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Halloween costumes should get back to basics

I’m sure you heard the same question all last week: What are you going to be for Halloween?

The topic most likely encompassed a majority of discussions prior to the weekend.

I, however, was pondering a different question all last week: Why doesn’t anyone dress as something scary for Halloween?

Think about it.

When most University students paraded down Wooster Street this weekend, what did you see?

People dressed as celebrities and television characters. People dressed as athletes. People dressed as superheroes.

But when was the last time you saw a legitimately scary vampire, werewolf, ghost or zombie at your Halloween celebration?

When Halloween comes and goes each year, I gradually become more confused why America markets the holiday as the “spookiest” time of the year.

After all, as we grow older, it seems much more socially acceptable to dress comically or provocatively, rather than scarily.

As a woman, I’m even more confused about what is expected of me on Halloween. Most girls have traded their flowing princess gowns and witch hats for skimpy dresses and high heels when they hit high school. Slap on a pair of bunny ears or devil horns and voila – you have a Halloween costume.

I think Cady Heron, Lindsay Lohan’s character from the movie “Mean Girls,” sums it up nicely: “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

Most costumes for women have “naughty” or “sexy” attached to their names, which seems to support this theory. Finding an adult female Halloween costume with a skirt longer than the boots that accompany it seems like a rare find these days.

I’m not saying it’s right or it’s wrong, but it’s the truth.

Many women buy in to the idea, taking advantage of the opportunity to “play make believe” and unleash the inner sexual goddesses they apparently lock up the other 364 days of the year.

But for those women like me who aren’t too fond of the idea, current costume options leave much more to be desired. It’s disappointing.

When I look at Wooster Street and see a parade of women dressed as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga and men dressed as nerds and drag queens, I can’t help but wonder, when did this all begin?

Most historians trace the origin of Halloween to the early Christian holiday of All Hallow’s Eve.

It was designated by Pope Gregory III as the day before All Saints Day (also known as All Hallow’s Day) to help divert attention from pagan traditions marking the change of seasons. Gradually the pagan traditions became secular, but people still wore the costumes once used by the pagans to scare away the spirits of death.

Clearly the intention of Halloween costumes got lost in translation somewhere – although it could be argued that some girls’ provocative costumes come off scary, rather than appealing, to some people.

Granted, there are exceptions to my observations. One of my friends did dress as a vampire this weekend. That’s nothing new though, because he does that every Thursday.

Maybe more of us should be like him and challenge the clothing status quo. Maybe some of you did this weekend. You can always drop me an email and let me know – I would be glad to hear about it.

Oh, and in case any of you are interested in what I dressed up as for Halloween this year: I decided to go to Cedar Point’s Halloweekends this weekend, rather than give in to the worn stereotypes of Halloween apparel for college women.

I had a great time leaving the scaring and costume wearing to the paid professionals.

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