Where has the innocence gone?

By on November 4, 2008

As children, the word Halloween was almost magical. When October rolled around all of us would immediately run out and try to find the scariest, the prettiest, the funniest costume; what you wore was almost as important as how much candy you scored. For our generation, a popular costume ten years ago was the Power Ranger (especially the pink one). This year, however, the most coveted costume–in stark contrast to the innocence of the pink-clad crime fighter–is the slutty sailor.

Cady Heron from “Mean Girls” said it best: “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.” Young people, college students in particular, seem to have taken this declaration to heart. Every year, women’s Halloween costumes seem to get skimpier and skimpier.

Two Saturday’s ago, Toad’s Place in New Haven held its Halloween party, and girls did not disappoint. Naughty schoolgirls, promiscuous Disney princesses, and the always-reliable sexy kitten all made appearances. And why not? Halloween is the one night a year when girls can throw all their inhibitions away, wrap themselves in fishnets and hooker heels and prance around a dance floor without being judged. It’s an opportunity we all embrace: nobody wants to be called a skank, and everyone wants to have carefree fun.

What I want to know is when did this tradition replace the others? When did the competition stop being who bagged the most candy and become who can hike their skirt the shortest? When was the excitement over getting a full-size candy bar overtaken by the excitement over free tequila shots?
Students are divided over this Halloween costume issue.

“I think there’s a difference between dressing sexy and dressing like a slut, and most girls at Quinnipiac choose the dressing like a slut option,” junior Samantha Corsi, who celebrated the holiday as a peacock, said.

Others believe that because its just one night, there’s no problem. “Dressing slutty on Halloween is fun, I can go crazy and be something I’m not the rest of the year,” Danielle Zervos, a 1920’s flapper, said.
And then there is the third opinion–that it doesn’t actually matter if you want to dress like a slut or not because the costume stores have already made that decision for you.

“It’s hard to be anything else, because that’s how Halloween costumes are made nowadays,” junior Shannon Payne said.
I agree–when browsing the various Halloween stores in Hamden, its difficult to find any costume that couldn’t be deemed “naughty.” I even came across a seductive Freddy Krueger costume this year.

How did this happen? When did all the innocence disappear? A holiday that was once about dressing up, getting free candy, and bobbing for apples is now all about getting wasted and showing off skin. It is fun to dress up, go out and have a wild time with your friends in ridiculous outfits–I don’t think this is a bad thing. We are college students, after all. But, when I look back on all my childhood Halloweens, and remember how much fun I had, it is a little sad.


About Elizabeth Johnston