I'm busy trying to get the Halloween costumes ready for a plenary of festivities next week. I was debating going as Wonder Woman, medusa, or Elvis in his sparkling, white, polyester jumpsuit. It's the fun and romance of being something different. For my cross-dressing clients, it is the one day a year where they can be legitimately "out" in drag. I was trying to figure out why it had become so popular. Fantasies and dressing up in sexy costumes to "be someone new" has always been popular.
Business week had this to say about why Halloween has caught on in Europe where nobody had heard of the holiday five years ago.
WILD ABOUT HARRY (potter, that is). What's driving the Halloween craze? Partly it's an organized effort by major U.S. brands to export the holiday to Europe. The Disneyland Paris theme park has been promoting Halloween heavily since 2001. During October, the park is renamed "Halloweenland," with daily theme parades and a squad of pumpkin-head characters wandering through the grounds with buckets and brushes, splashing things with orange paint. The park has even come up with a mascot, "Ed the Pumpkin," and has installed displays showing his "ancestors," beginning with pumpkin-headed cavemen.
The Boston Herald discussed what I had been seeing in sex stores for years. The biggest sellers are the border patrol costumes, and the sexier the costume, the better for your office err, your neighborhood Halloween party.
BuyCostumes.com promises an “evening that will make your heart soar” with the “Mile High Captain,” a tight pilot’s dress with matching hat and a “Mile High Club” badge. A similarly themed costume is the no-further-explanation-necessary “Captain Layover.” On the seas, there’s the “Captivating Captain,” a “naval hottie who can command any body . . . of water.”
Perhaps the two most fetishized career fields are health care and law enforcement. Halloween merely amplifies the kind of racy comments directed at virtually any nurse under the age of 70. But it underscores public perceptions of doctors, too. Thus, the widespread availability of surplus white lab coats with “Gynecologist” or “Breast Inspector” embroidered on the pockets.
Outside of college, who gets away with wearing this stuff? Would anyone dare show up to the office Halloween party in these get-ups?
On the crimefighter front, there are at least a half-dozen variations of the sexy cop – handcuff earrings and doughnut purse optional. Female police officers have had a long lineage of role models dating back to Heather Locklear’s stellar performance on “T.J. Hooker.” But all that has just been neutralized by this:
“Book ’em gorgeous! The Busted costume includes: A stretch-knit dress with a two-way zipper front and a ‘Busted’ knit bra top. A police hat, a removable ‘Officer Ivana B. Bad’ name badge, a belt, a toy gun, an officer’s badge, a pair of handy handcuffs, fingerless gloves and a baton are also included in this sexy style. Who knows how many laws are broken when you patrol in this arresting ensemble!”
There’s also a “Border Babe” who cracks down on illegal immigration, a “Corrupt Cop” with a proclivity for vinyl-boned waist corsets and bribes, and Detective “Terri Gation,” in charge of making stubborn suspects talk.
Feminists should take note that the cheesy male version of the sexy cop, “Oliver Clothesoff,” does not appear to take bribes. And he at least starts out with long sleeves and long pants.
Halloween is a chance to bring out "your inner stripper" or at least celebrate the peeler culture. Look out for me, in my naughty prison matron garb…