October 31, 2017

25 Weirdest "Sexy" Halloween Costumes

As someone who delights in Halloween costumes (I'm all up in your instagram feeds creepin' your costume, stranger), I am continuously baffled by a number of "sexy" costumes each year. As I've mentioned before, there are just some things that do not need to be sexed up. Scrabble boards come to mind.

Please know that I'm not dismissing any costume on the basis of merely being sexy (honestly, get it girl!), but I am dismissing it on the basis of being a shitty (in one case, literally) costume. The idea that someone purposely designed these costumes is not only surprising, but a true waste of time. You only get so many hours in your life...how many of them should you commit to drafting a sexy mustard bottle? Just a thought.

Please enjoy some of the weirdest "sexy" costumes I've seen this year:

The first issue is that they've put the words "sexy" and "poop" right there next to each other in the title. There are so many damn emojis...why this? The nose pinch really seals it for me. A sexy costume? Fine, great. A poop emoji costume? Yeah, sure whatever. A sexy poop emoji costume? NO, THANK YOU.

You may know Rosie as a feminist icon that represents the power and resilience of women, but have you ever been acquainted with her sexier side?! Who even knew she had a tush! Here we were stupidly talking only of her brains and strength. Finally, someone saw fit to revamp Rosie for the male gaze. Maybe they could do Ruth Bader Ginsburg next?!

What's sexier than an unknown corpse? You can wear this micro mini body bag, which does zip all the way up to cover your head, to show everyone that your name and face simply do not matter. There's even a handy toe tag inexplicably worn around the neck! It's a good thing violence against women is so rare and taken so seriously that we're able to joke about it. Oh wait.

No, you're not adrift in a channel surf - this costume really does say "control her." For suuuure a dude designed this, and was certain to add adorable details like the good girl/bad girl toggles and the hotness level changer. Comedy! Misogyny aside, this is just a bad costume: presumably, as a remote, all of her "buttons" would be meant for pressing, so why is there a specific "press" button on her head? Additionally, if she is a remote control, why does the costume include a garter with a strapped on remote control?! Is this her child? Is she an adult remote babysitting a toddler remote? Is this a remote to control the remote? We need - no, deserve - to know.

I don't know if it's the associated hot dog imagery that's supposed to make this costume sexy, but I'm just not quite getting it. This is one of the rare brand name licensed costumes, but it really feels like it wasn't worth the paperwork to finalize this deal. Never has mustard, let alone yellow mustard, felt or been sexy. Like, maybe one of those grainy deli mustards if it's paired with a beautiful charcuterie, maybe. But never yellow. Never.

Oops, did I say the trademarked name Edward Scissorhands? I meant Sexy Creepy Scissor Sweetie, which is obviously just as catchy. I feel compelled to point out that this is not what Edward looked like at all. Though he did have wild black hair and scissors for hands, he didn't wear a gartered romper covered in tiny images of scissors, if you can believe it.

Not a sexy shark costume, a sexy shark attack costume. They could've easily omitted the dripping blood and made a shark costume, which would've been perhaps dull, but not baffling. If I am to believe this costume, she has been consumed by said shark right up to her stomach, though strangely her left arm has been spared. For someone in her shoes (btw, was she wearing those heels in the ocean?) she seems pretty calm about everything. The description says "take a bite out of your delicious prey" which leaves me wondering if I accidentally wandered onto a costume website for sharks?

Man, what a bummer. It must be nice to feel so detached from the world that you can already joke about this concept, but honestly I'm just not there yet. Don't do it.

Yiiiiiikes. This costume is going for a retro pin-up vibe, but we really can't ignore that they're suggesting you dress up as a sexy bomber, aka a combat aircraft used to, you know, bomb people. The 'patriotic' message is a little tainted here, no matter how many spinning propellers you add to that bra. The description even says you won't have a problem "finding allies in this jaw-dropping outfit" so there's no denying the creepy war message. There are plenty of bomb/blast puns in the description too, so don't worry. LOL?

