Much has been said of Halloween‘s evolution into a holiday that sexualizes women. And, while the worst part is probably still the fact that even kids’ costumes have begun rampantly sexualizing young girls, we’re also perturbed by the diet and fitness industry’s new ploy to profit off of ‘Slutty Halloween’…by promoting “costume-ready body” diets and workout routines.
The first I noticed the pressure to lose weight for Halloween (because there’s no sugar high like the one you’ll get after stuffing your face with candy when you’ve been dieting and working out like hell) was in an e-mail newsletter from a popular Boot Camp. “Countdown to a Hot Halloween Has Begun!” read the title. The email itself was pretty benign, and featured a half-naked man; not a French maid. Slightly un-fun PR, I thought, but not enough to get enraged.
Then I saw this video on AOL, “Costume-Ready Body Tips for Halloween,” in which fitness expert John Basedow shares “tips for getting into shape for a form fitting Halloween costume.” The title and topic alone feel sleazy, but he opens, I kid you not, with the following pitch:
I have some little halloween tricks to help you get into that sexy witch costume so you don’t have to be the dumpy pumpkin.
When did Halloween become a holiday that’s only enjoyable for thin people?
Basedow’s tips are as follows:
1. Stay Hydrated
2. Morning Cardio
3. Eat Natural Foods
4. Nibble and Sip
5. Exercise Abs at Night
They’re mostly sane and not that different from diet and fitness tips we see every other time of year; thankfully, he’s not promoting crash diets or insane workout regimens here. But framing it around the idea that a) Halloween sucks if you don’t wear a body-conscious costume, and b) you shouldn’t wear said costume if your body doesn’t conform to certain standards is pretty gross.
Others are trying to capitalize on the season’s new slutty qualities, and to be fair, not all of them are necessarily framing it around the idea that we should all get half-naked and feel anxiety about it. (Is this “Freaky Fat Loss Halloween Workout” music mix really about body shaming? I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt and just say that it’s supposed to be a seasonally-appropriate workout soundtrack. Same with this “Spooky Workout” from Fitsugar and Tone It Up.)
But if you see more articles, videos, and tips that encourage everyone to add “body anxiety” to their Halloween-prep plan, please just say no.
Photo: Ricky’s Costume Superstore