I Don’t Give A Shit About Your Halloween Costume, and Other Seasonally Appropriate Rants.

So, here’s the thing. I design costumes for a living.

Because of what I do, people tend to mistake me for the type of person who loves Halloween. The creativity! The discounts at the fabric store! The candy corn binges! The drink specials if you arrive at the bar in a costume!

I totally get it if that’s your thing. It’s just not mine. I do this all year long, and after awhile, it starts to feel like a job. Because, ya know, it’s my JOB. I’m always super impressed when people make really incredible shit (and they DO! and it’s AMAZING!) but for the last several years, people always ask me what I’m going to be for Halloween, and I always say something like, “huh, I’m not sure, don’t really know if I have plans this year,” and in the back of my head, I’m thinking, “cranky designer wearing sweatpants and drinking bourbon, bitches.”

Also, candy corn. Sorry. Gross. That shit tastes like wax.

But, okay, look. Just because I’m being a gnarly curmudgeon on the sidelines doesn’t mean I’m going to wreck your good time. Honestly! Enjoy! There are some amazing costumes out there, and if you have kids, it’s a blast. I can absolutely see why people love this holiday — I used to, before I made costumes my career — and please, keep sending me your pictures of your babies in costumes or your puppies in costumes (which, for the record, are my default google image searches when I feel myself headed to a dark place and need a smile). Take pride in creating, innovating, celebrating! Go forth! Make bold choices! Get glue and sequins on your hands! Explore! Play around in my sandbox for a day! I give you my blessing!  

Just stop asking me to help you — for free– with your Sexy Cat costume or whatever. I get paid for this. I really don’t care about your Sexy Cat.

(Ew. That Katherine girl really is no fun. I hope she’s not here to vent about sexy Halloween costumes. It’s sort of an overdone rant, don’t you think?) 

Somewhere, out there, probably within mere miles of where I now type these words, in the dimly lit alley of a brisk, autumnal October eve, a Sexy Firefighter is totally throwing up in a trash can next to Sexy Cop and Sexy Miley Cyrus, while Sexy Pikachu is Instagramming the whole thing and Sexy Cinderella is attempting to pee in the street and not all over her petticoat.

(See? I told you!)

You wanna know something? I don’t care. Wear whatever you want. Do I think those sexy costumes are dumb and perpetuate gender stereotypes that aren’t okay? And don’t I think it’s kind of messed up that dudes don’t automatically feel pressured to be sexual versions of everyday things on this one weird holiday, but for girls it’s almost a rite of passage? Yeah, totally. It’s super messed up. But I’ve been there. It’s ultimately a holiday that enables you to be something other than your everyday self, right?  I get why experimenting with sexy costumes is a thing so many women try out. I was a, like, slutty Strawberry Shortcake once,  which is kind of messed up in that it’s fetishizing an 80’s childhood doll, but it seemed like a good idea at nineteen. I felt weird all night and I hated it, and dressed up like David Bowie from Labyrinth the next year, which was awesome and I had a great time. (Also, a shocking amount of dudes hit on me that night. Admittedly, a few thought I was Tina Turner, but ….. still). I think it’s dumb. But. If you have to get your sexy costume phase out of your system, go for it. You have my blessing.

Remember that time I told you guys to Do Whatever The Fuck You Want? I’m going to riff on that now. Happy Halloween! Wear Whatever The Fuck You Want.

Oh. Wait.

Now just hold on a minute.



(I didn’t know who Julianne Hough was until today, but apparently she’s a celebrity, and twenty-five years old, which is old enough to KNOW BETTER).

“But, Katherine! How will I know if my costume is offensive or not?”

So glad you asked! Let’s get started.


See? Problem solved.

Because this year, I don’t care if you are dressed like Sexy Nurse, or Sexy Zombie, or Sexy Drywall. (Honestly, if you can make Sexy Drywall work for you, please be my new best friend). 

I just want to make it through the day without another celebrity renting out a Nazi uniform, or another group of mummers parading around in brownface and sombreros and moustaches, or hearing reports that some assholes dressed up like Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, complete with blackface, hoodie, and fake blood. (I’m not going to post the photo my friend sent me. It’s exactly as upsetting as you think it is).

Those are the Halloween costumes we actually need to be worried about. I’m not worried about the girls out there with the short hemlines freezing their panties off. I’m worried about the folks out there who are revealing their ignorance.

Happy Halloween, ya’ll. Wear whatever the fuck you want. Just don’t be an asshole.


ps: I totally didn’t realize that non-white folks have a trickier time on Halloween until my friend Eric posted this the other day. Like half the jokes went over my head, but he’s smarter than I am, and the bottom few paragraphs cracked my shit up. Because, ya know. He’s a black dude. Of course everyone thought he was Prince.

21 thoughts on “I Don’t Give A Shit About Your Halloween Costume, and Other Seasonally Appropriate Rants.

  1. i just saw Hough’s costume, but I wasn’t offended. I think she looks like an idiot, but hey its halloween. I think the media is hyping this up because I don’t think many people care about her portraying crazy eyes. Now of course she could have had better sense, but then again, maybe she is just an airhead with no sense.

  2. Ha! Love it! Thanks for the morning laugh with my coffee, despite the fact I did end up dressed like Garth sans Wayne last night and secretly enjoyed it quite a bit.

  3. Absolutely– on all of it. To be honest, the gender & race stereotypes, & how-far-can-I-go-with-this-holiday? frenzy makes me wonder how much stress & angst these folks are actually experiencing on a daily basis– and I WISH they’d put just as much attention on mental friggin health!!!!!!!

  4. Awesome post! Really appreciate that you went beyond the stereotyped rant on sexy costumes to talk about what’s ACTUALLY offensive.

    Also, I totally agree on candy corn. I really don’t understand why people enjoy candle wax trying to pass itself off as a sweet. 😉

  5. You know…I clicked on that link to those BRILLIANT costumes…and uh…the Beetlegeuse Family? $4000. If you make costumes for a living and someone is out there cashing in like this….and you’re a broke and starving artist…you might want to jump on that train…if it’s “work”…then make it WORK. <–in my best RuPaul voice.

  6. I do love Hallowe’en and dressing up but I have somewhat similar issues with games. I loved games. I played games and then they became part of how I made my living. Only recently have people started coming to me for advice about their own intentions that would cross the I do this for a living go away line and to be honest the part I do get money for doesn’t require much beyond tact (which I don’t have yet…)

    I don’t know why people don’t respect the line. They left whatever job they had and are having free time. Why break into another persons?

    Your chart did leave me wondering if someone not quite fully white makes themselves more white as a costume has some horrible line been crossed because shade matching my zombie if I recover from the plague by Thursday is going to be a pain…

  7. Reblogged this on Donavon's Blog and commented:
    I chose Tor Johnson as my costume this year but I had to see if it would pass, so I walked in on my fam damily while eating dinner. Scared dat shyt outta them!! Can’t wait to hand out candy this Thursday to the little goons and goblins!!!! Boo!!!

  8. Pingback: Hey, New Girl? Happy Halloween. | I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s