Or as they call it, "Sexy Galaxy Gremlin Costume." It's kind of harsh to call Yoda a gremlin, but it's even harsher to suggest this is an acceptable way to dress as him. For one, why are there eyes right above her eyes? This is limited edition, but the kicker? "Robe and hat not included." Which, I mean, that's almost impressively ballsy. So I guess this is technically a limited edition brown bikini? Cool.

There were so many others I'd hate to leave out so here are the honorable mentions:

Suuuuuper clever, bro.

Ummm, are people supposed to be attracted to fish now?

You just know they're gonna do the filter over the costume.

I'm sorry, I just find Red Vines sexier.

Because why not at this point, right?

But why is the "big top" on the bottom?

Perfect way to attract that dude who sucks.

Maybe not the best idea in this political climate?

Gee, I wonder who this is referencing?

Lesson #1: No "sexy" costumes of children. Non negotiable!

This sure is awfully specific.

The costume that literally no one is looking for.

Cutting edge internet joke.

Because god forbid there be a single American women who isn't sexualized.

Continuing the grand tradition of character-eating-head costumes.

What's the worst costume here? 
What bad costumes have you seen this year?

October 30, 2017

Halloween Around the World

Candy, pumpkin carving, a good excuse to wear cat ears…these are among the many things we know and love about Halloween in the US. Around the world, however, Halloween is often celebrated much differently, or in many cases, not at all. While some elements, like the fixation on souls and the dead, are a common thread from nation to nation, the way we express ourselves can vary greatly. Here’s a quick look at how Halloween (aka the greatest holiday!) is celebrated around the world.

Many sources cite Ireland as the birthplace of what we now know as Halloween, with its origin sprouting from an old celtic festival called Samhain. Today in Ireland, Halloween is celebrated by lighting bonfires, playing games and eating traditional foods, like barmbrack, which are fruitcakes filled with trinkets like rings, coins and buttons meant to predict your future. For example, getting a coin in your cake tells of increased wealth in the upcoming year. Children dress in costumes and go trick-or-treating, after which they typically attend parties with neighbors and friends. Snap Apple is often played, where an apple hanging on a string is tied to a tree or doorframe and children attempt to bite it. Other games are played that result in candy prizes, like treasure hunts arranged by parents or a game in which cards are placed face down on a table to hide candy or coins beneath them.

In Mexico, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is held from November 1 to November 2 to honor those who have passed away. On the night before this celebration begins, it is believed that the gates between heaven and earth are opened and the souls of children are allowed to return to their families for 24 hours. On the second day of the celebration, adult souls also join. Many people create in-home altars decorated with flowers, candles and photographs of deceased relatives, and stuffed with an abundance of fruit, nuts, tortillas, soda, water and pan de muerto (bread of the dead) as an offering to the spirits. Candy and toys are also left for the souls of children, while cigarettes and shots of mezcal are left for the adult souls. The cost of such a display can be relatively expensive, but many work hard to provide it to honor their loved ones and because they believe happy spirits will provide protection and luck to their families. On the afternoon of November 2, the festivities move to the cemetery, where families clean tombs, play cards, listen to local bands and share memories of their dead loved ones. 

In Italy, All Saints Day (Tutti i Santi or La Festa di Ognissanti) is celebrated on November 1, and All Souls Day (Tutti i Morti) is celebrated on November 2. The former is a national holiday meant to honor the saints, while the latter pays tribute to deceased loved ones. To celebrate, people leave flowers, often chrysanthemums, on the graves of both family members and strangers, turning the nation’s cemeteries into a colorful display. On All Saints Day, families celebrate together and attend mass. Some also light a red candle in their window and set a place at the table for the spirits of family members, hoping they visit and leave gifts for the children to show that they’re keeping an eye on them, and to instill a bond between younger and past family generations. In some areas, families instead prepare a feast for the departed relatives and leave home so that the spirits can enter undisturbed. On All Souls Day, people visit the cemetery to pay respect to their dearly departed and share stories to keep their memory alive. 

