I love costumes.
When I moved into my new apartment, my new roommate (and fellow HelloGiggles writer) Rachael said, “Hey, I have a lot of kitchen appliances we can use and I have lots of lamps and bookcases and stuff. What do you have?” And without pause, I answered, “Oh, I have a lot of wigs and period costumes for the apartment.”
I love costumes so much that if I could, I’d replace my entire wardrobe with just costumes if it was considered sane to be dressed up like different people every single day of your life.
So, I’m insanely psyched that it’s Halloween this week because it means that I can flaunt my love for Halloween costumes in the open.
Halloween costumes and I have a long history.
For my first two Halloweens, my parents dressed me up as a clown, which I distinctly remember hating because I was not consulted on it. I remember being three and I was wearing this ugly outfit and this ugly clown make up and thinking, as I walked in my preschool’s costume parade, “This is so embarrassing. I’m a clown. It’s not fair. I wasn’t even asked if I wanted to be a clown. That girl’s a princess. I’m a clown. That other one is a fairy. I’m still a clown. I’m someone who lets people laugh at them for a living. Gross. Why did my parents make me a clown!?!?”
And now I’m a comedian and comedy writer, so in the end, I also made myself a clown. So my parents knew me before I even knew myself.
As the years went on I became a ballet dancer, a mouse, Cleopatra, Dorothy, Princess Leia (specifically on Endor in Return of the Jedi–I wore my mom’s grey faux fur lined snow boots, a green poncho and my hair in Heidi braids and everyone thought I was Tinkerbell), a cellphone, Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven,” a masquerader at Versailles and a space leopard.
Look, I just love all costumes. I even love “sexy” costumes.
Oh, you’re mad at me, huh? You think it’s bad for women to dress up in “slutty” costumes for Halloween?
Look, when Tina Fey wrote in Mean Girls, “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it,” it was a really witty line. Since she pointed that out, it seems to be really in vogue for men and women alike to say every nasty thing they can think of about girls who dress up like “total sluts.”
I have a massive problem with this.
Halloween is a time where human beings are encouraged to put on masks and become different parts of themselves without fear of judgment. I mean, sure, it’s fun to have costume contests and award people prizes for their commitment and originality with their costumes. Now though, it’s the “cool” thing to judge another woman’s morals based on her costume choice. This is ridiculous. We’re playing dress up. Who we are on Halloween has nothing to do with who we are in real life. That’s the point of wearing a costume on Halloween!
Also, who even gets to determine what constitutes a “slutty costume”? You can wear booty shorts and a bra in public and it doesn’t have to reflect the amount of sex you have or even want to have. You could just be paying homage to Kerri Walsh or Misty May-Trainor. Two awesome, butt-kicking Olympic champions. You can also be covered from head to toe in yards and yards of classy fabric and be dressed up as Madame du Pompadour, one of the most famous mistresses in history. The amount of fabric on your body has absolutely no bearing on the amount of your sexual activities and furthermore your amount of sexual activities has absolutely no bearing on your worth as an individual. Only your kindness does. How kind is it to judge people based on what they are wearing the one night of the year that they are supposed to dress up like someone completely different from themselves? It’s not just unkind, it’s dumb.
Just like we stand up for our fellow ladies’ rights to rock out in a babydoll dress or a pair of denim overalls or a power suit or a jumpsuit or thrift store vintage or off the runway couture and still be taken seriously, we ought to stand up for our fellow ladies’ rights to dress as “sexily” or as “demurely” as we want. When we cut each other down for our looks, we let society know that we can be judged by our looks alone–which is wrong.
On Halloween, I hope everyone goes forth and dresses up however they want to. If that’s as a sexy nurse or a sexy carrot or a giant foam carrot or a space man or a dinosaur or Raggedy Ann doll or Hillary Clinton or a killer zombie or a cosplay version of Loki or a sasquatch, then do it up! I support you and want to see you look happy and confident in whatever you’re wearing.
As for me? Well, I went as Spangles, the cross-eyed cat for Hallowmeme, but for the big day, I’m considering getting a black mask, black shirt and sword and going as the Dread Pirate Roberts. I’m going to draw a moustache with my eyebrow pencil and say things like, “Life is pain, princess.” Who knows?
The only thing I know is I’m in love with Halloween costumes and I want the world to know it.
Image via LeaveMeTheWhite.com