Halloween: The Good, The Bad, & The Underdressed

Halloween is one of those holidays that seems to bring up a lot of debate. Some people think it’s fun and revel in the opportunity to wear a costume. Others boycott the whole thing, because of it’s “demonic origins.” The horror movie marathons start and everyone starts stocking up on candy. Personally, in our home, we think Halloween is fun. There is a balance that has to be kept in order to maintain our children’s innocence, though. From costume choices to age appropriate parties, Halloween has tons to offer, good and bad.

 

The Good

You can tell me all day long that about Halloween’s origins and all the demonic things that happen on Halloween, but it’s still just a day to dress up as your favorite cartoon character and get candy. Kids would celebrate Halloween once a month if they could. Being the parent in the house, you are also in charge of what your kids dress up as. If you are only ok with Christian based costumes, then that’s what they get to dress up as. You don’t have to let them be a gory zombie guy or sexy tea pot girl. In fact, you can teach them why that’s not ok. I love the creativity that some people will put into their costumes.

One of the best things about Halloween is that it brings communities together. Everyone wants to be safe. Churches, schools, and other organizations will put together family friendly events for people to go to. It can be a great opportunity for churches to minister  to the community and the kids get to dress up and do something fun with other kids. I don’t think I would ever meet any of my neighbors if not for trick-or-treating. Oct. 31 is one of those rare days when everyone is hanging out with someone and doing something fun… I hope.

Halloween can be good clean fun for anyone at any age. In my humble opinion, if you hate Halloween, you hate having fun.

The Bad

The other day, I had to go into the costume store to find a Mario Brothers hat.I took all my kids in with me thinking I could keep them from costumes I did not approve of. Boy was I wrong. Everything was all mixed together. Grace wanted to see the My Little Pony costumes. I found them right between the Sexy My Little Pony costumes and the severed head masks. I could not keep her away from the gore or the sex. She didn’t really notice all the adult costumes as much as the scary ones. Either way, I would prefer they separate them. Why on earth can’t they have a kids section that is separate from all the R-rated costumes?

 

The Underdressed

What is it about Halloween that makes so many women decide to let it all hang out? Women that would wear turtle necks year round will all of the sudden go out in public in a low cut fishnet top. It’s like they all get together and ask, “What kind of boobs are you going to be this year?”

Nurse boobs, zombie boobs, m&m boobs, sexy school girl, sexy sandwich girl, topless superhero…

I would like challenge these women to be more creative. I know it can be done. Instead of picking a public service uniform and showing everyone your breasts, try picking a fictional character you identify with. If that character is usually covered up, then you should be too. My point is, keep Halloween fun. Don’t turn it into an opportunity to flaunt your body and look for sexual approval from the opposite sex. I grow tired of girls saying they are not dressing for the men, they are just trying to look “cute.” Cute is a baby dressed up as Thing 1 or a flower. Cute is not walking around in your lingerie and a wizard hat and saying your Hermione. Last I checked witches, nurses, cops, princesses, and even animals are all fully covered on the job.

Don’t get mad if you get cat calls from creeps or less attractive men. In fact, you should treat them all the same, and say thanks for the complement. It’s not fair to put yourself out there as bait then get mad at the guys you don’t want to attract for looking. In all fairness, if you’re ok with the hot guys approaching you based on your outfit, then you should expect the same behavior from everyone. Everyone’s eyes work the same. If you don’t want to be harassed, then don’t encourage it.

I am not saying you don’t look good. I am not criticizing any woman’s body. I guess what I am saying is that it would be nice to go out with my gal and not have stranger boobs in our face. We both know we see them, and it can make for an uncomfortable night.

Ladies, do not tempt your man or entrap him by pointing out all the overexposed bodies out there. Do not say things like, “I wish I could pull that off.” or “Whoa, check those out!” or “Do you think I would look good in that?” And guys, tell you wife or girlfriend that your not in the business of sharing. I am not willing to share what my wife looks like behind closed doors. Tell them you appreciate their bodies as perfect creations that are not meant to be lusted after.

Yes, I know some men will show up trying to show off their bodies too. They need to cover up also, but those pictures don’t end up all over the internet.

Side note: Every year some couple show up as Adam and Eve. They are usually very fit and wearing nothing but fig leaves. I hate how everyone overlooks how inappropriate this is. Instead, everyone congratulates them on having the body to pull it off. It shouldn’t matter!! Have a little dignity. Put on some clothes. Leave something to the imagination, please. Unless you can wear it to your Grandma’s house, don’t wear it. (Sometimes I want to tell them if they wanted to be authentic, they would be hairier and leave the fig leaves at home.)

