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MEREDITH HOLT: 'Sexy-ween' even harder for plus-size women

FARGO -- When I was a kid, Halloween was easy. I loved to read, and I had a mom who loved to sew.

My early-childhood costumes were characters like Little Red Riding Hood and Angelina Ballerina, the dancing mouse.

Bucket in hand, a-trick-or-treating I went in my Seattle neighborhood.

I made the awkward transition from preteen to teen with variations on the basic black ensemble (mime, black cat).

The first time I wore a black-cat costume, I knew it was "cute," though not necessarily sexy. It was, after all, during a Girl Scout camping trip.

Then, for the most part, I abandoned the tradition of dressing up until college.

My Halloween comeback was classic sexy-ween - a sexy devil, complete with fishnets and heels - my sophomore year.

Used to seeing me in jeans and sweatshirts, a classmate was taken aback when he saw me at a party.

"Whoa, Meredith!"

My senior year, when I was at my smallest, I wore a black-and-orange "fallen angel" getup with knee-high boots.

Then I abandoned it again. Partly because I didn't care about Halloween, partly because it became harder and harder to feel cute or sexy as I put on weight.

Yes, there are plus-size versions of most women's Halloween costumes, but even those are meant for the smaller end of plus.

The models on the packages, perfectly poised in tights and tiny hats, seemed to smirk, "Sorry, honey, these aren't meant for you."

I thought about working with what I had and going as Anna Nicole Smith pre-weight loss or Beth from "Dog the Bounty Hunter" when the show was popular, but I never did it.

I think I'd make a good Fat Amy ("Pitch Perfect"), too. My mermaid dancing needs some work, but I've got horizontal running down.

I've also thought about using my weight as part of my costume in other ways and copying Chris Farley's 1990s lunch lady or Mama June from "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo."

Year after year, the top Halloween costumes come straight from pop culture, and there aren't a lot of zaftig celebrities who are viewed in a positive light.

If I get laughed at in a costume, I want it to be because it's funny, not because my body looks ridiculous in it.

I'm not saying I, or any other bigger woman, can't look sexy in a Halloween costume. I'm saying we have to put a little more thought into it than slipping on a "one-size-fits-all" ladybug costume and heading out for the night.

So this year, I'm staging another comeback, and I'm putting a little more thought into it.

I've got a used bridesmaid dress hanging in my closet, and I know a talented horror-makeup artist who's willing to help.

The bride, who picked out said bridesmaid dress, gave me permission to "burn the sucker."

Voila! Zombie bridesmaid, with a dress tailored to fit. Bring on the fake blood.

Holt, a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, lost more than 100 pounds between 2010 and 2012. She shares stories of her weight-loss journey in her column. Readers can reach her at (701) 241-5590.