So you’ve narrowed down your Halloween choices this year to: the slutty sailor, the slutty vampire, the slutty witch, the slutty pilot, the slutty firewoman, the slutty kitty, the slutty Alice, the slutty Snow White, the slutty German fraulein, the slutty pirate, the slutty Strawberry Shortcake, the slutty bar wench and the slutty Marie Antoinette—with powdered wig.
One of my favorite scenes from Tina Fey’s fucking masterpiece of the new millennium, Mean Girls, is the Halloween scene: Lindsay Lohan (back when she was still a relatively drama-free Disney darlin’ and mayhaps not yet a trendsbian) and the rest of the Plastics are getting ready for a Halloween party.
Lohan’s character narrates: “In Girl World, Halloween is the one night of the year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it. The hardcore girls just wear lingerie and some form of animal ears.” One Plastic arrives at the other’s house, dressed in cat ears and a vinyl catsuit. The gal answers her door, in a black bowtie negligee. “What are you?” Plastic No. 1 asks. Plastic No. 2 points to her headband with round fluffy ears attached: “I’m a mouse! Duh!”
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Now, really: I love Halloween. I love it more than Christmas (too expensive, too anticlimactic). Free candy is involved. And dressing up. You can string up a faux animal carcass in your yard, and people will think it’s festive—assuming you don’t live in, like, Irvine.
I’m not here to put down anybody who opts for the slutty-occupation costumes by any of the choice companies in shops such as Leg Avenue or Halloween Club. That Mean Girls scene is pretty accurate: It really is the only day of the year girls get a complete pass for showing some cleavage and leg. And if it makes them feel attractive—and thus confident—then hey, by all means. (Being comfortable with dudes staring at you like lions eyeing prey, though, is another thing.)
There’s also the intellectual culturati route you see more often at the house parties than the clubs: Gals in ’50s garb with ovens on their heads, notebooks clutched in their hands (Sylvia Plath); dressing entirely from head to toe in American Apparel (Jane Fonda); yellow tees with iron-on letters spelling New York Herald Tribune in Gothic font paired with black capris (Jean Seberg in Breathless). A good friend is going for Karl Lagerfeld this year, and he’s currently on a quest for the perfect motorcycle gloves.
It’s Halloween. So have fun. But do you really want to look like every other slutty referee and slutty construction worker out there that Friday night?