17 comments

  1. Of course you have received comments condemning you for speaking about modesty. The lack of modesty is so pervasive that some simply cannot accept responsibility for anything to do with it. No woman knows what it’s like to be a man having to look at women’s exposed breasts CONSTANTLY. So I think they should allow you to speak for the good guys. And I am so sick of hearing women say we shouldn’t judge them by how they dress. Take some responsibility for yourselves, girls.

  2. Good for you, Doug, for how you dealt with the condemnation you received for what you wrote. In fact, I went back to read “The Underdressed” section to find out what I’d missed the first time. I have found that when people are most offended, it’s usually because they heard something that was a little to close to the target of truth for comfort. And it is true that when women dress in ways that at one time were universally recognized to be lacking in dignity, they are sending a message about their own lack of dignity. Dignified men will not treat them as objects, but undignified men will. Like attracts like. I’ve never been treated like trash, but I’ve always dressed like a lady.

  3. So women are asking for it? They are asking to be harassed and violated? This is why I can’t stand when Christians talk to girls about being modest, they always focus just on the girls like its our fault when out brother Christians fail because our dress was too short or we were showing too much boob. And it’s complete bull anyway from my experience if that’s what a guy has on his mind it doesn’t matter what you are wearing. I’m a preachers daughter so I hear about modesty all the time in youth group but there has to be a better way to get the message across

    • Are women wearing a sign that says “here I am, take your best shot at getting me into bed”? NO!
      We all exist in this world together. We can’t walk around thinking what I do shouldn’t have any impact on others. It would be great if we could walk around naked, but we can’t. It would also be great if Christians could walk around Iran with giant crosses around their necks, but they can’t. Why? Cause and effect, action/reaction, question/answer… and so on. I was not trying to say that women’s dress is the reason for the behavior of men. I don’t believe in victim blaming. But when it come to Halloween, sex sells. If you buy one of those costumes then you have bought into that way of thinking. Every one of those costumes is labeled as sexy, naughty, Hot, or whatever other words say “check me out”.

      It’s all about the dignity of the human body. If you want a better way to hear the message watch Killing Us Softly
      or read Theology of The Body For Beginners(Catholic Book). That is, if it’s ok with your preacher dad.

  4. This attitude about women is incredibly damaging. A woman is NEVER an object. She is ALWAYS a person. Even naked, she is still a person. At NO TIME does a woman become “bait” that no longer controls what happens to her. Please do not refer to women as objects. This attitude is why so many men think consent is not required. Oh, look at what she was wearing. She can’t get mad when I have sex with her after I get her too drunk to stop me. A woman can ALWAYS say no to sexual advances, no matter what she is wearing! And by the way, promiscuity is often a symptom of sexual abuse. So essentially you are condemning women who have been sexually abused and told they are worth nothing more than what they can provide sexually and call them “bait’ for any man who sees her – thus furthering their victimization. Please think about these women you see out as people, rather than only as “boobs” you can’t avoid staring at. Try looking them in the eye and saying hi. How about telling young men to respect ALL women, regardless of their attire? That a woman’s attire does not give permission for men to treat her however they wish? After all, Jesus loved and showed May Magdalene respect even as a prostitute.

    • I am not sure that our attitudes differ all that much. I know I didn’t say much about the behavior of men. But by no means did I say it was ok to treat women poorly because of their attire or demeanor. If anything I called men out to tell women we don’t appreciate it. I don’t need to be reminded about abuse either. The problem with social media is that it is hard to get everything in so there are misunderstandings. I have always been respectful to women even when they don’t respect themselves. I was really just trying to be honest about the sexualization of Halloween.

      PS Mary Magdalene wasn’t a prostitute. She was a follower of Jesus. She just happened to come in in a verse right after Jesus was nice to a prostitute, so everyone thinks she was a prostitute.

  5. This is quite an offensive post. We are all responsible for our own sexuality. For example, if I decided to cheat on my husband I would have only myself to blame.

    Women should not be made to feel like it’s their fault if a man can’t cope with seeing their bodies. That’s the type of logic date rapists use….

    • I think you took it a little far on the rapist thing. You’re right though, men are responsible for their own thoughts, words, actions, and how they view women. Just because we should be able to walk around however we like with any injustices being committed against us, doesn’t mean we can.

