One thing I am not sad about is spending Halloween in France, as that means my exposure to something that really makes me want to hurt people is limited. I was reminded of it yesterday when I saw a ‘slutty schoolgirl’. Of course, this woman was British. She was, I’d guess, in her late thirties. Her costume was too small and too tight. Her belly was hanging out. Bearing in mind everyone else was dressed as a witch or a skeleton or some other such halloweeny thing, I did wonder why she’d chosen ‘slutty schoolgirl’ as her look.
But she’s not alone, and it’s a peculiarly British thing, I’d guess.
Last time I went out in Manchester, it was for a hen party. We were a small number. We weren’t in costumes. There wasn’t more than an inch of superfluous fat on display.
However, we were the only hen party that looked in any way dignified.
Slutty pirates. Slutty nurses. Slutty schoolgirls. Slutty you-name-it. Cheap nylon costumes with cheap accessories, bought, more often than not, from some cheap ebay site. Or, worse still, bought from Ann Summers.
Most of the women, I’d guess, thought they looked marvellous. They had too much make-up on, cheap wigs, inches of cleavage squeezed into too-small corsets that weren’t really corsets at all, leaving all the spare fat to seep out over the edge in the least flattering way. Then ridiculous stripper shoes, more often than not abandoned at the edge of the dancefloor. If I were a man, I’d be terrified. Tiger Tiger in Manchester seemed to be full of these hen parties and I can see why the gay village has ousted them.
I think those cheap costumes say a lot about a woman’s self-esteem. I simply don’t think you can have any if you wear a costume like this:
I tried to get a picture from Ann Summers to prove a point, but unfortunately, it’s not so click-and-link easy. I wanted an Ann Summers one for a reason. Ann Summers. It’s underwear. At a push, it’s lingerie. It’s something for the bedroom. It’s designed for interior spaces. It’s not supposed to be worn by an army of women out to prove how many friends they’ve got by inviting everyone they know. I know women who go on a hen party virtually every weekend. They’re hen party liggers.
And Ann Summers, it’s not even nice or sexy underwear. I have friends who are on the kinky side of life and who go to grown-up parties, and not one single woman in the place would be caught dead in something made in China out of nylon. It’s silly, cheap underwear that never lasts long and actually makes you look worse than you do without underwear. It doesn’t fit right. It doesn’t look good.
The same with these costumes.
What’s worse is that if you do a search, as I just did, for ‘sailor costumes’ to prove a point, you get a page full of skinny, perma-tanned women with a lot of leg wearing stripper shoes and too-short costumes that should definitely not be worn by a normal, average English girl.
To me fancy dress is just that: a costume. Not underwear.
And definitely not cheap underwear.
What’s even worse is the costumes for men in comparison.
They look like this:
The men’s costumes are funny, if a little cheap-looking. They’re covered up. There are no posing pouches or smalls to be seen.
Either, then, this is a conspiracy by men to get women wearing their underwear in public. And to be honest, most of it makes me want to gip. If I were a man, I would NOT want to see the average, lardy, milk-bottled thighed, over-weight, badly nourished northern girl wearing this costume. I might like to see an over-inflated model in it, sure. But I would have nightmares about seeing real women wearing it.
So if the men aren’t behind it, and let’s face it, Ann Summers was set up by a woman, then it’s woman-inspired. Other women are convincing their ‘friends’ to do it, and telling them they look good.
If I were a mean, bitchy woman, that might be a good way to get all of my so-called friends to look foolish, so that I could have the pick of any man there. If I thought I looked vaguely good myself, I might encourage my friends to look less good than me.
But I’m sure most women have enough self-awareness to know when a better-looking Mean Girl is setting them up for a fall.
So that means women are doing this to themselves.
Which makes me wonder why.
Why would any woman do this?
Do they think they look good? They cannot, of course. I never saw my sister look as elegant as she did when she was almost all covered up. She never needs to show her lady-bits to get attention. I’d go as far as to say all of my friends are beautiful because of their personalities and their smiles. Most of them have got body hang-ups, and those who haven’t, like me (because I just don’t care!) wouldn’t put themselves in an outfit like the sailor girl costume above.
In all honesty, I blame the Spice Girls. They were the first women to get up on stage and bear all, often in not very flattering outfits, especially at the beginning when they were chubby and podgy and pale and English. Forget the latter-years uber-polished Spice Girl. I’m talking Wannabe Spice Girls, where they were all in need of good nutrition and a bit of airbrushing, alongside a designer. After that, we raised a nation of girls who thought ‘girl power’ meant wearing a silly, too-small flag dress, or being dressed like a leopard-skin transvestite.
I think the Spice Girls outfits are a good example. They were young, they could get away with it. If they hadn’t grown up glamorous (and there’s a word with history) then it’d be worrying. And that’s the problem.
The Spice Girls grew up.
The women who copied them did not.
And they’re still wearing offensively-revealing costumes, with pasty muffin tops and fat spilling out from places it shouldn’t.
It comes back to one Ginger Spice song. Look at me.
Some people equate wearing less with getting attention, obviously.
I wish someone would go out and say a great big No! to the women over 25 who are still in underwear-costumes. Yes to dressing up like The Pink Ladies. Yes to dressing up in Bay City Rollers costumes. Yes to being silly and being fun. Yes to cheap costumes. But no to underwear. A big, firm No!
Unfortunately, Halloween brings out the worst in these women. Slutty witch. Slutty vampire. Slutty devil.
Funny how you never see Slutty Zombie or Slutty Ghost, isn’t it?
Anyway, if you are my friend and you ever wear a costume that needs ‘slutty’ prefixed to it, expect me to wag my finger and say No! I speak as an active member of the Fashion Police and of the Women’s Healthy Self-Esteem club.