The article "Good Girls Go Bad, For a Day" by Stephanie Rosenbloom for The New York Times website, certainly has something to say. The article is addressing the wave of over-sexualized Halloween costumes for girls and women, and damn you if you think they’re liberating. Rosenbloom talks about the scarcity of non-sexualized costumes, different reasons why women wear them, why they’re negative and why some women think they’re positive. As any decent reporter does, she offers a nice selection of ideas to mull over, even if she does throw in a bit of opinion here and there to spice up an already “spicy” topic.
Rosenbloom brings up many valid points, such as male gaze and the impact these costumes have on younger children, but after she brings up these points, she just lobs them on “society” and lets it all go, moving onto her next point. She makes it seem as though the society she is referring to is women, because some women like these costumes. She doesn’t talk about the fact that the media is constantly shoving the ideal of “Be Sexxxy for Men” on young girls, but instead makes it seem as though this one night of the year is the reason why young girls feel the need to be so “sexy." It’s not that overly sexual Halloween costumes aren’t a problem, it’s just that it’s a more complicated issue than “Tell Girls To Stop Being Sexy."
Sexy means different things to different women, something that this article completely ignores. This article is shady in the fact that women wearing sexy Halloween costumes are labeled as “slutty” and while the author never says these words herself, she quotes quite a few people who do. Yes, these Halloween costumes send a message to the young girls who see them, but can we stop blaming the women who wear them? This article is basically saying, “It’s women’s fault that girls grow up to be so slutty and risqué. It they would just stop doing A, B or C, none of these sexist problems would even exist.” And that makes sense how? Spoiler alert; it doesn’t.
Rosenbloom talks to someone who asked young girls what makes them feel sexy, and the person says that most of the girls misinterpreted the question to mean what makes them look sexy. This is a very important thing and it needs to be talked about, but this is where she leaves it, again implying that women dressing in revealing clothes makes young girls into whores. I agree to an extent that young girls seeing this behavior in grown women validates said behavior in a way, but instead of talking about how girls make girls into sluts, which is so problematic in and of itself, we talk about what is making these girls think sexy automatically means for someone else. It’s a larger problem than some thigh high leather boots and a lacy corset, but I appreciate Rosenbloom’s work.