    • Dear Lynn, I totally agree with you that a person is responsible for their own behavior: the woman who cheats on her husband, the man who physically violates a woman’s body, the woman who engages in sex and creates another human being from it (she is now responsible for that human being’s body too – but that could take us way off topic). Would you not agree that an individual is also responsible for what they put “out there,” if you will. If I write profanity all over the outside of my house, I am responsible for the message that I have made visible to my neighbors around me. Additionally, if I dress provactively or flaunt my sexuality in a very enticing manner, I am responsible for that message too. Heaven help those that provide others the pathway to ‘near-occasions’ of sin. Are they responsible for that other person’s behavior? No, but they are responsible for their own. We don’t live in a bubble to be able to say, “this is my body and I’ll do with it what I want.” We were made to and live in relationship with others. So whether it’s two adults engaging in the marital union that creates another human being or an individual putting it all out there for others to see, we are, indeed, responsible for our choices (preferably acting prudently …before… we make them). Quite honestly, people’s sexuality is so much more tastefully presented and much more visually appealing when it’s not presented in a “trashy” provocative way. I loved ‘Doug on taps’ post. I can see where you might not like it when it suggests something other then “I want to do what I want when I want to” without regard for the relationships I have with those around me…even to the degree of acquaintances or strangers – varying degrees of commitment/involvement but relationships just the same.

      • s/b “provocatively”

        • Yes, but I don’t see that everyone should follow my standards. Just because I don’t let half my breasts hang out or wear a skirt halfway up my butt doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t use their clothing to do so on one night a year. Not everyone has my belief system and I don’t expect them to. After all, we as adults can tear ourselves away from that which we find attractive. We don’t have to give into it and keep looking at it. I don’t stare at “hot men” over and over for example. Instead, I move my eyes away.

          • Maybe it’s not so much about the clothes as it is about the “need” to wear the clothes. What’s going on with a person that they feel the need to put themselves out there?

  6. I like fun but I hate Halloween, Doug! I resent it’s explosion in Australia, particularly this year… Shops full of gory outfits and more lollies than can be eaten without thinking of diabetes and the nations health issues! It might bring the community together where you are but not here… And I do hope there are other ways of bringing families together in the neighborhood without relying on sugar and tacky costumes.

  7. Proud of you for choosing to speak for what should be! We are what we wear.
    Conservatism is to people with dignity and decorum; the only way for an authentically fulfilled life.

  8. Katy Sieve Johnson

    A tiny bit long, but thought you’d appreciate the All Hallow’s Eve missive sent by the headmaster of Chesterton Academy here in Minneapolis. It’s a hoot ~ in particular the 3rd and 4th pp!
    Thanks for your intelligent and funny articles.
    Dear Chesterton Academy Families,
    The end of October brings the liturgical calendar around to the Feast of All Saints. The tradition of honoring many saints on a common day dates back to at least the 4th Century, and probably began under the persecution of Diocletian when the sheer number of those dying in witness of their faith exceeded the number of days in the year. The Lord has sent us many, many saints, both known and unknown, in the centuries since. All Saints is a remembrance of them all, but also a great celebration of the diversity of the Church. There are poor hermits, spooky mystics, Medieval royalty, soldiers, doctors, teachers and bishops. Even a few lawyers, I am told.
    This year, the October that is passing presented us with a reminder of that great diversity. The month opened with the Rediscover Catholicism conference. The next week, dozens of young people received the sacrament of confirmation at a High Mass at the Cathedral celebrated in the traditional form. It was the first extraordinary form Mass celebrated there in over 50 years. October also brought us locally a Youth Day inspired by Saint John Paul II, and globally a multifarious, even fractious, Synod of Bishops discussing challenges facing the family. It is the Lord’s Church, and as such it is broad, deep and rich. Universal, one might say. Catholic.
    It is in that spirit that the school will celebrate All Saints. It has been my policy over the years to allow students to dress up for the day. The basic parameters are that costumes are limited to saints, Biblical figures, or figures from history or classical literature. Ghosts and ghouls have nothing at all to do with the day we celebrate. Students are invited to stoke up their educated imaginations and have a little fun. However, there are limits, and it would not be amiss for parents to remind their students as they ponder costume options this evening.
    The most important principle to bear in mind is that we are not surrendering the day to mirth and frivolity. Classes will go on. No costume should interfere in any way with the work of the school. If your student wants to come as Noah, he ought not bring an ark. A student that comes as Lawrence of Arabia ought to leave his camel at home. Also, just to be clear: Harry Potter and the Hunger Games are not literature. Students need to have shoes of some kind on, not slippers or flip-flops. Most importantly, modesty is to be observed in any costume. A young man may come as Adam, but he better be wearing more than a fig leaf. And I am morally certain that no saint, no man or woman of God, no historical or literary character has ever, ever worn yoga pants.
    The faculty will vote on the best costumes, and we will give out awards for the House that accumulates the most votes, as well as a best in show award. Tradition requires that we also have a separate award for the best GK Chesterton costume. And remember, no one is required to come in costume, but those that do not must be in the usual uniform. I trust it will be a wholesome and fun experience.
    Please direct questions to me.
    In Christ,
    John Niemann

    • Really? Many of these women still look really good in their \ young\ pituercs, and most of the ones who don\’t look good look that way because very few people would apply the label \ sexy\ to an 8 year-old.

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