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The Female Perspective: Horrific Halloween Entertainment Part II

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website! Or find me on Facebook at @JLMetcalfAuthorArtisan!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


Welcome to Part II of my Halloween Movies extravaganza!!! Okay, maybe a two-part blog is not quite an extravaganza, but how often does one get to use that word? Not very often! So yeah, it’s an EXTRAVAGANZA! I say.

If you missed Part I, check it out here!

Onwards and upwards my wayward readers!

I realized I left a few classic Halloween treats off my original list, and some of that is on purpose as I was trying to pick slightly lesser known flicks to highlight, rather than the usual Friday the 13th or Halloween or even Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I love all of those films dearly, but they are tried and true Halloween fare. Let’s see what else we can find. This weeks list is a bit of old, a bit of new, and a lot of fun! To start things off we will go with an old favorite of many.

The Exorcist

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I’ll admit that The Exorcist is not a favorite of mine, it tends to make me a bit sleepy (though not as sleepy as when I try to watch The Shining, I have never gotten through that one), but it has some iconic moments in it that cannot be overlooked. Pea soup will never be the same for many folks, and little girls in nightgowns who can do a full 180 with their heads are in serious need of some chiropractic help!

This was a film steeped in superstition and many deemed it “cursed” before it was even released.

The film experienced a troubled production; even in the beginning, several prestigious film directors including Stanley Kubrick and Arthur Penn turned it down. Incidents, such as the toddler son of one of the main actors being hit by a motorbike and hospitalized, attracted claims that the set was ‘cursed’. The complex special effects used as well as the nature of the film locations also presented severe challenges. The film’s notable psychological themes include the nature of faith in the midst of doubt as well as the boundaries of maternal love as a mother has to do whatever she can to save her child. –Wikipedia

Obviously, those rumors really only helped the movie as it’s a cult classic now and was a huge success in 1973 when it was released. If you’ve never seen it, I say check it out. But do so with the lights on and never alone. (Muhahahaha).

Also, there’s a new TV series based on the film/book and I am VERY curious to see that. Has anyone watched it? Good/bad/ugly? Let me know!

House of 1000 Corpses

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When this gem of a horror flick came out in 2003 I totally missed it. I didn’t see it for a few years after, but I know that the first time I saw it I was scared silly. One of Rob Zombie’s finest films (and his first), it’s about a serial killer cannibal family and their house of horrors. It gets REALLY weird about halfway through and when I say REALLY weird I mean it. But that REALLY weird is also totally delightful (if you’re sick like me that is, hehe).

The plot is fairly straightforward, it’s 1977 and a carload of kids are off searching of material for a book about offbeat roadside attractions. At one stop they meet Captain Spaulding and learn of the legend of Dr. Satan … Then bad stuff happens and there’s lots of screaming and blood and scares.

The second time I watched 1000 Corpses I was much less scared of it and more fascinated at the sick, twisted mind that created it. That and the fact that is stars some of the best in the horror biz today and you can’t go wrong. It’s a perfect Halloween treat…Or perhaps, trick?

The funny thing is the film was universally panned by critics, though eventually went on to make $16 million at the box office and spawn it’s AMAZING sequel, The Devil’s Rejects, which is, to me, Zombie’s finest work to date.

Night of the Creeps

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Now, this one is technically a horror/comedy film, but it still fits the bill of being a great Halloween treat. It’s got all that wonderful 80’s cheese going for it and it attempts in its strange fashion to pay homage to the B movie genre.

 While the main plot of the film is related to zombies, the film also mixes in takes on slashers and alien invasion films. –Wikipedia

So basically it’s a mix of a everything and it’s wonderfully fun. Now I know some of you might be sick of zombies, but trust me, this is well worth checking out because it’s not just zombies (as stated above), it’s got some slasher film elements and some alien invasion elements as well. It’s definitely not your typical zombie film, it was a zombie film before the zombie invasion of this century. Not to mention it has gems like this:

Detective Cameron: I got good news and bad news, girls. The good news is your dates are here.
Sorority Sister: What’s the bad news?
Detective Cameron: They’re dead.

