dungarees and an angry face, but you could always accessorise with a hand mirror (for looking at your fanny in during workshops) and a copy of the SCUM Manifesto. Then proceed to tell every man who approaches you that he is soon to be made obsolete through the evil yet terrifying combination of robotics and artificial intelligence that you are working on in the Guardian’s secret underground lab, and then take off your bra and burn it. 
Margaret Thatcher
Difficulty factor: 2
Slut Factor: -50
Expense: Moderate (a wig and a carton of milk)
Scare Factor: Infinite
This will probs work much better up North, where people’s lives were actually ruined by Thatcher, as Down South in That London they seem to have a bizarre and alarming tolerance of her that sometimes verges on adulation. Up North, however, (and especially places like Sheffield) you will end up having lots of drunken conversations with your fellow partygoers in which you bond over a mutual hatred of the Tories while downing Jaegerbombs and singing the Smiths. Plus the carton of milk you’ve been accessorising with will make an excellent White Russian and strengthen your bones for that long march down to London to protest about the State Funeral once the old lady eventually pops it. Still, first female PM, eh?
A Vagina
Difficulty factor: Maximum
Slut Factor: Infinite
Expense: Enormous
Scare Factor: Cuddly
The most feministy costume of the lot. There are ready-made vagina costumes out there, but expect to spend a fortune. Much better to invest in 50m of salmon pink fabric, a sewing machine, and hours and hours of your time. However, the payoff will be SO worth it. Bonus points if you add teeth. 
Image: craftster

9 thoughts on “Things You Can Be On Halloween Besides Naked

  1. I went as Pippi Longstocking one year. I reckoned she was a feral child and scary enough. Am hoping to find a long lacy white dress and go as Miss Havisham this year. If I dressed up as a vagina, no one would get it or be amused by it. Shame. Although I can stick sequins all over it and be vajazzled instead

  2. My ex-boyfriend is nuts for Halloween and throws a massive party every year (with its own special sub-theme like fantasy or superheroes) as an excuse to persuade his female friends to dress as minimally as possible as all his favourite sexual fantasies (Wonderwoman, Catwoman, Seven of Nine – you get the idea). He is quite open about this aim. He would deliberately play us off against each other in the hope (often fulfilled) that a desire to outdo each other would loose a few layers! In the years we were together I tried to out do his gorgeous friends in the sexy stakes (pun intended) and always felt I failed. After we split up, but stayed friends, I went as Thursday Next, Literary Detective (for Law and Disorder) from Jasper Fforde’s riotous books. She wears jeans, t-shirts and boots and bashes baddies in an inelegant manner. Then for vampires, monsters and their killers I avoided two different incarnations of Kate Beckinsale in catsuits (from Underworld and Van Helsing) to go as Mina Harker from Dracula. In an accurately prim Victorian costume. Not a sexy steam punk kind of way.

    You may wonder why such an ardent feminist was with such a man – thing was that in all other respects he was right-on and left wing and egalitarian. I just saw this a peculiar quirk for several years. Partly because he had successfully convinced me that it would help me loose my inhibitions. Ha ha.

    This year I’m going as a zombie with full gore make-up. With my new boyfriend. Who just likes zombie films because they’re silly and doesn’t even bother to look at my underwear because he wants to get it off asap.

    • I went to a ‘Tarts and Vicars’ party once as a dessert (extended interpretation of tart); an ice-cream to be precise. My costume consisted of what was essentially a massive shapeless polyester cocoon in the design of cone and topping. I wore a little red beret as a ‘cherry’ on my head. The lad hosting the party was supremely disappointed because not only was the number of women present unsurprisingly low, but because among us was a ‘nun’ (proper habit, no flesh showing aside from her face) and several lady ‘vicars’ who were sexy in a Dawn French in Dibley kind of way, but again evidently not what he’d been praying for, if you’ll pardon the pun.

  3. I once spent hours transforming myself into the most vile, rotten-looking and ultimately pretty darn scary zombie for my uni’s Halloween fancy dress competition, only for a girl wearing an Anne Summers corset to win. Gah!

  4. Favourite halloween costumes of years gone by…a pirate, with fake tattoos and an eye patch, Charlie Chaplain, The Paper Bag Princess (I was broke that year), and Vicky from the TV show ‘Black Beauty’ complete with cardboard horse! This year I am going as a Robot whose fleshy disguise is tearing away from her metal bones beneath…
    Love the Bat idea btw.

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