Don't be fooled by the cranky title, I actually love Halloween but this year an email from the Costume Shop Ireland has left me with a slight case of the Hulk smashy-smashy. "Check out our new costumes", they suggest. Surely, says I. To my delight and being a lover of all things popular culture, they have Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands costumes. To my horror, they also have them in "women's versions". This can only mean one thing; near nudity. Granted, in my time I have worn the obligatory skimpy Halloween costume. I'm a big fan of fancy dress and have previously been She-ra, Marie Antoinette (the dead version) and a Freudian Slip and yes, most of those were revealing in some way but the primary difference being that none of those were "male" costumes to start with that someone felt the need to make appealing to women by adding some arse and cleavage flashing.
If I want to dress up as Beetlejuice, why can't I actually dress up as him? Why the bastardised version on the right? Aside from everything else, she doesn't even look like Beetlejuice, more like an old timey umpire/prostitute, if such a thing ever existed.
Another thing that bothers me about these, is how sweet and demure the female versions are while the male ones actually resemble the real characters; creepy and weird, just like Halloween should be. My question is, why can't women enjoy popular culture how it is? Why do we need our own separate "sexy" version of it? Do women themselves find the concept of dressing up in the more authentic costumes unappealing because they would feel less attractive or is this something that, dare I say it, the patriarchy has foisted upon us over the years?
I myself had planned on dressing up as Ripley from the Alien movies this year and had the whole thing planned. All I needed was a flight suit. A cursory search on eBay gave me these results:
What I wanted was the man's suit on the right (which would be unwearably large on me) and what I find for women is the "suit" on the left. Ripley would've laughed in that woman's face, probably before rescuing her from a horrible death.
Does this bother anyone else or is it just me being persnickety?