~IMDB

The Conjuring

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Now, I know this is a relatively new film, but I have to say that this one genuinely freaked me out. Not many films have (Poltergeist is the one that sticks with me more than any other horror film), and even after seeing it more than once, I STILL jump at certain scenes and often feel the heebie-jeebies after watching it, and while watching it actually.

If you don’t already know, The Conjuring is a “true story” about a family that is possessed by evil spirits.

Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators and authors associated with prominent cases of haunting. Their reports inspired The Amityville Horror.[4] The Warrens come to the assistance of the Perron family (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor), who are experiencing increasingly disturbing events in their farmhouse in Rhode Island in 1971. –Wikipedia

It’s not even the fact that I live in Rhode Island, or that it’s supposedly based on true events, it’s just such a well done movie that you can’t help but be frightened at times. The filming, tone, etc are all really well done. This movie freaked me the heck out and I have yet to meet anyone who didn’t get a chill or two down their spines while watching it. I have not checked out the sequel as of yet, but I did see Annabelle and it wasn’t quite as freaky-deaky as The Conjuring. I think this may be one-time magic in terms of the story, filming and actors. We shall see. If you’ve seen The Conjuring 2, let me know what you think!

Well that’s it for Part II of my Horrific Halloween Entertainment! Let me know what I may have missed and what scares you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Female Perspective: Horrific Halloween Entertainment

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


First off I want to say this post will be less about feminism and more about the fun of the month of October and all the movies you can watch and scare yourself silly (or laugh yourself silly). I need something fun to write and hopefully you need something fun to read that has nothing to do with movements or politics or any of the current nonsense in the world. Maybe that’s burying my head in the sand, but I’ll bury it for the hour or so it takes to write this up and then continue to slog through all the insanity being spouted in the media.

That being said, let’s talk Halloween movies, do you have a favorite that you watch every October? Are you looking for a few new offerings to add to your already stellar collection of frightening fare? Here are some of my favorites! They may not be terrifying, but they are a lot of fun.

Tried and True Tales

Trick ‘r’ Treat

Trick_r_treat

One of my favorite go-to Halloween movies has to be Trick ‘r’ Treat. If you haven’t seen this treasure you should totally watch it this year. It’s a 2007 American-Canadian horror anthology film written and directed by Michael Dougherty. The stories are all a bit creepy, a big icky, and very clever. They all take place in a small fictional town in Ohio.

One common element that ties the stories together is the presence of Sam, a mysterious child trick-or-treater wearing shabby orange pajamas with a burlap sack over his head, that makes an appearance in all the stories whenever someone breaks Halloween traditions. – Wikipedia 

Trick ‘r’ Treat has gotten quite the cult following and finally, in 2013, it was announced that a sequel would one day come our way, fingers crossed!

The Descent

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A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators. ~IMDB

This 2005 horror gem scared the pants off of me when I first saw it. I have a thing about being underground, and trapped, and squeezed into teeny, tiny spaces while being hunted by blood thirsty creatures that can see in the dark.  So yeah, this one hit my buttons in a lot of ways. It took me awhile to re-watch it, but when I did I wasn’t quite as scared, but totally enamored of this all-girl tale of horror underneath the ground. Great visuals, nice jump scares and plenty of tension make this a must watch Halloween flick!

Poltergeist

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No, I am not talking about the remake. When I listen Poltergeist on a list of movies, I am talking about the 1982 original and I am also making sure that all the lights are on and it’s totally daylight. Ever since I saw this as a kid, it has scared me to death. As a 37 year old woman, it still scares the holy bejesus out of me. I realize the effects are outdated but damn if when that guy’s face peels off if I don’t get totally grossed out. Something about being attacked in your own home by demonic forces really terrifies me. It also doesn’t help that there’s an attack clown, I am 90% certain that the reason I hate clowns is because of this movie.

