‘Sexy’ Isn’t a Costume


Every girl that has hit puberty has dressed as a “sexy” something at least once on Halloween. Maybe you were a “sexy” tampon, “sexy” highlighter or a stack of “sexy” pancakes—yes, the costume industry is getting really creative—but I assure you it was not sexy.

‘Sexy’ Isn’t a Costume

I have five reasons why you thought you were being sexy and why you completely missed the mark:

  1. Freezing isn’t sexy. It’s almost November and last time I checked, shivering was not sexy. Those freakishly intense goosebumps you have all over your thighs feel majorly distracting. People would be complimenting your creative, “sexy” Pope costume if they weren’t suggesting that you Web MD your wild goose bumps. Let’s say you did bring your giant coat just in case. You thought you were being super smart, didn’t you? Well, you didn’t even end up wearing it! You were too desperate to show off your super sexy costume, so you ended up holding your giant coat all night, which turned out to be a huge burden.
  2. Complaining isn’t sexy. Obviously, you were complaining about how cold you were or how annoying it was to hold your jacket you should’ve been wearing. You were mad that your opaque tights weren’t keeping you warm. Yea, those stupid tights—it’s  definitely not your fault that you wore assless chaps and a leather bikini top in 40-degree weather to be Christina Aguilera from the music video “Dirty.”
  3. Cock blocks aren’t sexy. The kind of guys you’re attracting with your “sexy” whatever-the-hell costume are creeps –not the cute guy you had your eye on. Do you want a creep staring and hanging around you all night? Think that cute, non-creepy guy from before might have wanted to approach you? Well, too bad because there is a sleazy guy cock-blocking you and the guy you really wanted is backing off.

    ‘Sexy’ Isn’t a Costume

    I speak from experience (and I learn all my lessons the hard way!)

  4. Confidence is sexy. That tight corset that your friends thought looked super hot is slowly becoming one with your skin. You can’t wait to get home so you can rip that shit off and put on a pair of sweatpants. Thing is, if you’re uncomfortable, people can tell. It completely affects your confidence and there is no point in wearing that “sexy” homeless person costume if you can’t exert the confidence to wear it. You’ll just look like a regular, grumpy homeless person. Being comfortable in your skin is what’s attractive—not the lack of clothing on it.
  5. Being “sexy” for Halloween implies you’re not really sexy the other 364 days of the year. Sexy isn’t a costume! Halloween is about dressing up as something that you’re not. Sexy is being smart, intellectual, funny, confident and interesting. Any dummy can put on the same amount of clothing that a 1yr old wears. What you see lined up in the women’s section of a costume store isn’t sexy, it’s desperate.

‘Sexy’ Isn’t a Costume

Whatever you do this Halloween, dress for yourself. Don’t be some ordinary stereotypical costume because you’re seeking attention or because your friends pushed you into it. I know the truth—I know you’re freezing in that costume and it feels like razor blades are being jammed into your ribs.

Return that $50 costume that is too small to deserve a hanger, and put on something you really want to wear. Your sexiness will still be intact, I swear.

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.


  1. I don’t mind women wearing sexy Halloween costumes for fantasy or fun, but I sincerely wish they also had other options. It gives an expectation that women are supposed to represent themselves in a sexy way and wear hyper-sexualized costumes for a sense of belongingness.

  2. Ayla Pennington

    Interesting, empowering and an eye-opener! I think the biggest negative effect of these revealing and sexy costumes is that it reinforces the thought that beauty and sex appeal are the most valuable things about women. Terrible!

  3. Unfortunately, revealing costumes have become the norm for many females on Halloween 🙁 Halloween is considered one of those occasions where people feel “free” to wear something they wouldn’t usually wear when they go to work or even go out at night wearing and pull it off.

  4. This piece is empowering! Call me traditional but it seems like Halloween costumes these days give women this “mentality” that in order for them to be “something” for Halloween, they have to be sexy (and showing off those curves).

    To think, this “tradition” is getting a little out of hand, what are we promoting our children? Well, I have a daughter to protect…

  5. Andrea Mitchell

    OMG! This article is awesome! You cited great points to ponder!

  6. Sarah Anne Trevor

    What I’ve observed nowadays is that girls (at an early age) are given Halloween costumes that attempt to look more glamorous and show more skin. Thus, these types of costumes give the impression/idea that these girls (when they grow up) are expected to be sexy in order to be attractive & have their bodies as commodities for the male gaze.

  7. Jennifer McSween

    My guy friends used to tell me this: “Didn’t you guys know, Halloween’s just an excuse to dress up like a hooker.” And now your article gave justification to this comment… Something to think about!

  8. Anna Kaplan

    I totally agree with your five reasons!

