Every year, pop-up Halloween shops like Spirit Halloween miraculously appear in HRM, gifting us with costumes and decor galore. Every year, parties around the city are filled with scantily clad comic book characters, naughty nurses and buxom pirate wenches. Surely, in an age where we’re finally recognizing the value of brains over beauty, we can find a way to celebrate both equally.
Halloween is a night for fun, and I’m all for body positivity and empowering sexuality, but why can’t a subtle, punny, or witty costume be considered sexy?
Wear your brain for Halloween
In a 2019 study on intelligence and mate choice, researchers found that participants valued intelligent partners over unintelligent partners, and preferred intelligent partners, particularly when choosing a long-term mate.
One problem with rating a potential mate on smarts versus sex appeal is that smarts are less visible in an initial introduction. This is a major benefit to choosing an intelligent Halloween costume. You can put your brains on the outside for once, and I’m not talking about trick-or-treating as a zombie.
Smart costumes come in all shapes and sizes. The key component is that they make your audience think.
Smart costumes from pop culture
One of the first witty Halloween costumes that comes to mind when I think about smart costumes is Jim Halpert from The Office.
While some might call Halpert’s costumes lazy, their blatant refusal to fit the cliché Halloween mould is exactly what makes them smart. From his year as Facebook with the clever scribbling of “book” across his face to three-hole punch version of himself (this is funny because he works at a paper company), he always hit his mark. There was even one episode where he didn’t bother writing or sticking on anything, and when asked, told his coworkers he was one of the Men in Black guys.
A costume doesn’t need to be subtle to be smart. There are some amazing in-your-face costumes that speak for themselves.
Quirky costume ideas for a witty night in
Hosting a Halloween party (with all the current COVID-19 restrictions in mind, of course), but not in the mood to be Officer Pat U Down (Spirit Halloween’s take on take on a female police officer) or a Beer Garden Babe (their Oktoberfest themed offering)? Why not create a costume with a play on words?
Wearing a word puzzle is a great way to spark conversation and keep your party guests guessing. The internet is full of ideas. One Buzzfeed article on the subject offers suggestions like a combination of a white sheet and fake face tattoos to become Ghost Malone; a beret-wearing couple with a baguette and face paint as a French kiss; and a yellow and black striped living dead zom-bee.
Book smarts aren’t the only type of skill you can wear for Halloween. Another fun but witty costume concept relies on showcasing your interests and hobbies. Instead of wearing a Lycra bodysuit to portray the newest Marvel character, choose a member of your favorite off-beat band, an under-appreciated book protagonist, or forgotten villain from movies of yore.
Have fun with it
Sexy isn’t a defining factor we can achieve with one look or talent. It’s different for everyone – a subjective quality.
In an article by Time Magazine about what makes us sexy, writer Eric Barker determined that we gauge sexual appeal on humor, popularity, conversation, personality and looks. While I agree on all five of these categories as important aspects of mate choice, it needs to be said that four out of five aren’t physical traits.
Whether you choose to show off your bod with a fitted costume, shake things up with a topical play on words or create a balance of both, I hope everybody has a fun and safe Halloween this year.
As for me, I’ll take an obscure Quentin Tarantino reference over a feisty fireman or naughty nurse any day.