There’s one more thing. A terrible presence is in there with her. So much rage, so much betrayal, I’ve never sensed anything like it. I don’t know what hovers over this house, but it was strong enough to punch a hole into this world and take your daughter away from you. It keeps Carol Anne very close to it and away from the spectral light. It LIES to her, it tells her things only a child could understand. It has been using her to restrain the others. To her, it simply IS another child. To us, it is the BEAST. Now, let’s go get your daughter. ~IMDB

Yeah, I get all chills and fear when I think, talk or read about this movie. It’s the one that really triggers my childhood fears, but that’s also what makes it so amazing, all these years later.

*Also, looking up a picture to put in this blog scared the holy Hell out of me. I hate this movie, why am I talking about it?

Are You In The Mood For Something Italian?

Now onto something completely different! A few years ago my friend introduced me to the Italian genre of horror films. These movies aren’t so much scary as they are amazingly funny, goofy, and just plain gross. Not to mention they are completely the antithesis of my feminist ideals, but I can suspend that a bit to watch a movie.

Zombie 

zombie

Directed by Lucio Fulci, Zombie was one of the first Italian horror films I ever saw, and I have to say, it is probably my favorite. 

A zombie is found aboard a boat off the New York coast which belongs to do a famous scientist. Peter West, a journalist, travels to the Antilles with Ann, the daughter of the scientist. On the way, they meet with with Brian, a ethnologist, and Susan. When they arrive at Matul Island, they find Dr. Menard, and discover a terrifying disease which is turning the islanders into horrifying zombies which devour human flesh and seem indestructible. ~IMDB

That’s it, a nice, simple premise but what’s amazing about pretty much all of the Italian films I’ve seen, the dubbing, the dialogue, all of it is totally ridiculous. The blood saturation is high and gruesome and some of the kills are just plain disgusting, but it’s worth a viewing if you are into horror films and just how ridiculous they can be.

Cat In The Brain

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I’ve only seen this gem once so my memory of it is a big foggy, but know that the first 5 minutes are probably the best thing ever, so ridiculous you just have to see it because mere words cannot do it justice.

Also directed by Fulci, this one stars our beloved director, Fulci himself, wondering if his work is finally making him mad and tries to get help, but unfortunately, things don’t quite work out for him like he hopes …

Dr. Lucio Fulci is a director of splatterfilms. He stages a gestapo-orgy like it was any other movie scene. But he is influenced by these things more than he likes. He is hunted by bloody visions day by day. Is Fulci still normal? He asks a psychatrist. He doesn’t know that the psychatrist has much bigger problems than Fulci himself. The psychatrist uses Fulci’s visions for brutal murders in real life. ~IMDB

The film is mostly incoherent madness, with a few laughs, a lot of blood and a whole lot of ridiculousness thrown in. It’s a good watch when you need something lighter than the usual Halloween fare, or even as the backdrop of a Halloween party. Its a great bit of cinematic, nonsense fun.

And Now, For Something Really Gross…

ICK.
ICK.

For my last film, I’m going to a dark place people, a creepy place, a place that I personally will probably never go again (but never say never). That’s right, I am talking about The Human Centipede. One of the most horrifying movies I think I’ve ever seen. Truly I watched it with a blanket over my face while I yelled at the TV. I felt disturbed by it for days afterward and even though I have since watched the 2, yes TWO, sequels (which were horrible, the 3rd one was unwatchable) I have to say that the original is still the best.

The first Human Centipede is a horror, torture film interspersed with a suspense that I normally love.

A mad scientist kidnaps and mutilates a trio of tourists in order to reassemble them into a human centipede, created by stitching their mouths to each others’ rectums. ~IMDB

It’s a pretty simple (and gruesome) idea, but the mad doctor, played to perfection by Dieter Laser, really makes this movie what it is. His madness is nearly unmatched and the scene where he describes his medical plan to his unsuspecting victims is probably the most terrifying part of the movie, not the grossest, that comes later, but it is truly horrific as he lays out his plan with total scientific glee.