    This article reminded me of my childhood. When I was a little kid picking a Halloween costume was simple and fun. Growing up, the process is no longer fun because I’m “somehow” pressured to be “sexy” (well, society indirectly dictates it)…

  9. Sibel Jenkinson

    I find sexy Halloween costumes degrading to women… showing them as sexual objects and nothing more isn’t empowering (in the least).

  10. Melissa Princeton

    I agree on ALL points! For me, wear what you want but be willing to suffer (or enjoy?!) the consequences…

  11. Julia MacLean

    Perfectly written! I think there is a need to have more costume choices, ones that don’t over-sexualize bodies or look too sexy for the sake of it.

  12. Klara Tytus

    Great job, Urbanette! It’s about the confidence… not the costume!

  13. Pamela Sanabria

    I appreciate how you’ve written this piece! Very meaningful but light read!

  14. Shelley Donalds

    Thanks for writing about this. My personal opinion is that ladies who wear sexy costumes on Halloween have no respect for themselves. Well, it’s because they’re implying (or allowing) objectification from men…

  15. Carla Marie

    Oh wow! I felt like you’ve specifically written this for me… LOL! I was one of those girls that wore “sexy” Halloween costumes. My goal was ALWAYS to look “hot” as possible (despite the fact that it was always freezing).

  16. Do the men dress sexy though? or is it just us again?

  17. Aimee Marks

    For centuries, women has been commodified and been made as sex objects for men. And in those times, even until now at times, women are seen as objects for men’s satisfaction. Past forward to present, some girls/ women are no longer forced to do it. They do it in their own accord because somehow, in the twisted turn of events, society has came to view things in a different light and what was once degrading is now just a form of empowerment or self-expression.

    While I agree with the article, given my views in life both politically and religiously, I also think that regardless of what the onlookers would say, in the end, it really depends on how the involved individual really looks at it.
    At the end of the day, I think it all depends on perspectives. And perspectives is like a polygon, which has many sides of correct points of view, even if not appropriate and acceptable by society’s standards anymore. Thus social norms aside, every individual has the right to think the way they do, has the right to dress the way they want, has the right to do whatever they want with their bodies, and can therefore wear whatever sexy costumes they want during Halloween, for as long as it does not in anyway violate the rights of other individuals. We just have to accept the fact that it is their body, therefore it is their right.

  18. Ashley Moore

    i don’t find using sexiness while doing a Halloween costume party scary at all. I’m always present at cosplay conventions and costume party and witnessed a lot of people preferred sexy costumes over scary ones. If i would pick a costume to wear i would like to be a famous dead singer/musician or the corpse bride. i will make sure that i will scare the people who will see it and give them goosebumps. Advance Happy Halloween Everyone!

  19. SEXY is not a fun costume at all, especially if you live in the North East where fall nights are chilly. As young women, we totally are pressured at times to be a “flight attendant” or dress in something WAY too short. It’s more fun to be something unique (and warm) than another carbon copy.

  20. To be young and naive… I’m glad that the author highlighted that “you are really missing the mark” while you thought you’re sexy in your Halloween costume. Nice article!

  21. Courtney Watson

    Oh my! The effect of media and advertising! Young girls would definitely want to wear that “sexy Halloween costume” when all you can see on ads are those costumes. Bandwagon effect, I guess?! or Peer pressure?!

    • Really hard to resist! You’ll be tempted to be wearing those sexy costumes too!

    • Career pressure and requirements! You have to wear them because you need to or else your career would suffer…

  22. Hannah Mayers

    I’d like to commend how this article is written… Funny but full of meaning!

    Well, Halloween is just around the corner and yes, I’ve been seeing costumes EVERYWHERE, esp. on the Internet. I honestly find it “not cool” and a bit “offensive” that children’s toys and characters (like Sesame street) and subgroups of people (like those of with mental illness) being sexualize to have that “sexy Halloween costume.” Bad!

  23. Written in a cute and funny way but lessons can be learned 🙂

    Happy Halloween guys!

  24. Well, I don’t really need Halloween costume(s) to flaunt my “sexiness.” I know and I feel that I’m sexy all-year round 😉

  25. Gabrielle Williams

    I love how creatively you’ve written the article 🙂 I can relate! Once in my life have worn that “sexy Halloween costume” and brought that coat which I’ve held the whole party… LOL

    I think the key here is accepting and loving your body so that whatever you’ll wear, you’ll feel sexy 🙂

  26. I love this article – so funny! I totally relate to it. Every woman feels pressure to self-objectify on Halloween. It’s partially fun and it’s partially a symptom of our paternal society. I worry about how to teach my girls about this!

  27. Great article!

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