|From N.Y. Times|
Seemingly innocuous characters have a sexy edge in costumes, which evoke male fantasies and reinforce a larger cultural message: younger is hotter.—N.Y. Times
Why is it that Halloween has become, as comedian Carlos Mencia jokes, “Dress-Like-a-Whore Day”? The N.Y. Times plumbs the sociological issues at the question’s root.
...Indeed, many women think that showing off their bodies “is a mark of independence and security and confidence,” said Pat Gill, the interim director of the Institute of Communications Research and a professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
It is a wonder gyms do not have “get in shape for Halloween” specials.
In her book “Dilemmas of Desire: Teenage Girls Talk About Sexuality” (Harvard University Press), Deborah Tolman, the director of the Center for Research on Gender and Sexuality at San Francisco State University and a professor of human sexuality studies there, found that some 30 teenage girls she studied understood being sexy as “being sexy for someone else, not for themselves,” she said.
When the girls were asked what makes them feel sexy, they had difficulty answering, Dr. Tolman said, adding that they heard the question as “What makes you look sexy?”
The trend is so pervasive it has been written about by college students in campus newspapers, and Carlos Mencia, the comedian, jokes that Halloween should now be called Dress-Like-a-Whore Day.
But the abundance of risque costumes that will be shrink-wrapped around legions of women come Oct. 31 prompts a larger question: Why have so many girls grown up to trade in Wonder Woman costumes for little more than Wonderbras?
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