Image from Hanya Hussain
Halloween is coming around the corner and everyone is scrambling to find out what they should be: Sully from Monsters Inc? Mickey Mouse? These costumes could vary from a full fursuit of Sully to a black crop top and red shorts for Mickey. Now, anyone can dress up any way they want, but some students here at Washington feel that the way the media sexualizes costumes and pushes these costumes on women is quite dehumanizing.
Vrunda Patel, a senior from WHS, says that she likes accurate costumes and doesn’t “try to make it cute or make it more sexy.” She believes that the point of Halloween is to dress up and try to look as similar as they can to the character they are trying to portray. Halloween is the one time of the year people can dress up however they want and not be made fun of, or so one would assume.
In this society, it can be embarrassing to go all out as teenagers, as Halloween is typically for little kids. Daisy Yescas, a sophomore from WHS, says, “People are embarrassed to go all out because they don’t know the setting and how much effort people are going to put in.” If most people don’t dress up and then “there’s that one person who does, that one person is going to feel embarrassed and never do it again.” Teens suffer from social anxiety and peer pressure, which prevents them from doing things they would like to do, as the only thing on their minds is what their friends think.
But why? Why do teens feel pressured to not try too hard for Halloween? Some say the answer is the media and businesses. Looking into Party City and Spirit Halloween, you see girls in crop tops and short skirts as costumes for nurses or nuns. This not only sexualizes women and pushes this scandalous clothing on them, but it disrespects the women whose occupation a doctor, scientist, police, etc. It can seem that girls are encouraged or pressured to want to dress “sexy” and “cute.” If one prefers this, that’s a different story, but when a teen wants to dress goofy but feels embarrassed to do so, that is a problem.
Halloween is a holiday of joy and happiness. One should not have to worry about fitting in with their peers. This is the time of year when people go all out and dress up as the things they love. Star Wars fanatic? Dress as Chewbacca! Love overwatch? Dress as Mercy! It’s 2023, so society should stop sexualizing women and let them and anyone of any gender do what they want to fulfill their Halloween dreams.
Hanya Hussain is a senior at Washington High School. She was born in Hayward, but has lived in Fremont all her life. This is her first year at the paper and she's really excited to participate in the Hatchet. She's interested in writing about other people and their perspectives in life. She is a cheerleader and loves to hang out with her friends in her free time. She also likes to take walks and go on hikes whenever she can. In college, she wants to study criminal justice.