All Saints Day is also observed in Germany, with many people attending church services for saints and martyrs, as well as visiting the graves of their deceased family members to add wreaths and lanterns. On the following day, All Souls Day, special requiem masses are held to remember those loved ones who have died, and candles may be lit in their honor. In some areas, a more than week long celebration, All Souls Week or Seleenwoche, is celebrated and many people traditionally hide their knives during this period so as to avoid “hurting” the returning spirits with everyday knife movements. 

Japan’s annual Festival of Obon honors the spirits of one’s ancestors, and it's believed that during this time these spirits visit their living family members. Many people prepare special food and hang lanterns by their homes to guide the spirits, as well as send lighted lanterns to drift in a river. Obon serves as a homecoming of sorts for many people, as they return to their families to celebrate lost loved ones, and to visit and clean their graves. Obon lasts three days, and many celebrations include a carnival with rides and games. Traditionally, a dance known as Bon-Odori is also included in the celebration. Families release their loved ones’ spirits back to their permanent dwelling using the guidance of fire, which also marks the end of the festival.   

How are you celebrating Halloween?

October 29, 2017

Scary Movie Night Suggestions Pt. 2

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Michelle awakes in an underground bunker with no recollection of how she got there. Howard, a stranger with ambiguous intent, tells her there's been a chemical attack on the earth and that the air above ground is unbreathable. He says he found her at the scene of a terrible car accident and took her underground so that she had a chance to survive. This man is either her captive or her savior, but with no access to the outside world and the chance that she might die if she attempts to enter it, Michelle has to decide her next move - and how to make it under Howard’s watchful eye.

Creep (2015)

This documentary-style horror film takes the point of view of the man behind the camera, Aaron, who has answered an online ad to help a dying man, Josef, film a day in his life for his unborn child, whom he will not be alive to meet. What at first seems like a sweet, sad project soon turns surreal as the requests for the day’s shooting become stranger and stranger. Joseph’s behavior is increasingly erratic, but is always explained away just enough to keep Aaron around. When he finally decides he’s had enough, he finds out that it may be too late.

Funny Games (2007)

Much like The Strangers, this film (an American remake) creates a lot of its tension from the knot-in-your-stomach feeling we get when things seem normal, but somehow you know they’re just not quite right. Ann, along with her husband and young son, is visiting her upscale vacation house when a pair of seemingly dapper young men arrive to borrow some pantry items. The feeling of unease builds as their behavior turns from perfectly polite to unpredictable. By the time she knows what her gut is telling her, it’s far too late and there’s a price to pay.

Eyes Without a Face (1960)

A grieving father, Dr. Genessier, uses his medical prowess and absent moral compass in an attempt to right a wrong for which he feels responsible. His disfigured daughter, thought dead by the outside world, is left wearing a face obscuring mask that on its own is creepy enough to be worth the price of admission. How far her father will go to get her a new face may shock and disgust you, but it’ll keep your eyes (with a face, hopefully) fixed on the screen.

The Visit (2015)

Two young siblings take a journey to meet their maternal grandparents for the very first time. Because of a strained relationship between these grandparents and their mother, the children know very little of them or their rural farm life. All seems pleasant when Nana and Pop Pop welcome them in, but when odd behaviors and confusing interactions start to stack up, they question the safety of staying in this home. When the kids learn a spine-chilling secret, they know their only option will be to fight their way out. I have to say: the personality of the brother in this film is nearly unbearable (child white rapper!!!) but ultimately the thrills outweigh the secondhand embarrassment.

October 28, 2017

10 Last Minute (But Still Awesome) Costume Ideas!

Okay, I get it - you've seen my costume ideas, you've vaguely thought about what you'll be this year and maybe you even decided on a costume, but here you are on the Saturday before Halloween, a.k.a. the universal Halloween party night, and you're still like, "daaaaamn, what am I gonna be?!"

