Sexy Halloween costumes? Is this really something we debate about now? The entire concept is ridiculous. Halloween is an adult holiday, and yet there is suddenly a controversy over the way we choose to celebrate it. Not only is sexuality a natural part of celebrations, but sexy Halloween costumes are actually beneficial to society.
Adults celebrate holidays differently than children, which is to be expected. This is due to different factors such as maturity, different social culture (drinking culture, for example) and of course hormones and an interest in sexuality. This can be seen in many different holidays, not just Halloween. Children like Valentine’s Day for the cards while adults like it for the romance and sex. Kids like St. Patrick’s Day for the parades, while adults like it for the partying and sex.
Why, then, is it such a surprise that while kids like Halloween for the candy and princess costumes, adults like it for the horror and sex? You don’t even have to leave campus to see couples going on haunted trails. The image of a significant other hanging off the guy’s arm, terrified, and him putting on a grand show of being macho and protecting them, making it clear he hopes it leads to a sexual advance. You can’t separate humans from their sexuality, and because of that, you can’t separate it from human celebrations either.
Sexuality is often repressed in our culture. Unfortunately, individuals who try and express it are often publicly shamed and ostracized with words such as “slut” and “hussy” almost as though they are less than human just because of the way they dress. As a society, we normally hide our sexuality and pretend that it does not even exist. After all, it was not long ago the sight of ankles was considered scandalous and students were taught that women did not masturbate. The truth is, it feels good to be appreciated for your body by attractive individuals and to check them out and appreciate in turn.
Holidays such as Halloween give people an excuse to dress and act in a “sexual” manner without the social backlash that it would give them on any other day. Yes, some individuals go beyond what might be sightly, but there will always be “that guy” in any group of people. Also, exposure to more “sexy” outfits, even if it is only for holidays, leads to more social acceptance of that type of dress and sexuality in general. After all, if you see the same thing over and over again, it is no longer novel.
Even in the face of all this, there are some people who claim that Halloween is a children’s holiday and should not be ruined by adult celebrations. According to a report from the University of Albany, however, Halloween originated as the Celtic holiday Samhain (meaning “summer’s end”), which was both a celebration and a way of warding off evil spirits. The holiday, which was described as a “great fire festival,” included events such as dancing around bonfires, burning crops, and sacrificing animals.
Samhain was not the sugar-filled fairy-fest children celebrate today. In fact, the whole concept of “trick or treating” was not introduced until Samhain had been revised several times and moved to America. Even then, “trick or treating” was done by adults and was only rebranded towards children in the 1950s to limit the amount of vandalism done during the “tricking” aspect. Halloween is traditionally an adult holiday, so why should it come as a surprise that adults want to celebrate it?