Halloween has become a holiday that I look forward to every year. As a child, I didn’t have very many opportunities to dress up or even go trick-or-treating, so seeing how big of a deal Wittenberg students made out of Halloween was a real surprise. I might not be able to go trick-or-treating any more, as I have passed the limit for that (and besides, who would want to take candy away from little kids?), but I do get to celebrate in other ways which keep the spirit of Halloween alive and real for me.
Although many see Halloween as another excuse to dress up, and from what I’ve seen on social media these past few days, “act like a slut,” Halloween is having the ability to embrace someone else’s persona for a day, or for a night, and to have fun with the friends you surround yourself with at Wittenberg.
This year, I put a lot of time and effort into my Halloween costume. During the summer, while working at JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts, I found this really beautiful fabric that would work perfectly for a Moana costume. It was only August, but I bought the fabric and began planning to create my Halloween costume. Although I didn’t really work on my costume until two weekends ago, I thought about exactly how I wanted my costume to look, and I worked hard to attain that goal. I spent my entire Sunday, from the time I got up until the time “The Walking Dead” came on, to sew my costume.
You might think that sewing a costume is easy, but from the amount of time it took me just to formulate the right pattern for the top, it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped it would be. I ended the weekend with carpet burn on my knees, and an aching in my fingers from hand sewing a string of pearls onto my top. The skirt, luckily, was a lot easier to create, especially once I found acrylic paint that matched the fabric marker pen.
All in all, I spent a lot of time on this costume, and although many students might not have put the same amount of effort into their costumes, some did. It might not have included sewing and creating the costume completely from scratch, but they took an idea and made it come to life.
To see other women tearing one another down for their costumes on Halloween weekend was completely disheartening. Although I may agree that some costumes are used solely for the purpose of showing off what you’ve got, women have every right to showcase their bodies as they please. I might not be the one to show myself off in that light, but others are completely fine with doing so, and I applaud them for their ability to wear what feels comfortable and right to them.
As women, we shouldn’t tear down others just for their choice in Halloween costume. Many of the dresses and yoga pants we wear show off the same highlights of our body, but aren’t criticized as harshly as those who “were showing off their bodies purposefully and sexually,” as someone said in their Facebook rant about Halloween costumes.
As someone who hasn’t had many opportunities to get into the Halloween spirit, wearing a costume as a mode of expression is something I cherish highly. Sure, my costume might have been a little more on the edgy side, especially when considered in terms of her actual costume, but I felt good in my costume, and truly, that’s all that matters. If someone feels good in what they’re wearing, then who am I to call them a slut?
I hope that as the days continue on, those who said harsh words on social media realize what they are doing, especially if they are women saying these things. It’s never okay to tear down someone else and call them a slut, especially when it’s over something as mundane as a Halloween costume. And, if you really want to get that crazy with it, you might as well take on the entire fashion and Halloween costume industry. I’m sure they’ll listen to you.
But for now, I suggest removing anything negative you might have said about other women, because, who knows, they could have spent days creating their version of a perfect Halloween costume.