Analyzing myself was strange because normally we don’t realize we do something or dress a certain way for a specific reason. In everyday life I like to dress comfortably whether that means a hoodie and jeans or a t-shirt and shorts. I just pull whatever I have in my closet and roll with it. Unless I am going out I don’t plan an outfit too seriously. I came to the realization of this when deciding what I should be for Halloween. There are always those people that go all out with crazy elaborate costume and some that make something easy work. After looking for costumes online and Party City I realized how easy men have it.
Most of the costumes I found for men were mainly a one piece, which covered the person completely. On the other hand, the women’s costumes consisted of oversexualizing the female body by exposing a lot of skin. This goes to show our idea of beauty between men and woman is different. Men can look attractive by being completely dressed while women show off their bodies in order to be considered hot. This is a big double standard in today’s culture.
The article “It’s the Great Slutty Pumpkin Double Standard, Charlie Brown,” discusses the male gaze by Laura Mulvey in terms of Halloween. Somewhere along the way a major part of Halloween and the parties it comes with have become about putting women’s bodies on display. Men could go to the same party and wear a costume with very little clothing and not be referred to as being slutty. The article says “they are not typically sold on a collection of arbitrary, manufactured norms designed by someone else with the purpose of seducing them into an inflated and shallow sense of self-worth and value.” This follows the theme of hegemonic femininity in terms of what a woman should look like, especially during Halloween time. With outfits like ‘sexy cat’ or ‘sexy nurse’ women feel like they need to dress in a certain way in order to fit in, especially at the bars or a Halloween party.
Last Saturday I was at a Halloween party that my friend was hosting. All of the guys were covered from head to toe, except a friend who decided to dress as a French maid. There was a lack of creativity coming from the men at this party. Many of them wore their regular clothing but added signs or mask to officially say they wore a costume. On the other hand, the women at the party went all out from their shoes to what kind of hairstyle and make up they had. Society expects women to dress a certain way for Halloween and this party was living proof of it.
My costume was of a famous photograph of Kanye West performing at Madison Square Garden. It consisted of jeans, his “I Feel Like Pablo” long sleeve shirt and a black hat. It was a pretty simple yet effective costume. I never questioned why I was wearing pants over something shorter or whether I needed to add make up or anything like that. As a male you generally don’t think of these things because they are not common in our society. On the other hand, my friend, Brittney was freaking out over what she was going to wear. Brittney had to make sure that her costume matched and at the end of the day she was a superhero. Her costume consisted of a skirt and a top that was low cut.
The article “Pink Technology: Mediamaking Gear for Girls,” discusses that ‘girls are socialized to see femininity as their “master discourse” and thus have been encouraged to avoid roles, practices, and personality traits that might compromise their attempts to achieve that gender identity. If a girl were to have been completely covered or not dressed up she would have been thought of as a prude or not as ‘hot’ as the other girls at the party. There is a constant need in society to fit in with what everyone else doing, especially when it comes to clothing. Society also tells girls how they should act and what is expected of them. They can dress provocatively, but not too much or else they are sluts.
When I was observing myself I noticed that expectations of me versus a girl are different. I can roll out of bed, put some sweats on with a baseball hat and it would be more acceptable than if a girl did it. There are different discourses that society has imposed on us. It is up to us to be genuine and not worry about what society has made us believe is true.
Moeschen, S. (2013, October 10). It’s the Great Slutty Pumpkin Double Standard, Charlie Brown! Retrieved November 02, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sheila-moeschen/its-the-great-slutty-pumpkin-double-standard-charlie-brown_b_4072013.html