Costume A-ha Moment…

Halloween planning is in full tilt at our house.   There are ghosts in our trees,  creepy scarecrows on our porches and cobwebs with plastic spider rings in our bushes.  There are bags of candy hidden in our closets. Pumpkins have been carved (and will hopefully survive the 85 degree afternoons we’ve been having between rainstorms.)  This Halloween has me soaking up the “family-ness” of it all.  Halloween is MQD’s favorite holiday, and it has long since been mine.  Emily mentioned the other day that Halloween is her favorite day, too, and MQD was quick to point out that with the  number of times a day that kid changes her clothes and/or dresses up, EVERY day is like Halloween to her.  

Em has been under the weather off and on for more than  week.  So the other night when I was at the store and saw this fantastic Queen of Hearts costume I caved and bought it.  It didn’t matter to me if she wanted it for Halloween or not, the gigantic hoop skirt had me so excited that I knew she’d love it.  She has since settled on a plan.  Tinkerbell for the day time at school, Queen of Hearts for the weekend trick or treating.

She’d previously been hoping that we’d all dress up as the Flintstones and was heartbroken when her buddy did not jump at the chance to be Bam-Bam.  I got to thinking about the possibility of a group Alice in Wonderland costume and MQD was on board with either a Mad Hatter or a White Rabbit.  The gears started churning and I started getting more and more excited.  Already I can see in Em’s face the teenager she will some day be.  And I know that the Halloweens she will want to dress up with me are numbered.  It seems like it was only last year that she was a little lamb, and I was a Fairy God Mother.

So when I started looking online for an Alice dress I was prepared to spend a few bucks.  I was excited.  But what I wasn’t prepared for was my reaction to the available costumes.  What if you were planning on Trick or Treating with your children?  What if you weren’t  planning  on using Halloween as an excuse to dress like a tramp?  Now this is certainly not a new observation.  I have been laughing at the quiet girls that suddenly turn in to Sexy Firemen or Sexy Nurses or Sexy Chefs for years.  And it wasn’t because I had a problem with it.  I just had a problem with hiding behind the holiday, with not owning it.  And now it seems I had a problem with the fact that costume manufacturers are under the assumption that everyone wants to look like a hooker on  Halloween.

I think it is important to point out here that this opinion is coming from the girl who proudly left the top three buttons of her shirt open while she served drinks for YEARS  because I had no shame in my game.  I sold liquor.  To men.  Liquor and laughs and, yes, a few cheap boob peeks.     I have zero problem with looking cheap.  But you gotta own it.  And if you own it, you might as well work it. And if you’re gonna work it, you might as well work it for cash.  (The impact that selling T&A along with a side order of Miller Lite had on my self-esteem and emotional development is a story in and of itself but suffice it to say that I still  don’t feel “pretty” all covered up. )

But Halloween isn’t about being “pretty.”  And this Halloween isn’t even about me.  It’s about being the Alice to my Queen.  Ultimately I found a great costume.  And it was supremely affordable compared to many of the other options out there.  And it covered my ass.  And did not require bloomers.  Alice is not known for her cleavage and my rendition would be no exception.  I anxiously awaited the arrival of the costume.  I did cringe a little when I ordered it, an Extra Large.  I do my best not to take it to heart, sizing is so relative.  And costumes always tend to run small, I didn’t have time for my pride to get in the way of… well, of my tits.  Which would most definitely not fit in a Large according to the  costume measurement guidelines on the website.  So I sucked it up, ordered the Extra Large and waited.

Last night it got here.  I pulled it on and it buttons up!  By all definitions it “fits.”  Flattering on the other hand, it is not. I can use this dress next year to go as a Prison Matron, I think.  But Em’s face.   She looked delighted.  So delighted in fact that I didn’t even cringe when I looked in the mirror.  Was I successful in procuring a costume that is not unnecessarily sexy?  Yes.  Do I look like a linebacker?  Yes.    Will I be smiling while I portray the GIGANTIC post “Eat Me” Alice?  You bet your ass.


Sidenote:  The challenges will resume shortly.  I am waiting on my slack ass buddies to catch up with me.


6 responses to “Costume A-ha Moment…

  1. I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in, oh, about 30 years, but this post has inspired me to rethink this. Thomas is a robot–I guess I could be a mom robot, right?

  2. Pingback: Something Wicked… | Excitement on the side

  3. “So I think the hyper-sexualization of women is yet another way of perpetuating the gender gap. And it is starting earlier and earlier. Forget about preteens, the Halloween costumes for girls are sexualized! ”

    Ugh… I thought about going down this route, because this was the second part about Halloween costume shopping that had me wishing I’d brought a barf bag. But if I touch on that I have to mention my hatred of Bratz dolls and assorted other fucking horrific pre-teen hypersexualized “toys.” Which would have distracted me from obsessing about ME, Karen!

    It is a slippery slope, one I hope to teach Em to navigate on her own, with her head held high. As I have said numerous times before the “what do I bring to the table” question is constantly in the forefront of my own mind. And I am working hard to insure that Em knows the answer to the question when she begins to ask it of herself.

  4. Oh man, you got me all riled with this one! I’m gonna try and not get to carried away here, and first let me say that I can’t wait to see pictures of your family on Halloween, because I’m sure you guys are gonna rock it.

    Sexy Halloween costumes are the reason I went as a whoopie cushion last year. Of course, I had to buy a men’s costume.

    My opinions on this matter are naturally colored by my experiences, and while I’d never claim to be the smartest gal around I did get more brains than looks. That might be why it is so important for women to be perceived as equal to men for me. I have a chance in that department, while the truth is I’d never win a wet t-shirt contest.

    So I think the hyper-sexualization of women is yet another way of perpetuating the gender gap. And it is starting earlier and earlier. Forget about preteens, the Halloween costumes for girls are sexualized!

    The “harmless fun” of sexy costumes leads to things like female politicians being scrutinized for their sartorial choices. I’m no fan of Sarah Palin, but I don’t give a damn that she spent 10s of thousands on her wardrobe for the campaign trail. I’m guessing the men who were running didn’t buy their suits at The Men’s Warehouse, but there wasn’t much media coverage on their outfits. I would have much rather heard more on her stances that undermine years of work by women’s movement. Because unlike her clothing, that is one of the many reasons I didn’t vote for her ticket.

    Don’t get me wrong, if it makes women feel strong to be sexy it is their prerogative to go for it, and own it like you said. It just makes me sad that for the most part retailers only provide one option for women at Halloween-“Sexy____”. If a woman doesn’t want to be sexy she has to get a men’s costume or go online and search.

    So I’m not condemning women who make the choice to use their sexuality for gain, be it monetary or self esteem. I’m condemning the fact that women (and younger and younger girls) are taught that the only thing of value they can bring to the table on Halloween is their sexuality. It’s one of the many jumping off points in our culture that eventually leads to women wondering if their only value at all is in how they appeal to men. And I think we are all better than that, and worth so much more.

    But the fact that I’m worried I sound like a shrill harpy means the cultural indoctrination of what a woman should be has worked on me at some level. That and the fact that part of me wishes I was the hot gal winning the wet t-shirt contest rather than the plain-jane worried about gender equality.

    Anyway, thanks for the post. Brings up a lot of good stuff to think about.

  5. Rachel…. you are too kind. ;P

  6. I have a feeling that you do not look near as matronly as you think. But instead probably as fabulous as always.

Gimme some love!! Please?

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