I am never going out for Halloween again. Add alcohol to an occasion that has increasingly become about ‘slutting up’ and hooking up, and you get an experience that is only bearable if obscenely intoxicated. Anyone who has ever been downtown London on the 31st can attest to the innumerable sightings of barely-concealed flesh, made more revealing by copious amounts of alcohol. I am not against fun, don’t get me wrong. However, for the sake of one’s own self-preservation, I cannot quite comprehend the mindset that would lead people to cover themselves in nothing but a sparkly bikini and step out into the cold late-autumn air. As I stood in an incredibly long line at the Barking Frog downtown last Halloween, I realized the last thing I wanted from that night was a free peep-show. I wonder what happened to a night that once revolved solely around eating as much sugar as humanly possible. People grow up, I suppose. But I don’t think growing up should entail replacing candy with sex.
I think perhaps the most vivid memory I have of last Halloween was the moment I set eyes on Eve. No, I did not meet the girl of my dreams or anything. I did, however, witness the epitome of temptation. This skinny girl came staggering through the side door of the Frog and pushed her way onto the dance floor, clad only in what appeared to be a bra and panties covered in leaves. I think that was the moment I realized I needed to get home, or at least that I didn’t quite belong next to that temptress. Tugging self-consciously at my leopard-print dress and adjusting my ears, there on the sticky dance floor I truly contemplated the ‘new’ meaning of Halloween for the first time.
And I didn’t like it. I mean, dressing up and getting pretty for the guys is one thing; baring it all at the risk of getting frostbite is a whole other issue indeed. Whatever happened to the innocent tradition of asking strangers for candy? Now, Halloween seems to be about asking strangers for a whole lot more than that.
Part of the tradition surrounding the slutty Halloween costume includes the violence with which members of both sexes pursue each other. Heaven forbid you get in the way of a ‘slutty nurse’ hell bent on seducing the hunky doctor of her dreams. It gets downright dangerous having a large number of people in one area, all desperate to throw their bodies at the first guy who notices them. Hooking up is a serious business, I guess.
If the girls try their hardest to come across as sluts, then the boys step quite eagerly into their roles of hunky seducers. Muscular displays and incredibly cheesy pick-up lines are all part of the Halloween act. Adam and Eve take a mutual bite of the forbidden fruit that is alcohol, and fall deeply into some twisted satanic temptation. The best instance of this dance of the sexes occurred when a fireman offered to show me some fun at his place. Granted, he was quite tanned and muscular, and I was more than a little surprised that he deigned to bother with the girl not showing much of anything. Had I been more intoxicated, I may have even thought it was a good idea to let him show me that fun. As it was, mere seconds after I extracted myself he was surrounded by a fresh horde of scantily-clad ladies. Most, I’m sure, were more than willing to fawn over his muscles.
The range of costumes one witnesses when out on the town for Halloween is quite astonishing. I guess I should applaud people on their inventiveness. I mean, I am constantly astounded by how many things can be made ‘slutty.’ Slutty pumpkin, slutty nurse, slutty librarian; the list goes on and on. How does one make something like Optimus Prime or Gandalf ‘slutty’? What is the obsession with the skanky (insert occupation/object/person here)? I think my goal for this year should be figuring out how to make myself into a slutty refrigerator. Just an idea.
I actually find the lack of clothing surrounding Halloween celebrations rather amusing. I never once saw a modest costume, my immediate circle of friends excluded. In amongst the crowds of hundreds of people, we remained the only ones not sporting garters and fishnets, push-up bras and sequins. Even funnier to me is imagining the look on mothers’ faces if they could see their little angels dressed as everything but the manifestation of purity. ‘Trick or treat’ certainly takes on a new meaning when university students take control of Halloween.
These observations, and this rant I suppose, serve to question the entire concept of Halloween – it seems to me the holiday that started as an excuse to dress in ridiculous clothing and eat crazy amounts of candy has turned into something entirely different. Of course people grow up. But sometimes it’s nice to preserve some childhood innocence, right? As it is, I fully plan on hosting a house party this year. I will be able to get sufficiently inebriated with a comfortable group of people, and not have to fend off the hordes of mostly-naked, sweaty men and women. None of us, I trust, will have to worry about a leaf-covered bra slipping off when it shouldn’t.
Written by: Angela Herring-Lauzon