We saw displays for the sexy devil and the sexy bunny and the sexy leopard ~ which was already sold out ~ before happening upon the wall of adult costumes. First was Tavern Lady, an off-the-shoulder dress and faux-leather vest. Then came French Maid ~ a ruffled mini-dress with matching headpiece and a garter, Cheerleader ~pleated micro-mini and fitted vest, and Wonder Woman, which had not only a nearly invisible skirt but also red vinyl boot covers that reached to the thigh. We shan't mention the top which was too minimal for description.
At $49.99, Wonder Woman was among the priciest costumes, along with the Geisha ~ both $20 more than Stewardess, which consisted of a teensy polyester wrap dress with a plunging neckline. Did I forget Sexy Police woman in a tiny tight black vinyl dress, thigh high leg covers, hat, baton and cuffs?
A quick trip to Wal-Mart and Zellers revealed the same dubious selections. While the hemlines were slightly lower on the Zellers French Maid and Cheerleader, Wal-Mart hewed to form with a saucy Red Riding Hood and a naughty rag doll ~ a sultry vinyl bodice and thigh highs ~ lollipop not included.
This is not the Halloween of my childhood. When did Halloween costumes become marital aids? The hobo is now a Hillbilly Honey. The traditional vampire is now the Mistress of Darkness. I have nothing against playing erotic dress-up, or even mass-market fetishism. I’d just prefer it didn’t converge with a family holiday ~ and wasn’t sold next to the dental hygiene section. If you want to play cheerleader at home, go team. But trick-or-treating with your children in anything featuring latex and cleavage seems like a little too much trick. .
I noticed that on the outside of every package was a photo of a rather tawdry woman modeling not only the costume, but teetering heels and bras of the push-up variety. The First Lady costume was not, as one might expect, a red business suit, but a pink crepe mini-dress. At least it had the matching pillbox hat. The angel was dubbed a heavenly hottie. Even the witch had a slit up to there in her tattered skirt. As for the "Naughty Nun" with the slits and garters, well, what can we say about these messages?
My girls were confused. “Where are the monsters? Where are the real costumes for us? Where are the superheroes?” I pointed to Wonder Woman and her thigh-high boots. The response? “You can see her breasts. Mother!”
As I watched them scan the selections, reading in the spoken message, I remembered in high school, going to a Halloween party dressed as a Christmas present. My face was painted red and green. I wore a box papered in Christmas wrap. It was not seductive. And it hadn’t occurred to me that it should be. There were no adult in the superstores back then and if there were nothing I would have worn.
We moved along the aisle. I casually searched for the male equivalent of the Stewardess. Perhaps a Hot Fireman costume? Or maybe Handyman? But there was no Pool Boy. No Sexy C.E.O. There were, in fact, very few men’s costumes at all. A gorilla. A generic monster. A handful of serial killers.
I remember my brothers working hard to assemble costumes ~ fireman, train conductor, construction man, policeman, hockey player, ghosts. They did this until they were too old to go out trick or treating.
There were a few ghouls and so on but boys had fun and used their imaginations. But then, it was a more innocent time.
In this spirit, even though I am Muslim and no longer "do" Halloween, I am interspersing my cartoons with images of days gone by. There is so much I will post both today and tomorrow. I have learned much about the holidays. During my decades as a witch this was a very special night to me but all good, I thought at the time I know differently now. If I had time I would do a history of Halloween for you all. Perhaps next year!