Stop trying to make “Slutoween” happen.

In what I personally consider to be a more offensive marketing fail, I received an email newsletter today in which the featured post was “Slutoween 2.0” (there was a 1.0, apparently), which purported to run down the “over-the-top” sexy costumes available for purchase this Halloween.At the end of the blurb, the poster implored, “Let’s see a little bit more class than sass, shall we?” and women everywhere cringed without knowing why.I didn’t want to but something in me just had to click through to the post itself…which was a popular BuzzFeed post that I had seen at least twice before that email hit my inbox.

Well, that was unexpected. And it adds entirely new issues to what was going to be a straightforward rant.

I don’t actually have an issue with the linked piece, which is actually titled “20 Halloween Costumes That Will Destroy Your Childhood” – not only a more accurate title, but also one conspicuously devoid of any slut-shaming. (My childhood was legitimately destroyed. You’ve been warned.)

Obviously an over-the-top title like “Slutoween” is effective clickbait – hey, it even worked on me. I also agree with the point that the “writer” stumbled over: mainstream Halloween costumes continue to skew toward hypersexualized versions of archetypal and popular characters. Even toddler and child costumes now come in “sexy” versions, which is a separate and infinitely more disturbing issue.

That said, this extremely lazy post willfully perpetuates the harmful judgments and double standards of slut-shaming – indeed, capitalizes on them – either out of sheer ignorance or as an excuse to impose their own morality on those who would read their newsletter. It is not up to the person who shared that commentary to dictate the costume choices (or any other wardrobe choices) of the people who may open their email. And just to be clear: this was from a company that is neither a church nor a provider of religious-oriented goods or services.

Let me drive this point home. Slut-shaming is wrong. It is misguided and it is harmful and it has absolutely no place in a professional marketing campaign, let alone anywhere else. So stop trying to make “Slutoween” happen.

*All opinions expressed are mine and should not be interpreted to represent any official statement by my employer. Name of the company has been withheld to protect my job – but if you see this you know who you are and you should be ashamed.

(We sort of talked about fall fashion! Anyway, check back tomorrow for more #Blogtober14 goodness.)