There you have it folks, a few (but defiantly not all) of my favorite Halloween films, what are yours? Sound off in the comments and maybe I’ll talk about them in an upcoming blog!

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The Female Perspective: Halloween Costumes Gone MAD!

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


It’s that time of year again, when I get to look over the Halloween costumes selection and find joy in how ridiculous the designers get with what they deem a “sexy” costume. I found some good ones this year folks!

Hey honey, we should go as rotary dial phones for Halloween. Doesn't that sound fun?
Hey honey, we should go as rotary dial phones for Halloween. Doesn’t that sound fun?

To begin, I want to say that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to wear a sexy costume. This list is all in good fun because honestly, has anyone ever thought, “Gee whiz, I want to be a sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle this year”? There are plenty of the traditional sexy costumes like Harley Quinn, Egyptian Goddess, Witch or Milk Maid, but there are also some very, very silly options that I like to highlight here.

Read on, and if you pick one of these, please, for the love all things holy and fun, post a pic!

Women’s Sexy In a Galaxy Far, Far Away Costume

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Are you looking to be a sexy version of Princess Leia without all those pesky layers of white robe? Well, have I got the solution for YOU! Behold the Sexy In a Galaxy Far, Far Away costume. Not only does it not bother to cover your legs with something as silly as a skirt or pants (Eee gads, not PANTS!) it even comes with a HOOD. So if you get cold you can just curl up into the smallest ball humanly possible and get into that hood of yours.

Sexy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

TMNT-Sexy-Donatello-Purple-Deluxe-Adult-Costume-Disguise-BSDS-68908

Sure, you like turtles, you even like ninja turtles, but are they sexy? I suppose to other turtles they might be … Hmm … Anyway, I came across this picture at random and had a good chuckle at the idea of trying to make the TMNT gang sexy. Or really, trying to make any ninjas sexy seems slightly ridiculous since ninja’s at their core, are meant to fly under the radar, not jump up on a table for all the attention. Perhaps I’m getting too literal? Regardless, whatever way you go with your turtle love, make sure you can at least eat pizza while in your costume, otherwise, what’s the point of even being a TMNT?

Sexy Optimus Prime (yes, you read that right)

Autobots! Roll Out!
Autobots! Roll Out!

Now, I can’t be alone in saying that the big OP has a sexy voice (for a talking Mack Truck) and he does some heroic stuff (“You got the power!”), but sexy? I did not think it could possibly get any sillier than a sexy TMNT ensemble, but I was wrong. This one gave me quite the chuckle, I mean it’s adorable, but if you’re a true Transformers fan, there is no way that this is going to be your costume. At least, I have never seen a woman in such an outfit at any of the Comic Con’s I’ve been to. Typically if you dress as a Transformer, you wear something blocky and bulky, the total opposite of sexy.

I will, however, admit that this one might be my favorite, the skirt is actually adorable.

Sexy Chucky Costume 

sexy-chucky-costume

There are literally no words.

What About The Dudes?

You might be wondering, why are all these costumes for women? Well, I wondered that myself and decided to do a quick search of sexy men’s Halloween costumes. You know what I found? Stuff I can’t put in this blog for one (too risqué) and then it’s boring stuff like a guy in a suit, dressed as a Scottish Highlander (with pants under his kilt, so wrong) and other stuff like that, carpenters, firemen, etc. Nothing at all to the level of the women (see Sexy Chucky above). Though I did find this one and if anyone can tell me what the heck it is, I’ll send you a lollipop.

