In my previous article “Do You Have My Size?” I mentioned my struggle in choosing my Halloween costume between FashionNova Curve and Amazon. I decided to purchase FashionNova’s version of Lola Bunny, but this decision does not come without judgment from others.
FashionNova Curve’s selection is different from cutesy Torrid or elegant Lane Bryant. It has trendy clothes meant for nightclubs and girls’ nights out to make their customers feel sexy. Oddly enough, many are uncomfortable with the idea of young women feeling and dressing sexy.
After years of internalized shame and disgust with my body, I am finally in a place where I can confidently and comfortably wear a revealing costume. I was so embarrassed by my curves in middle school that I covered myself in baggy, dark sweaters and leggings.
I remember everyone always telling me to stop hiding my face with my hair and covering my mouth when I laughed. I remember how much I hated taking showers because seeing my body in the mirror made me crumble.
Slowly, I upgraded to cute and casual clothing, like graphic T-shirts and tighter pants. I grew exhausted from hating myself and my body, and I yearned to be as confident as my friends and peers.
I realized there isn’t anything inherently wrong with stretch marks, cellulite and stomach rolls. Nor is there anything wrong with my ample chest I’ve had since I was eight, or my butt with a mind of its own. It’s a part of who I am, so how can I hate it?
I consider my Lola Bunny costume a milestone, yet I know I will face judgment for displaying my body sexily. Some will regard my midriff with disgust, not because of my weight, but because they can see my midriff in the first place.
What is inherently wrong with wearing a sexy Halloween costume? I say “sexy,” though there are those who would label it as “slutty.”
What is wrong with a woman showing off her body? Is it not a sign of radical self-love and confidence to wear such a bold outfit? Is it not brave for a woman to wear what she wants, risking the ogling and hollering from men? Or the possibility of groping hands, or the imminent danger every woman feels in the face of a threatening man?
This is a part of slut-shaming – a specific branch of sexism that reinforces the idea of a pure woman, someone “moral enough” to save herself for the right man. She dresses modestly with class, wearing what flatters her body, but not too much to draw the “wrong type” of attention.
Women who show the slightest cleavage or wear a short skirt are constantly given dirty looks. If she wears a sexy Halloween costume, everyone assumes she just wants attention.
What no one considers is how having the ability to dress how she wants is the definition of self-agency and bodily autonomy. She knows her desires and how she wants to express herself, so why would she deprive herself of what makes her feel confident?
I would be lying if I said I haven’t had doubts about my costume, wondering if it was too much or if I really wanted to wear it. But when I tried the costume on, I didn’t want to take it off. I wanted to wear it around my house like a ’50s housewife wears frilly dresses while doing housework.
I knew I looked good when the shorts tightly hugged my hips and the knee-high socks accentuated my legs. I looked in the mirror in disbelief but beamed with pride.
I will no longer hide my body out of shame or judgment from others, and I am done holding myself back. I am not stopping halfway from where I can be and how good I can feel.
My Lola Bunny costume is the first step towards giving myself the most I can. Any woman wearing a sexy Halloween costume is giving herself the same.