Should Halloween costumes that sexualize nurses be banned?
It is that time of the year again. No, not Christmas. It is Halloween. Halloween is a holiday popularized in the American culture and celebrated by wearing costumes, reading scary thrillers, and even watching horror films as part of the Halloween spirit. Teenagers like to throw parties and get dressed up for Halloween, while younger kids prefer to go knocking door to door to collect candy. Partly fun, partly family friendly, partly scary, Halloween is a day full of complicated fun and experiences. However, what is the celebration about?
It is also observed in several countries on the 31st of October. It is also known as All Hallows’ Eve and it traditionally begins with a three-day observance of the day, which is dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints, martyrs and other faithful departed; hence the scary costumes and movies which symbolize the dread that comes with the thoughts of the dead resurrecting, the fictional zombies and the likes.
There are several myths surrounding Halloween, among them is that it is a Gaelic holiday with pagan roots. While others believe that to cleanse the holiday, the early church Christianized it as Halloween and others say that it is actually a Christian holiday separate from other ancient festivals with pagan history attached to it.
On this day, in today’s popular culture it is not unusual to find a woman dressed in a nurse’s outfit. Tailored and fitted to look more promiscuous rather than a well dressed nursed. The outfit is sexualized and commands the attention of the woman who wears it. It is seen as an exciting and fun choice for many young women. The costume pokes fun at the ‘innocent nurse’ gesture and turns to become more sexualized and even having a dangerous character to an extent over Halloween.
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The costume has been widely accepted in American culture to take on different roles, depending on the wearer. For some professional nurses, the costume can come off as demeaning to their practice, and they are unappreciative of the different vulgar costumes they come across. While others are not offended at all. They understand the context of the costume and where and when it applies, therefore not having a place in any professional setting. Due to that, it doesn’t bother them.
The nurse costume has not caused a public disturbance, but more of a public discomfort should a nurse or anyone else who may come across it being worn in an environment that is not suitable. Today, it has been fully accepted as a costume used to enhance relationships or make for an interesting costume over Halloween. More so, the nurse costume and the actual nurses’ uniform are not the same. The costume does not represent the actual uniform nurses wear, it is more of the character they embody when wearing the costume that spells out it is a nurse costume.
The costume itself should not be banned. In a democratic and liberal society such as the American one, it would be outrageous to ban the costume. It is a world where individuals are free to speak and do as they wish, hence the tag ‘the free world’. The costume should not be banned, but instead, the costume should have regulations to its tailoring to be distinct from the original nurse’s uniform, and refrain from replicating an authentic nurses’ uniform completely.
The regulations can also be applied in specific states, to avoid replication of uniforms that replicate the exact fashion of the real nurses’ uniforms for the states in question and those of the health facilities around. Additionally, if there are any institutions and nursing groups or unions that feel violated by the uniforms they should go ahead and act against it, instead of applying for a nation-wide ban on the nurse costume worn over Halloween and other holidays.
However, it is perfectly legal as t, is done in a light-hearted fashion, not meant to offend nurses themselves.