Halloween is upon us and there is nothing I can do about it. Typically, I do not like to dress up. In theatre, I was always backstage doing something that did not require me to dress up and act like someone I am not. I actually have a hard time suspending my own disbelief. An actor, I would not make. I have to admit that over the years, I have been more comfortable with dressing up and playing a role if I have to. However, Halloween slightly irks me and it’s not Halloween itself; it is the consumerism of Halloween.
At age 10, my best friend whose parents were financially more capable than mine made sure that she was dressed like a Queen as she went as the Queen of Clubs and I went as a cheerleader in a homemade costume because my parents didn't believe in paying money for a costume. I wore pink sweatpants with a sweat shirt and a skirt. I was embarrassed and never wanted to dress-up again.
I didn't dress up again until I was thirteen. Ages thirteen through fifteen, I dressed up as a rocker-chick or a punk rocker. I could wear blue jeans, boots, and a rocker t-shirt and get away with being minimalist in my costume.
Fast forwarding to my twenties, I soon realized that getting a store bought costume was the way to go. I could afford something on my limited budget and I wouldn't have to be embarrassed. Well, not so. All the costumes were sexy in some capacity—nurse, doctor, belly dancer, princess, I Dream of Jeannie, Queen—you name it, it was sexy. What if I didn't want to be sexy? Well I could wear a Moo Moo, I suppose.
So many choices, but really I wanted to go as something that didn't have me pegged as being sexy. I could go as a witch…maybe. I didn’t and still don’t possess the seamstress skills to make myself a costume (my grad dress can attest to that). Nor did I want to spend my grocery money to rent a costume.
I have to admit that good inexpensive costumes can be found at the many pop-up Halloween stores, but they are still designing costumes for women with a sexy edge. What distresses me most is that they also do this for little girls. I am not a prudish person, but I want my daughter to cover up as much as she can and not grow up too fast. I do this to protect her self-esteem as much as her pride. I also don’t believe that little girls need to be objectified.
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