Scandalous Halloween costumes have psychological explanation - KOTA Territory News

Scandalous Halloween costumes have psychological explanation


The day is adored by children and adults. "Halloween is a wonderful time," said South Dakota School of Mines Psychology Professor James McReynolds.

And for some people dressing up is the best part, but some Halloween costumes can be pretty scandalous. "The shorter the better, the skimpier the better," said Halloween Bootique Manager Julie Wells.

So what is it about Halloween that makes people act and dress so crazily? "There's a degree of anonymity that comes with wearing a mask or putting on a costume it's like no one knows who I am," said McReynolds. "And as a result of that you can get away with things that you won't be held responsible for."

You can even get away with dressing very risque. "You can be a wife, you can be a mother you can hold a job, parallel process the glass ceiling but none of them talks about their sexuality directly," said McReynolds. "It's all covered over by a social kind of roll so at Halloween it's a time to say yes I am an attractive, sexy person."

Dr. McReynolds says it has to do with Freud's pleasure principal. Freud believed anything that reduces tension is a source of pleasure. "So if you have the tension of being trapped in a roll that doesn't really quite meet your needs then dressing up, you know, in Halloween garb is a way of reducing tension and that's fun that's a source of pleasure," said McReynolds.

Managers at the Halloween Boutique say the tides may be turning. "Last year and this year we've seen the trend going towards a little bit more modesty and covering up more," said Wells.

"It's just a trend we go through these every so many years," said Thornton. "It goes from being kind of risque to ok time to cover up it's I guess the high heel low heel thing."

Over all it comes down personal choice whether it's subconscious or not.

"Sometimes we have a part that just screams to get out and Halloween what better time for something to get out that's screaming then Halloween," said McReynolds.

Wells says customers are less interested in being sexy this Halloween and more interested in being creative. She says they are doing a lot with makeup and props, and sometimes even mixing costumes.


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