Halloween: Night of the Living Slut

Each year, Halloween serves as a costumed cultural barometer, aesthetically reflecting desires that often get little expression elsewhere. For women, scant, sexualized attire has been a popular option almost as long as Halloween has been celebrated, but the ubiquitous ‘slut’ costume trend has now become a parody of itself, inspiring videos like this, this, or this. It’s easy to overlook how, um revealing, this issue is, where each “sexy ______” costume is either reinforcing the objectification of women or freeing women from patriarchal body control for one night a year, (which both happen to be two sides of the same coin that feminists flip daily).

With only a few days to go before All Hallows Eve, The International Business Times already has a lock on what costumes made the Top 10 list this year. An obvious winner is the cartoonishly sexual Miley Cyrus, but coming in close after is Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones’ dragon mama, with her smoldering and powerful brand of sexy that tries far less hard. Before you bemoan just how sexist commercial Halloween costumes have become, it’s useful to peer behind the hype to see the ever-so-slight broadening of the Halloween slut spectrum.