Random Asides

Halloween: A Report from the Front Line

Please be warned, this missive contains little to no science or skepticism, and is intended only as a follow-up to my recent posts about the sexy Halloween craze.

After work last night, I joined a few friends for drinks. I was dressed as a roller derby girl, complete with quad skates, helmet, pads, and black eye. I was joined by the Green Lantern (I believe he was the Hal Jordan version) and Supergirl, and later the “debauchery referee,” aka “girl who grabbed a striped shirt and a whistle to go out drinking.”

I was on a mission to identify the most ludicrous “sexy” costume, but our first venue offered nothing but some scantily clad cowgirl waitresses and a sexy devil wearing a strapless red halter top, horns, and a pointy tail. She sat at the bar with less festively dressed friends, periodically adjusting her boobs.

We polished off two margarita bowls and decided to move to another bar. Upon standing up, I realized that skates plus margaritas equal gracelessness on a level even I have difficulty reaching on a normal basis. The marble steps outside were a blast.

As we walked down the street, we were disappointed to note very few costumes. That is, until we ran into a dominatrix leading a man by a leash. I got the feeling they weren’t dressing up any differently than usual. They were heading to Vox down the street, where apparently there was a costume contest. We followed the kinksters into a veritable mecca of costumed people-watching.

The two-level bar had the most space upstairs, so I slowly climbed the winding marble staircase on my tiptoes as my friends followed with my drink. It was an after school special waiting to happen: kids, don’t drink and skate.

As the bar began to fill, it soon became evident that the most popular costume this year was “Girl with Low Self-Esteem.” This was clearly chosen by those people who scanned the Sexy aisle of the local costume shop but were unable to find anything to their liking. They instead decided to wear the shortest skirts they could find paired with high heels, low-cut top, a liberal amount of glittery make-up, and any one of the following: wings, horns, halo, tiara, wig, ears, silly yet sexy hat. The latter is what separated Halloween from any other night out.

In case you were worried, the guys appeared to be nearly as interested in sexiness as the girls. There were two Hugh Hefners (older guy wins for authenticity but gets demerits for skeeviness), at least one pimp, the aforementioned sub, and a legion of 70s sports figures (my favorites being the swim team, who looked like they had just stepped out of a Beastie Boys video, and an inspired Larry Bird with an impressive blond afro). My winner for most horrific girl costume goes to the THREE girls who dressed as . . . wait for it . . . GOLD DIGGER. One was homemade, so she gets a small amount of kudos, but the other two were dressed identically, using the same trashy gold lamme visual affront to nature they got from the $3.99 bin at Whore World. Just kidding — it was the $49.99 bin. Larry Bird was all over one of the gold diggers, which I guess means that he’s not very broken up about the recent death of Red Auerbach.

One of my favorite girl costumes was a poodle. She was kind of sexy in that she showed a little leg, but she was unabashedly going for adorable over sexy in that she was wearing a giant fluffy white costume. I kept hugging her because she felt like clouds. Not real clouds, but dream clouds. Best overall costume was Pluto, which I didn’t even get to see but saw a picture of this morning. One person was the rest of the solar system, with a highlighter-yellow face as the sun and a mobile of planets spinning around her face, and the other person had a single tiny ball on his head representing Pluto (with a sad face).

Overall, yes, there were a lot of girls dressed like whores, but I was happy to see that a surprisingly large percentage came up with some good costumes that were a lot of fun. My conclusion: sellers of sexy costumes have not yet destroyed feminism or Halloween.
You can see photos of everything here (click on “Halloween 2006 at Vox Populi”), including one photo of me and my compatriots. I may edit this post at a later hour to include photos I took.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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11 Comments

  1. Last night, I saw not one but two sexy bumblebees. Two different sexy bumblebees.

    And, then, because I live on the B-Line, I was assaulted by a heck of a lot more on my way home from my play last night. Stupid frickin' B-Line.

    Minor props to the guy who dressed as Rod Stewart, though.

  2. Ah, the sights I miss not getting over to the Boston side of the river anymore. . . .

    I was on a mission to identify the most ludicrous “sexy” costume, but our first venue offered nothing but some scantily clad cowgirl waitresses and a sexy devil wearing a strapless red halter top, horns, and a pointy tail. She sat at the bar with less festively dressed friends, periodically adjusting her boobs.

    Surely, this is a service which someone else would be happy to provide for her.

    (Did I just say that out loud? Was I talking? Could they hear me?)

    Last night, I was strolling along Kirkland Street, heading from Cambridge into Somerville, and I passed a trio of children walking the other way. The boy was wearing nondescript everyday clothes, while the two girls were both in fairy outfits; I’d say they were all ten or maybe eleven years old apiece. Just as I passed by, mulling over Pynchon’s new book or whatever I was thinking, the boy jumped up on a porch railing and exuberantly leapt down again.

    “Full of energy, these little munchkins,” I thought.

    “Hey,” the boy said to his friends, “I dare you to do that!”

    “I can’t jump off things,” a girl said, “because I’m not wearing anything under this.”

    At which point, I walked out of earshot, wondering what was up with my species.

    The party I visited Saturday night had some good costumes: Borat, the young Ben Franklin, Post-It Man from the Office Space DVD cover. . . The two sexiest were a red-hot chili pepper and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction (the latter complete with a syringe in the chest).

  3. I don't mind girls in halter tops or corsets/bodices playing sexy devils.

    In fact, the girl I talked with last Saturday was dressed like that. Complete with short skirt and fishnet stockings too. Very skepchick looking IMO :D

    Of course, as far as originality goes, that might not score very high in the US. But she and her friend were the only ones dressed like that at this particular party.

  4. That is hilarious! Especially because my boyfriend and I are super geeks and a couple years ago we went to our local Center of Science and Industry Halloween and Costume Party as…a Jedi (him) and a Jawa (me). Now THAT is true love people. No heaving-breasts, short skirts or flirty flounces for me. No sir, I was dressed head to toe as a fictional bipedal dessert rodent. :) My eyes even lit up and I had a voice changer for my occasional yells of "Ootini!". The best, of course, was when I pulled off the hood and black face mask to get a few breaths of fresh air and some drunken party guy would yell "Dude, you're a chick!". There were lots of great costumes though, from sexy to weird. I will definately have to steal the Rolelr Derby Girl idea for next year Rebecca! Thanks for the great blog!

    Suzi

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