Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ho-lloween, one year later

One year ago today my "Ho-lloween" column was printed in The Concordian. I heard a lot of positive comments about it and it seemed to be one of the most popular things I had written in a while, so I felt this upcoming Halloween season would be an appropriate time to re-print it here in my blog.

For those who don't remember, I wrote a weekly column in the newspaper called "Communication Breakdown." I came up with some names for the column and then decided to go through my iPod and look for song titles that sounded journalism-ey. I showed my list of about 10 possible names to Wendy Holdren, then the Editor-in-Chief. She told me her two favorite names and I picked my favorite of her two.

The opening line for each column was a little cheesy, but I think it's that cute kind of cheesy. You can roll your eyes after reading it if you want. I won't mind.

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Originally published Oct. 28, 2009; The Concordian, Concord University

By Chris Slater

Welcome to the latest edition of "Communication Breakdown." Let me break it down for you.

There's a fun holiday coming up this Saturday for the children. It's called Halloween. Perhaps you participated when you were younger. Dress up as something "spooky" or "scary" and go door-to-door getting candy and other assorted goods. Fun times and great memories.

There's a problem with Halloween, though. It's just for kids. No self-respecting adult still "trick or treats." If you still do, it's because you're not a respectable adult. The term for you is "Man-Child."

The bigwig marketing executives and PR-people realized this problem a few years ago – "How do we market Halloween to the college audience?" I'm guessing that they held a meeting to figure out a solution.

Somebody at that meeting, a younger rookie PR guy, had a figurative light bulb go off above his head. He raised his hand and said, "I have an idea."

"Let's all hear it," they said.

The PR guy collected himself for a second, trying to figure out the best way to formulate his idea. He opened his mouth -

"What if we encourage young women to dress like whores?"

Silence. Another PR guy questioned this by wondering how it would include males.

"Well," the rookie PR guy began, "They can look at the women dressed as whores."

More silence. The rookie is nervously looking around the room. Suddenly, a man begins clapping. Soon, the entire room is giving this rookie PR employee a standing ovation.

"Brilliant!" shouted one. "You’ve saved Halloween!" yelled another.

Now, that may or may not of happened. But, somebody, somewhere had this idea to market what is commonly known as "Ho-lloween" - young women dressing up as whores for Halloween.

Well, technically, the term is "sexy." They’re either a "sexy nurse," or a "sexy police officer," or a "sexy pilot," etc, etc, and the list goes on.

Now, I may not know the exact definition of a whore, but trust me, I know one when I see one.

They are out in full-force every Halloween. There's usually a crowded house or club. There’s usually a lot of alcohol involved. And, by 2 p.m. November 1, the pictures are all over Facebook.

Now the ladies may be wondering, "What’s the big deal? Give me one day to have fun."

Well, it's not always that easy. "Ho-lloween" outfits can give guys the wrong impression of you.

Guys aren't deep thinkers. Here’s a logical guy thought – "She's wearing knee-high boots and fishnet stockings. She's easy."

He's not taking into account that it's a costume. Throw in some alcohol - or something else - and you have the ingredients for a horrible misunderstanding, at best; and something a lot worse, at worst.

Remember when I mentioned Facebook earlier? Pictures on there just don't disappear after a while. That picture of you dressed as a "sexy cop" arresting your "sexy criminal" (as a group of guys cheer you on) stays on Facebook until somebody decides to delete it.

Something to remember this "Ho-lloween" season - dressing like a whore makes people think less of you. If you don't want your reputation to be tainted, don't dress like a whore this Saturday.

Unless your reputation is that of a whore... You know what they say, "If the ill-fitting, trashy suit fits..."