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The sexy Halloween costume showdown: Your sex and gender morning roundup

October 1, 2010 - 09:00 AM
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How to make your sexy costume as racially offensive as possible this Halloween (Photo: Associated Press)

Welcome to October, the month the sexy Halloween costume industry remounts its campaign of offensive and oftentimes incomprehensible titillation.

Which costume will reign as the year's most utterly disagreeable foray into hypersexualized make-believe? Will it be the sexy Chinese takeout girl? The sexy straight jacket girl? Or that old standby, the sexy Indian princess?

All will succeed in making you yearn for the day when the sexy Halloween trend was merely aesthetically offensive! Let's take a look at this year's offerings:

Sexy

"No amount of medication can keep her from going crazy over you," the description for the "sexy straight jacket" costume reads. This costume screams, "mentally ill people truly haven't been marginalized in our culture until we dress as them, except sexy, for sport."

 

Sexy

The U.S. continues its long tradition of exploiting America's native peoples, this time sexually. Many a "sexy Indian" costume has graced a Halloween costume box store, but this one goes above and beyond with its economical use of pink faux leather, its modesty-preserving vulva flap, and its only vaguely "Native" styling. According to the costume's description, the "skirt is," somewhat amazingly, "eight inches long."

Sexy

Not content to simply play off the exoticization of Asian female sexuality, the "sexy Chinese take-out" costume delivers the one-two punch of exoticization and consumption to women's bodies. Bonus demoralization points gained for fortune cookie worn atop head.

Speaking of sexualization: True Child presents a handy compendium of studies on the sexualization of girls. Interesting findings, in brief: The hyper-sexualization of girls is linked to depression; fitness magazines are linked to eating disorders; peer pressure is linked to sexually abusive relationships; black girls are more resistant to beauty magazine messages than are white girls; hyper-femininity can undermine sexual health; third-graders live in fear of being fat.

An indecent exposure was reported at Georgetown on Sept. 22: "When she neared the passenger side window she saw that the driver was exposed, at which time she backed away. As she backed away, the driver lunged over and tried to open the passenger side door. The driver yelled at the complainant to come back."

Briefly: Women's spoken-word event Mothertongue will celebrate its 12th anniversary at the Black Cat on Oct.7. The Rumpus responds to gender disparities in the pants worn (or not worn) by its T-shirt models by Photoshopping (NSFW!) genitalia over its male model. In case you missed it: EEOC files sex discrimination suit against Fox News Network on behalf of homeland security correspondent Catherine Herridge.

In light of the recent bullying-related suicides of LGBTQ youth across the country— including a 13-year-old in California, a 13-year-old in Texas, a 15-year-old in Indiana, and an 18-year-old in New Jersey—the DC Center reminds us of the DIstrict's troubling data on that demographic. According to D.C.'s 2009 LGBTQ Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 25 percent of queer youth have been bullied over sexual orientation, and 29 percent of them have attempted suicide once or more.

This data is important, but it's not good enough: As the DC Center notes, the survey suffers from a lack of information on trans youth and an "unusably" low response rate.

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  1. LeahO LeahO

    Leah Orr

    Oct 01, 2010 - 03:28:54 PM

    I live in Canada and you'd think the fact that it's generally way too cold to be nearly naked in October would slow down the "sexy." It doesn't. I made a perogy costume a couple of years ago that has become the standby. Sexy? Not so much - unless you really like perogies. Warm? Yep. And, I daresay it's kind of cute on me.

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  2. squirrelygirl squirrelygirl

    squirrely girl

    Oct 01, 2010 - 02:08:48 PM

    I've honestly found it to be REALLY difficult to find non "sexy" costumes. Don't get me wrong, I love my body and enjoy being a *little* suggestive or risque one night a year... but that doesn't mean I want to walk around half naked with my labia hanging out for all to see :(

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  3. Over the River Over the River

    Over_the River

    Oct 12, 2010 - 11:52:17 AM

    I read these costumes differently. Role playing involving consenting adults can be part of a healthy sexual relationship. If dressing as one of these models allows you and you partner to enjoy each other, I say go for it.

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