The Halloween Slut: It’s About Empowerment

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Cheyenne Johnson
Staff Writer
Illustration Sarah Good

With Halloween quickly approaching, Isla Vista is abuzz with excitement and the usual flutter of internal questions. What parties do you go to? Who do you go with? Are those heels a bad idea considering how far you’ll be walking? But most importantly: What outfit to wear?

For boys, attire is relatively simple. Stick on a cape and suddenly you’re Dracula, and if you end up giving a girl a hickey instead of sucking her blood, so be it. Girls though, we have an odd tendency to put more focus and energy into planning our fantastic attire than we did studying for the midterms that just blew right by. I don’t know about you, but I personally ordered my costume from New Jersey and am still anxiously awaiting its arrival.

Long gone are the days of shopping with your parents through the kid aisle, admiring full gown Disney princess dresses and then slipping it on over your shirt on the way out the door.

In our times of college education and over-worked late-night stupor, the joy of finding the perfect outfit stands as a simple way to relax, laughing with your friends over whether or not that one made you look fat or if that one is just not for you.

But as the childhood ease disappeared, so did the old costumes. The Ariel outfit with the long and purple tank top is replaced with a shinning green skirt and a purple shell bra. The princess dresses got shorter, tighter and more complicated with laces and ties designed to hold all that beauty in place. The heels got taller and the boobs started to pop out.

While some people view the parade of bare skin and lingerie that stroll down DP during Halloween weekend as a crude offense against women’s rights, I stand proud as a woman to say I have never felt stronger than I did last Halloween in a curve inducing black corset. Halloween is the time to stand proud in our own skin, to throw off the clichés of past generations and expose the raw power and appeal of the woman form.

Generations before us have ingrained the belief that a guy can walk around topless, basically naked and it’s not offensive or too revealing. A guy in a pair of swim trunks can stroll downtown unabashed but a girl in a bikini better be wearing shorts or it’s far too scandalous.

Ancient China promoted layers upon layers on women until sex became more about unraveling clothes then about the act itself. In past European cultures, revealing a woman’s ankle was considered an act of flirtation.

For hundreds of years, women have been oppressed and told our bodies are places of evil and deceit where men fall into corruption. With the stories of Eve and Pandora, we’ve been told that the world’s troubles are our faults. We’re to blame. Even in today’s society, we’re told we’re too fat, too short, too much of who we naturally are and it’s time we stood proud in our own bodies and rid the world of these judgments.

It’s about women empowerment. It’s about us standing tall and saying, “I look awesome and it’s not for you. It’s for me because I look amazing and you can’t have any.” It’s about deciding we can look and feel amazing without having to impress a guy. It’s being proud of our bodies and all the sex appeal every shape, size and color carries. On Halloween weekend, we’re a unified explosion of women’s rights dressed in high heels, corsets and short skirts and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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