*sigh*
*sigh*

It seems sad that men can’t get in on the super sexy costume game like women do, but then i realized oh wait, it’s not that they don’t want to, it’s that they don’t feel as if they have to. Not to take this blog to a serious place but the fact is, we live in a patriarchal society where women are groomed to think they always have to be sexy or attractive and god forbid if they do something else. The other side of that is that the tide is changing, many women are choosing costumes that reflect who they are and not what society expects them to be. Not to mention, on Halloween it’s all about being someone else and sometimes that means getting a wee bit sexy. As I said before, there is nothing wrong with that, as long as it’s on your terms and not something you feel you have to do in order to please someone.

What are YOU going as for Halloween? Let us know in the comments!

 

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The Female Perspective: Pumpkin Spice Whaaat??

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc


I make no secret of the fact that I love all things pumpkin spiced. “The spice must flow!” Is a favorite meme/motto of mine. I have always, since I was a wee little Jessica, loved fall and fall flavors and smells. So you can imagine my delight with the fact that Autumn starts “officially’ tomorrow! I thought I’d get a jump on it and reveal some of the tastiest looking treats the fall has to offer this year. Some I’ve tried, some I have not, but all look quite tasty!

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Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

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Can you say yes please, slather that stuff all over my bagel, my toast, my fingertips and toes (see what I did there)? I enjoy a good spread on my bagels, but add a little pumpkin spice flavor to the mix and it’s just bananas’.

Organic Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Okay, really? This is the best of both worlds. Summer and Fall all sandwiched together in a delicious little sandwich. Using graham cracker crusts as the “bread” and pumpkin pie filling, you can’t get much much better. Not to mention, they’re organic so that means they’re good for you…Right?

Godiva Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffle

get in my belly, now!
get in my belly, now!

“Pumpkin spice and cheesecake ganache in a milk chocolate shell.”

I can’t even…I think I just drooled on my keyboard.

Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds

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So maybe sweets aren’t your thing, maybe you like a healthier alternative to your pumpkin spice addiction  desires. Try out these yummy spiced almonds. I actually might look for these in my local market too, they sound dang yummy.

Pepperidge Farm Pumpkin Spice Bread

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This is the perfect bread to slather with pumpkin spice cream cheese while you sip pumpkin spice coffee and burn a pumpkin spice candle while listening to the siren call of the pumpkin spice people from a land far, far away. Where it’s always fall and everything smells and tastes like love.

I’m sorry what? You think that I have a pumpkin spice problem? Shush, just look away. Look away. There’s nothing to see here — she says as she cries over a pile of pumpkin spice crumbs on her plate.

I’ll tell you, I could literally go on and on and ON about the various pumpkin spiced flavors of stuff these days and I still wouldn’t even tackle half of this stuff on the market. Sufficed to say, if you are as addicted to pumpkin spice as I am, you have more than enough choices to satisfy your gourd loving spicy self. I was kind of amazed when I saw Pop Tarts, Nutri Grain bars, ice cream, wine, marshmallows and so many more items as I scoured the internets for all things pumpkin. It’s staggering to think just a few short years ago there was so very little pumpkin spice that a girl had to go into back alley’s and do shady pumpkin spice deals all over town. Now I can walk into any CVS or Shaws and BOOM! Pumpkin spice all up in my face.

It is truly a glorious time to be alive.

If eating pumpkin spice isn’t quite enough, then check out the line of pumpkin flavored bath soaps. I am in current lust with the Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte flavor, seriously I wish I could eat it, it’s so delicious!

How about YOU? Do you love Pumpkin Spice or do you hate it? 

Why or why not?

Sound off in the comments!

Pumpkin-Spice-Pumpkin

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The Female Perspective: This Halloween, Be Sexy, Be Powerful, Don’t Be Slutty

Welcome! This is the weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


I was thinking about my blog for this week and wondering what kind of goodness I wanted to write about and eventually I thought about how Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. There’s something about the air that’s different, it’s cooler (well, usually. Right now it’s a tad warm in Rhode Island) and it’s just … weirder. So I started thinking, what are some great costumes for the feminist lady? Can it be sexy? Can it be daring? Will it still be feminist if you show off your good bits?

