• Mon, Oct 24 2011

My Own Slut-O-Ween Story: I Was A Third-Grade Jessica Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit came out in 1988, and I thought it was the greatest movie ever made. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure my seven-year-old self didn’t understand half of what was happening on the screen or even what the word “framed” meant, but I adored everything about that movie, especially Jessica Rabbit. What wasn’t there to idolize? She had Veronica Lake’s hair, Bette Davis’ bitchface, Kathleen Turner’s voice, and purple satin opera gloves like Miss Piggy. As we left the theater, I told my mother that I intended to dress like Jessica Rabbit for Halloween.

“Hmm… OK,” she said, hoping I’d forget about it over the next couple months. I did not.

“Are you sure you wouldn’t rather be a unicorn?” she asked when I reiterated my intent in October. I was sure.

My mother knew that this was probably not the best idea (again, I was seven) but she also knew how to pick her battles. I was an exceptionally stubborn child, and that wasn’t one she was going to win. At least, she wasn’t going to win that battle without explaining a lot of ideas as yet alien to my tiny child brain. (I didn’t know what the word “framed” meant, let alone “kiddie porn.” When an older friend described someone as looking like “a prostitute,” I thought she meant someone who protested things, like a hippie from the 60s. I had absolutely no idea what was going on in Pretty Woman.)

So off to the fabric store we went. She sewed; I kept an eye on her to make sure she wasn’t doing it wrong.

And I micromanaged the hell out of that costume. Then, as now, I was a stickler for accuracy and had a near-photographic memory, so my mother wasn’t sneaking anything past me.

“The leg slit only goes up to the knee, right?”

“NO! God, mom, didn’t you see the movie? It goes all the way up her thigh. How can you not remember this?”

My Jessica Rabbit costume wound up pretty fantastic for something made with fabric glue and worn by a skinny third grader. The dress was a straight tube of fabric hemmed with Stitch Witchery and tucked into the top of one of my mom’s bustiers, the cups of which were stuffed with socks. My mother made the gloves by cutting finger holes in a pair of purple nylon knee-highs. She surprised me with a can of cartoon red spray-on hair color. I became a master of blue eye shadow.

[tagbox tag="Jessica Rabbit"]

When it was finished, I vamped all over the house in that costume. I sang sexy, soulful ballads into a hairbrush. I practiced my bitchface in the mirror. I thought I was hot shit.

Everything was great until I had to leave for school the day of the Halloween parade.

“You have to wear a shirt!” my mother insisted, holding up a white turtleneck.

“Jessica Rabbit does not wear a turtleneck under her evening gown!”

“You’re going to be cold.”

“I won’t!”

“If you wear the turtleneck to school, you don’t have to wear it when we go trick-or-treating tonight.”

“…fine.”

I wore the turtleneck to school, but I certainly wasn’t going to wear the ugly thing in the parade. In the bathroom, I slipped it off and hid the evidence by stuffing it into the bustier along with the socks. I was very pleased with myself.

“Now I look even more like Jessica Rabbit!”

The other kids loved my costume, too. It turns out the entire school thought Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the best movie ever made, and for that day I was more popular than I’d ever been. “Remember when he Dipped the shoe? I was so scared!” It was awesome.

And that was the experience I remembered: I looked exactly like Jessica Rabbit, and everything was awesome. I didn’t hear about what other kids’ parents said, or the call my mom got from the principal.

Later, as I got a little older and learned words like “inappropriate,” I started to think, “maybe that wasn’t the best idea for a third-grader.”

“At least there are no photos,” I said one day.

“Of course there are photos!” said my mom.

“Oh God, no!”

It was worse than I even imagined. I was not hot shit; I was scrawny and gawky and making sexyface like the rent was due. And I was seven.

“Why did you let me wear that?” I whined.

“Because you loved it,” she said. “Besides, its not like I could have stopped you.”

I thought back on what I was like at seven and realized she had a point. She probably couldn’t have stopped me. But maybe she could have tried a little bit harder.

This week, TheGloss is celebrating slut-o-ween and is accepting submissions about your own slut-o-ween costume. The best story will win a prize from TheGloss.

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  • porkchop

    That is awesome!

    In 3rd grade, my friend wanted to trick or treat as a “sexy french maid” but the costume came down to her knees and her mom made her wear a cardigan, so she was really just dressed like a regular maid.

    Roger Rabbit was the best! As is your mom!

  • hellogenius

    So where’s the pics of you in the Jessica Rabbit costume?

  • PipPip

    …. where IS the pic?

  • Wendy

    WHERE IS THE PIC!?!?! I totally love this!

  • Steph

    That is really kind of awesome. If I dressed up for Halloween, I would totally do this now.

  • Samantha

    Glad to know I wasn’t the only one! Only I never worked up the costume for public consumption. But oh did I ever see myself in her shoes. And had a figurine of her in place of honor.

    Thanks for the reminder! I’m totally ready to pull it off now…

  • Canaduck

    I love that you shared the photo, hahah!! I was 7 when Who Framed Roger Rabbit came out too, and like you I was obsessed with Jessica Rabbit.

  • Raivn

    You honestly look adorable! Your mom did an incredible job. This isn’t just one of those slutty cop, or skanky fairy costumes, this is an actual character that a lot of children loved. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. What sucks is that adults can’t just appreciate it as a child’s love for a kick-ass movie, they all have to read something into it. When I was in second grade, I dressed up as a saloon girl. My stepdad watched “Gunsmoke” and I thought Miss Kitty was awesome. I could write my own story here…it doesn’t get much worse than saloon girl, lol.