I have donned many a "sexy" costume in my decade or so of post-trick-or-treating Halloweens. It started out my first year of college with a sexy schoolteacher, a costume whose tight bustier and too-high heels did not mix well with the tear gas of another infamous UW-Madison Halloween. Sadly, I did not learn my lesson that year.
I continued the trend with increasingly ridiculous costumes including a sexy Greek goddess, a sexy superwoman, a sexy Thing 2 from "Cat in the Hat," a sexy Natasha Fatale sans Bullwinkle and last year's unfortunate attempt to be both relevant and sexy: sexy honey badger.
The sexy honey badger costume was basically leggings, a very long and deep-cut black shirt that only on Halloween could be classified as a dress, and a black fuzzy trooper hat with a big white stripe down it. I pranced around giving out candy from my honey pot (not a euphemism) with "honey badger don't give a [bleep]" written on it. It was neither classy nor, in retrospect, that sexy.
Despite the two random phone numbers I found in my honey pot when I woke up the next morning, I did not feel great about my Halloween experience. I had not honored the spirit of honey badger: I had given a [bleep] about being sexy.
I know Halloween is a time to "be someone else" and to play a part. That is a huge reason why I don't regret all those uncomfortable and grandma-inappropriate costumes in college. When we are younger, we need to play new roles and be new people to figure out who we are. We need to over-exaggerate sexy in order to figure out what our sexy is.
That's why we wore three layers of blue eye shadow to homecoming, or spent all of our baby-sitting money on that Amber Romance perfume from Victoria's Secret or borrowed our sister's high heels even though they were a size and a half too big. That's why there is a sexy costume website that has both a sexy corn cob and a sexy Big Bird costume for sale.
But we are grown-ups now, guys. Hopefully we've learned a bit from past experience and we know what is and is not sexy. Or at least we are starting to learn.
Sexy doesn't mean what is on display on the outside, and more skin doesn't necessarily mean more fun. For example, I once witnessed one of my very awesome friends manage to not only win a Halloween dance contest but also snag her own bona fide G.I. Joe, all while wearing a fat suit and a rather sweaty blond wig. She rocked her costume, which apparently rocked G.I. Joe.
She got to make out in the back of a limo with a cute guy not because she sexed it up outside but because she was herself, dropping it like it was hot all while sweating in a fat suit. Her sexy was in how much she owned it.
The point is we don't need to play sexy on Halloween because we are sexy all year. Sexy isn't something reserved only for one crazy, skin-revealing night. As "real" people living in the "real" world, sexy is now a part of our lives.
This Halloween, take a lesson from honey badger (regular honey badger, not sexy honey badger) and just don't give a [bleep]. Be who you want to be for Halloween. But no matter what, I beg you: No sexy Big Birds! You'll scar too many children for life.
Niki Fritz is a RedEye special contributor.
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