I think the answer can be yes though I admit it makes me feel a little bit weird saying that. I’m not someone who loves the “slutty” costume series and a lot of them really just look ridiculous (does anyone buy these???) but I also think that people should dress up as whatever they want. If it makes them feel good, who am I to judge? Then I think to myself, the real problem isn’t the risqué costumes, it’s the term “slutty” – that seems to be a quick and not-s0-subtle way for us women to degrade ourselves while doing something as simple as getting a Halloween costume.

Let me suggest some alternatives to being a Sexy Disney Character (ick) or other so-called “slutty” costume.

To each their own but something about a sexy Snow White gives me the creepy crawlies.
To each their own but something about a sexy Snow White gives me the creepy crawlies.

#1) Rosie The Riveter

Smart & Sassy.
Smart & Sassy.

How can you go wrong with this badass lady? Not only is the costume SUPER easy to make, it’s also really recognizable either as the “Yes We Can!” lady or Rosie. No matter what, you’ll look smart, sexy, powerful and be super comfortable.

Am I one of the only people who want their costumes to be comfortable along with looking awesome? I’m okay with it if I am, just thought I’d ask.

#2) A Suffragette

And it's perfect for the upcoming release of the movie "Suffragette"!
And it’s perfect for the upcoming release of the movie “Suffragette”!

You might be going, huh? What? Is that some weird toy or cosplay? Nope! In case you didn’t know, women didn’t always have the right to vote and it’s because of these brave women (aka suffragette’s) that we can vote and enjoy the rights we have today. Not only is it an unusual costume, it’s also pretty cool, you can wear a vintage dress and wear a SASH without having to be a beauty queen or … um, sash model. Seriously, who else other than beauty queens wear sashes?

#3) Any Awesomely Famous Women From History/Pop Culture

Honestly, these are as easy as pie (mmm…pie). You can go as Frida Kahlo and sport a fabulous uni-brow that will certainly catch all the glances. Not to mention, as Frida you can wear beautiful, colorful, flowing clothing and really show off your artistic side.

If you are more into movie/TV icons you can go as a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent and go around kicking people’s butts or grabbing that hot guy dressed as Thor and tell him you want him to join the S.H.I.E.L.D initiative – it’s a perfect pick up line for the single gal!

You can also go with more traditional fare like a fully dressed Disney princess, the Queen or even my personal fave, Buffy The Vampire Slayer or get really tough with your best Furiosa costume!

Buffy Costumes - totally DIY awesome!
Buffy Costumes – totally DIY awesome!

There are so many awesome options for Halloween costumes that DON’T involve showing off every bit of skin you can get away with but still be powerful and in full command of your sexuality. Don’t sell yourself short by picking something “slutty” – I can promise you that you are better than that.

Halloween is a time to express the side you never get to express. It’s a time to dress up in a way you’ve always wanted to, but thought might be disapproved of. Go Goth, Emo, Punk, Prairie Lady, whatever makes YOU feel good.  If that means showing some skin, then go with it, but do me a favor, don’t call yourself a “Slutty” anything. If someone tells you that you are dressed as a Slutty Nurse just because your skirt is short or you’re showing some cleavage, make sure to correct them and say you are a Nurse, plain and simple. Calling ourselves “slutty” is what I object to. I think it’s degrading and it cheapens any effort we put into dressing up for a party. We are more than our body parts ladies. We are more than our cleavage and our booty. We are powerful, we are sexy, we are smart and we are worth respecting ourselves.

This is so cool! I wish it was my costume!
This is so cool! I wish it was my costume!

This Halloween, dress as you want, have fun with it, be daring, but most of all, be the powerful Universal force you truly are. Don’t sell yourself short by being slutty. Show the world that you can be both powerful AND sexy and that being sexy does not mean you’re not feminist. Being sexy is about harnessing your inner Goddess and rolling with it. Not about being cheap. You’re all brilliant, now show off that brilliance this Halloween!

What are YOU going as for Halloween? Tell me in the comments!