Regardless of your feelings on Kylie Jenner, a new survey about her is guaranteed to upset you. A representative from WhatsYourPrice.com sent me an email this morning naming Jenner “the most promiscuous costume of Halloween 2015” — followed by Khaleesi, Princess Leia, Sexy Nurse, Elsa from Frozen (what?), and Nicki Minaj. Some background: The site describes itself as “the only date-auction where money can buy you love, or at least a first date.” Since 2011, its members, now numbered at more than 850,000, have been bidding on dates. Like its sketchy-ass-site brethren, WYP is free for female members. WhatsYourPrice asked over 60,000 of its single male members which female costume most suggests that the woman wearing it is “DTF” — down to fuck. An overwhelming 81% said Kylie Jenner. The email goes on to say that due its contents, Jenner finds herself in “yet another controversy.” Did I miss a major controversy? Or, have we simply redefined what the word means? Because I’m pretty sure the life and times of this teenager — and most teenagers — are hardly controversial, especially when she shares the headlines with actual controversies, like Bill Cosby’s alleged attacks on 27 women, the countless shootings we’ve seen this year, or that one jerk who won’t grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Yet, the email insists upon its own justification. “Results of the survey found most single men think women who dress up as Kylie Jenner will be the easiest to get out of their costumes.” The site goes on to warn, “Some women might want to be careful who they pretend to be this Halloween.” So, what would a Jenner costume even look like? Even if someone went for her signature lips, a woman could simply opt for blue lipstick to mimic Jenner’s work to raise awareness about bullying with her #IAmMoreThan campaign. Since when do ripped jeans, a crop top, and perhaps some big sunglasses act as an invitation for sex? That same outfit isn’t a far cry from a casual weekend look many women might wear. I spoke with Hannahmae Dela Cruz, a spokesperson for WYP, over the phone after reading the email. She confirmed that no women were asked to be part of the survey and shed some light as to why the survey exists in the first place, and why Jenner came out on top. “I think Kylie’s star definitely rose this year," Dela Cruz told me when asked why she thought Jenner was the No. 1 pick. "Even before she turned 18, rap songs were being written about her and she definitely debuted a more mature image. So, I think she’s really eclipsed even her more famous sisters." She added that the Kardashians and Jenners are an attractive bunch. "Kylie Jenner kind of falls in the same vein as her sisters. I think that’s why guys, especially with her visibility in the media, have really taken notice of her.” I asked Dela Cruz what she would say to someone who found this survey offensive. “With surveys like this, there’s people whose feathers are gonna get ruffled," she said. "But it’s simply a fun survey we throw together to help people kind of [identify] what costumes to avoid and what ones are advisable this Halloween.” Avoid? “Because people might think you are, like, easier than somebody who’s dressed as Hillary Clinton or something.” Here's the larger problem with the survey: It perpetuates an attitude about all women, an attitude that says women who dress a certain way are asking for attention from men. And, by that token, they are asking for whatever unsolicited actions result from dressing that way. It’s as if the site is preemptively victim-blaming women who are assaulted on Halloween for dressing in a way that makes them feel sexy.
Dela Cruz makes mention of a Hillary Clinton costume, because the former secretary of state landed at No. 10 on the survey results. The email I received explained that dressing as the presidential hopeful "may be a safer costume" because "women who choose to dress as Clinton may be viewed as more serious and less likely to have a lapse in judgement by guys who just want a hook up." You should be outraged because this survey isn’t even about Jenner or Clinton; it’s about you. It’s about how you cannot walk down the street — regardless of what you’re wearing — without feeling afraid or judged. It’s about how women will continue to judge each other on our sexuality. It’s about how women still cannot be sexual beings. It's about how any aspect of our appearance becomes a factor in whether or not we're "easy." And, even though this is the experience of nearly every woman on the planet, this survey makes Jenner its poster child.