It's okay, I got you. You've come to the right place, just in time. For those moments when you need a last minute, day-of costume, you're looking for simple ideas that are still fun and won't prompt a million "what are you supposed to be?" questions all night. The worst.

Below you'll find ten DIY costume ideas that you can assemble from stuff you might already have at home (crucial in these trying times) or can easily beg, borrow or steal (wait, no, just go to Target, dummy!) the afternoon before you arrive at your costume party of choice, ready to blow 'em all away.

DIY "Jailbird" Costume

In an extreme pinch, I whipped up something like this in under an hour, hot glued tail feather and all. If you have a striped shirt and some craft feathers, you're good to go, but you can also buy a beak, mask or wings. Toy handcuffs add a little something, but I made mine from tin foil. Visual puns make for the easiest quick costumes!

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DIY Green Olive Costume

So simple - dress in all green and paint your face red for the pimento. I suggest a green hoodie because then you can wear the hood tied up around your face to encircle the red part. If you're feeling wild, make a pointy toothpick to stick out of the hood.

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DIY Shower Costume

I once saw my college roommate do this and thought it was genius! Running verrrry last minute? Throw on a robe, wrap your hair in a towel and carry soap, a loofah or rubber ducky. You can even wear a classic green face mask so you don't have to do your makeup. You can literally roll right from your shower to your party!

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DIY Baby Costume

If you've got kids or just some time to run to the store, dressing as a baby is as easy as wearing pajamas (onsies are great) and carrying a blanket, pacifier, teddy bear and/or bottle. Maybe draw rosy circles on your cheeks or put your hair into a tiny ponytail right up top. As a fellow party-goer, I'd love to see an adult baby drinking booze out of their bottle. Just a thought! Ohhh, also - you could combine elements of this costume with the previous costume and go as a "baby shower" if you're feeling punny!

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DIY Gift or Present Costume

All you need to dress as a gift is a large cardboard box, wrapping paper, ribbon and a bow. Cut arm and head holes in the box and remove the bottom for your legs. Wrap it up or even just draw on it. Add the ribbon and wear the bow right on your head!

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DIY Heart Eye Smiley Emoji Costume

To go as everyone's favorite emoji, paint your face yellow, wear red heart-shaped glasses and paint a large smile over your mouth to stay perma-lovey. Alternative idea: add ears and whiskers to go as the cat version of this emoji.

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DIY Imaginary Friend Costume

My boyfriend whipped up this idea last minute one year, and I've never forgotten how much I loved it. To be an "imaginary friend" you can really wear whatever you want (duh, they're all unique and no one can see them), but stick with wacky prints and bright colors for that fun flair you need. A colorful wig and accessories adds charm and whimsy. The point here is to look like a joyous fictional character so whatever that means to you is the right answer!

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DIY Dice or Domino Costume

Keep it way, way simple by wearing all white - either a dress or a t-shirt and bottoms - and adding black felt circles. You can cut them out from sticker-back felt or buy the precut circles available at most craft stores. Place them on your body like on dice or dominoes. For a domino, you can even add a black belt for the center line.

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DIY Skunk Costume

I've been a last minute skunk and it's remarkably easy - I even had time to add a tiny top hat for no damn reason. Grab a black hoodie, pin/sew/glue white furry trim right down the center back, letting it hang off a bit for a tail, and over the center hood, which you should wear up. Paint your face with a white triangle from your forehead to your nose and use an eyeliner pencil to color the tip of your nose black. Cut a circle from white felt and pin on your belly. Voila - all skunk, no stink.

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DIY Strawberry Costume

The epitome of easy - wear a red shirt or dress, add a green beret or other hat and pop on these sticker-back felt circles all over for seeds. Make it a watermelon costume with a pink shirt. Easy, comfy, and everyone will know what you are.

What are you dressing as this Halloween? What are your classic last minute costumes? What's the easiest costume you've ever worn?

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