5 years ago, I was a sexy cop for Halloween.¹ And I liked it.
The usual me wears jeans and t-shirts and flip flops pretty much every day (unless it’s cold, in which case the uniform becomes a sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers). I do a pretty half-ass job on my hair about 75% of the time. I never bother with makeup. I like dressing up occasionally, but most of the time, I’m just plain ol’ me.
So our last year before graduating from undergrad, my roommates and I got gussied up and hit 6th Street in Austin, and I went as a sexy cop. Granted, I unsluttied it up a bit by wearing at tank top underneath (there is no way in hell I’d be caught showing that much skin). The basic rules of fashion are to feature one area, meaning don’t go overboard on showing the rest, ya know? So I was covered on top, and the knee-high boots I was wearing weren’t stilettos but thick black heels, but half of my little ass was hanging out. There’s no denying that one.
But you know what? I liked it. I liked doing something completely not me for one night, and I liked that I was able to get completely over my body image hangups for once and rock the hell out of the look.
You know what I didn’t like?
I didn’t like the asshole on the crowded street who felt he had the right to grab my ass not once, but twice. And twice, I turned around in fury, more than willing to grab and squash the shit out of his testicles. Sadly, it was too crowded for me to ascertain who did it, so no ball squashing for me that night.
I also didn’t like people telling me I asked for it. Funny how all of the thousands of other men in the crowd were able to keep their hands to themselves that night except for that one asshole, even though I was “asking for it.”
I’m not going to debate the merits (or non-merits) of sexy Halloween costumes. I’ve done my own version of it and still consider myself a card-carrying feminist, but I can understand why people freak. A lot of the “sexy” costumes one can find nowadays are jacked, and there’s no doubt that costumes of sexualized children’s characters (and stuff like the sexy Girl Scout) are a big fucking problem. And I know that “sexy” is an image mass-marketed to society that can be defined as “skinny-yet-curvy female: the more naked, the better.” Which is also a big fucking problem.
But you know what else is a problem? Slut-shaming. Especially when done by other self-identified feminists.
¹I don’t know who those people are. They’re total strangers who wanted to take a picture with me, so I blurred their faces out just in case.