Bring the Sexy Back OUT of My Halloween

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

By Tonilyn Hornung

Walking through the Halloween store, I feel like I’m on the show 20 questions, except the toddler version. In this version, instead of 20 different questions asked, there is only one question asked 20 times:

“Who’s that?” my little guy inquires.

“That’s a Sexy Cat,” I answer, reading the description.

“Who’s that?”

“That’s a Sultry Pirate.”

“Who’s that?”

“That’s a Frisky French Maid.”

Even though my two-year-old doesn’t understand the scary trend that is happening here, I do. I’m beginning to become embarrassed. I look for the children’s section, hoping that his aisle doesn’t include costumes like “Itsy-Bitsy Sultry Spider” and “Little Bo Peep Show.” When did Halloween stop being scary and become so sexy?

I’m a Halloween purist. I prefer my ghosts and goblins to be properly scary, complete with blood-drenched faces and horrible limps (due to the fact that one leg is decaying and not because one sexy red stiletto is rubbing blisters on the wearer’s heel). When did zombie costumes suddenly come complete with their own miniskirt, a pair of fishnet stockings, and vibrators? Who knew zombies preferred miniskirts to brains in the first place? Was there a zombie focus group that I missed?

Pushing my kid though this sea of slinky costumes, I can take a guess at who came up with the idea for all of these alluring costumes: a teenage dude. I picture a group of pimply suits, sitting at an oversized table, playing Minecraft and thinking up outrageous outfit names. As I skim the titles of the male costumes, all I see are are bland descriptions like “Rustic Pirate” and “Seven Seas Mate,” which just further seems to illustrate my theory. Sure, my description might be a little stereotypical, but titles like “Viking Vixen” feel a little cliche, too.

Just because I like my Halloween more on the spooky side instead of the erotic side does not mean I’m a prude, either. In fact, once a year, I hike my boobs up to my chin for the world to see at the Renaissance Faire. (A nerd, yes. A prude, no.) If a woman wants to wear her “Risqué Raccoon” outfit to her office Halloween party, more power to her—and I’m guessing power her boobs will wield. I know my Ren Faire boobs get me free drinks and free racy comments from many a male. There’s attention and power to be had in sex—be it fleeting or real. The beer in my hand certainly tasted real, but I’m not so sure how sexy and Halloween mix.

When I was younger (before the internet and when I walked 20 miles to school, uphill both ways, and liked it), on Halloween night, who a person was in real life didn’t matter. Pretty or not. Ugly or not. Sexy or not. It made no difference. This was the one night of the year we were all created equally gross. That spooky night was the great equalizer. We all wanted to be the best at being scary, creepy, and doing the dance to Thriller. Now, it’s just another day that I’m supposed to have to try to look my sexy best because my picture might end up on the internet for the world to see? Not this “Foxy Mom.”

Maybe since I’m a mom now, I’m just missing the point, or maybe I’ve just watched too many horror movies and know that the girl dressed all hot is the first one to get eaten by zombies on Halloween night. But this year (and every year) I will not be perpetuating a teenage male fantasy by purchasing a maid costume that reads, “Hoovering Ho.” I don’t think the original intent of the holiday was for those kinds of “tricks” or treats. I will stick to my frazzled mom outfit, donning my unwashed sweatpants and tennis shoes while I watch my little one play dress-up for candy.

Besides, I know something that “Naughty Kitty” limping in those 12-inch stilettos does not: when the zombies do attack, I will be able to outrun her.


About the Author

Tonilyn Hornung is the author of the humorous self-help book How to Raise a Husband available where books are sold. Her essays have been published in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Redbook, Harper’s Bazaar, Woman’s Day, The Washington Post, Scary Mommy, Parent Co., Sammiches and Psych Meds, Today’s Woman Magazine, and other magazines her husband has never heard of. She was a blogger for Skirt! Magazine and Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine. She lives with her one cat, two dogs, one husband, one toddler, and never enough closet space.