I recently noticed that my past Halloween costume choices have followed an interesting pattern. I’ve been Eve of Adam and Eve, Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom, Layla from Buffalo ’66, Juliet from Romeo and Juliet, Dolores from Shutter Island, and more women who are part of famous couples. I’ve always been fascinated by the less-explored female counterparts in popular films and folklore.
The romantic interests of male leads are often only recognizable when paired with their male counterparts.
While there may be less character recognition when the costume stands alone, I feel powerful when I honor the women by themselves.
I’ve always been one of those people who celebrate Halloween more enthusiastically than any other holiday. After Halloween ends, I start planning a costume on the first of November in preparation for the next year. Perhaps I am obsessed with the spooky holiday because of my love for film. Being an actress, I get to wear many different costumes and play many different roles, but there are some characters from cinematic history that I will only ever get to fantasize about. I always fall in love with the idea of getting to live for a day in the shoes of a character from a brilliant piece of cinema.
Unfortunately, successful blockbusters (and many indies) tend to solely focus on a male protagonist.
There is nothing wrong with a story told from a man’s perspective, but those shouldn’t be the only narratives available to us. Women exist to be more than a man’s romantic sidekick, but often, we don’t get to see those characters’ inner worlds.
I tend to fall in love with the intriguing potential of unexplored female characters. They force me to imagine their stories.
Of course, I would rather their stories be told, but there is an air of mystery around these supporting women.
I wouldn’t be opposed to having a Rhett to my Scarlett or a Jack to my Rose, but I have gained a peculiar confidence from my solitary tendencies. Of course, being single during the holiday season provides its own obstacles that build emotional strength, but Halloween is not usually one of the holidays considered. It may be a holiday designed for friends rather than romance, but I can honestly say that my costume choices have given me a carefree attitude towards the forthcoming “couple” season.
My friends always make the argument that my costumes are obscure regardless of their missing counterparts, but I get a thrill out of explaining my love for the lesser known roles. It is a way to celebrate my creativity and independence. A Halloween costume may seem relatively trivial and frivolous, but wearing a costume I have carefully thought out has become an empowering activity. I enjoy carving pumpkins and eating candy, but my greatest tradition has become donning unique disguises.
Every time I dress up as one half of a typical “couples” costume, there are very few people who recognize my getup.
When I was a teenager, it used to embarrass me to admit that I was at the party alone. I thought that people would assume I had nobody to ask to dress up with me. Now, I am proud to be detached from a pair, and still rocking my wardrobe choice.