Sexy Halloween costumes used to mean tight dresses, short hemlines and tall heels all reminiscent of a sex shop fantasy outfit. But now we have Sexy Pizza Rat, Sexy Cecil the Lion, Sexy Donald Trump and Sexy Minion.
The trend has inspired fierce debate across the Internet, including one essay titled, "I Have No Problem With My Tween Wearing Sexy Halloween Costumes." "Tweens and teens are supposed to experiment with their image, their gender identity, and yes, even their sexuality. It’s normal," the writer argues.
Critics of the sexy Halloween movement, however, argue that sultry costumes degrade women by defining them by their appearance instead of other attributes, such as intelligence and kindness. For many, the trend can especially be problematic when sexy costumes are aimed at a young crowd. "Can’t we still have children parade around the neighborhood for candy looking like some version of Big Bird or a Bumble Bee, rather than a, well, a slut?" argued an Atlanta Journal Constitution writer. "Men may be the only ones having fun with their Halloween costumes. Because the pressure is rarely on them to look hot or sexy, they can enjoy the one night of the year when we’re supposed to look terrible."
In case you think the people behind sexy costumes have no standards, Chad Horstman, CEO of Yandy.com, which made sexy versions of Pizza Rat and Cecil the Lion costumes this year, said he does follow certain guidelines. "We try to stay away from religious things," he told Maxim. "You know, like nuns and priests. Just anything religious we don’t sell. I feel bad saying this because I’m not gonna to word this correctly ... like we didn’t sell Bin Laden, because it was basically just a Muslim outfit. So we stay away from anything religious, which a lot of companies do. Sometimes one or two sneaks in just ‘cause we carry like five thousand. We also left Hillary alone. We didn’t think that would be good."
But here's the thing: Who says dressing sexy has to involve flashing inches of cleavage and thighs? One study found men reported traits such as courage, honesty and individuality as sexy. At the same time, for most women, expressing sexual confidence means being in a loving, long-term relationship.
Below are 14 ideas for how to dress sexy this Halloween, because it's your body and you get to decide what sexy means to you. "We need the regular sight of diverse reality to wear away the plastic-stereotypical-perfect image against which we've each been taught to measure our selves," feminist icon Gloria Steinem has said. "The impossible goal of 'what we should look like' has worn a groove in our brains. it will take the constant intimacy of many new images to blast it out."
Wearing scary face paint? That's sexy.
Caring for your pet? Totally sexy.
Double the lipstick? Way sexy.
Pink princess? That can be sexy if you want.
Flower crowns complete a sexy natural look.
Writer Anne Rice helped start the sexy vampire trend decades ago with books such as "Interview With the Vampire."
Surfing Wonder Woman? Sexy and tough. Yes.
Celebs are also big fans of sexy Halloween costumes.
— ELLEUK (@ELLEUK) June 10, 2015
— PeopleStyle (@People_Style) October 6, 2015
— POPSUGAR (@POPSUGAR) September 17, 2015
— Kitchen Daily (@KitchenDaily) October 31, 2014