Tricks and treats: Thoughts on the rise of sexy Halloween


Around 7 p.m. on Halloween night, neighborhoods are filled with scenes of children of all ages dressed in costumes ranging from Disney princesses to trash cans. However, when the clock strikes 11 and the bowls of candy are in shambles, the real horrors of Halloween take to the streets, leaving their real identities at home with the dog.

These late-night horrors come in all shapes and sizes — hockey mask guys with axes, scary clown guys also with axes, generic axe murderer guys who are carrying — you guessed it — axes. And, of course, the lumberjack guy who didn’t actually prepare a costume, but instead decided to forgo shaving that day and browse the flannel and/or ax section at the nearest Walmart.

These costumes, however, while scary and good business for the local ax industry, are no match for the true terrors Halloween has to offer. For when the evening is in full swing, the lads and ladies of the night come out to play.

All ax-carriers better square up.

As we all learned from Karen as a mouse in Mean Girls (2004), Halloween is taken to an entirely different realm than from when we were kids, a realm where the treats rarely ever come with a wrapper. The treats instead come in the form of short skirts that provide absolutely no warmth against the cold air, a fireman helmet offering no head protection to an undoubtedly shirtless fireman (with an ax), or perhaps the coveted nurse’s gown that shows off a little bit of everything — except for an actual nursing degree.

It’s not hard to wonder what the point of these costumes might be, and what part they play in the ancient and iconic holiday that is Halloween.

People ask ridiculously misplaced questions, questions like, “Why are these costumes such a lasting trend?” “Why does that Hermione Granger across the street have fishnets on instead of red and gold socks?” “What kind of bunny has silk and lace with no fur except on the tail and ears?” “Where did that policeman misplace all of the buttons on his uniform and why is his baton inflatable rubber?” “What fitness plan is that fireman using and where can I sign up?”

When we find ourselves asking these questions, we must first look within and think about a time when costumes did not exist — when bobbing for apples was the sexiest part of Halloween.  

It was a time without corseted vampires or firemen with only suspenders over the torso, a time when one didn’t sneakily jump into the nearest bush when parents came strolling with their kids up the street. And, finally, a time where costume names didn’t double as viable names for Burlesque performers — we’re looking at you, Wicked Wizard Wendy and Officer Winks-A-Lot.

What a dark time, indeed. What would Halloween be without spicy black cats or risque robots? And how lost would we be without sultry Barack Obamas and Donald Trumps giggling and frolicking in the distance? Is it even possible to ever Make Halloween Modest Again? For most, it’s an idea as elusive as the concept of actually enjoying taffy that isn’t Laffy Taffy.

It seems the mark Mean Girls left on Halloween Night will stand the test of time (if anyone doesn’t know what that means, you’re about 13 years behind). And with no changing trend in sight, there is no choice but to embrace it, because, through all the years of celebrating this special night, one thing remains true:

Halloween is your night to be what you want to be.

Want to go as a middle-aged mother with a dank Pinterest page? Go right ahead, Debra, you do you. I, for one, live for your fleeky blonde bob and homemade shampoo that doubles as fry sauce.

Maybe you have always dreamt of being a baby carrot? Honestly, carrots need more recognition for giving us the elegant garage-spray-tan-look we’ve all fantasized about. And what a bonus that the orange goes swimmingly with the colors of the season. Perhaps for extra slay-age, you can even bring your dog along as a bottle of ranch dressing?

Or, do you really want to Take. It. There. and be a sexy microwave?

Go for it, because the creativity going into that costume is nothing short of visionary, and you deserve a Nobel Prize. Also I think any fan of microwave popcorn (aka anyone with a pulse) or the luxurious hot pocket (also an astute costume idea) would be more than curious to witness such sorcery.

Just remember, if anyone dares to question whether your slinky backless dress has anything to do with the fluffy grey ears on top of your head, then turn around, point to your adorable ears, and say:

“I’m a mouse… duh.”