Halloween costumes are filling my social media feeds and I am looking forward to the onslaught of trick-or-treaters knocking on my door. Halloween costumes seem to fall into five categories, and each one seems to bring out something in the human nature of the wearer.
Classic costumes such as mummies, ghosts, vampires and werewolves fall into the scary costume category. What does it say about you if you choose to dress as Freddy Krueger or the Grim Reaper? Scary costumes suggest power- you have the power to frighten someone. Having power may be a trait you possess, or might be something you wish you had. Scary costumes are also a chance to get creative with various forms of fake blood, imaginative masks and horrific scars.
Babies in pumpkins, cats in pirate costumes and dogs dressed as the Easter bunny fall into this category. Most precious costumes are chosen by adult. They inspire the “awwww” factor. They bring a smile to our faces. These work best on little children and pets. Precious costumes can quickly get creepy, such as a grown man dressed as a baby.
I have trouble figuring out where the sexy costume really works. Perhaps it works for young and beautiful adults- the 20 something party crowd. This costume screams “Look at me, I’m sexy” or even worse, ” I really want to be sexy.” It never works on children. You can easily pull this off if you are Sofia Vergara or Jennifer Lopez, but otherwise I urge caution, costumes in this category often makes you look desperate.
We all like to laugh and if you can pull off an original costume that makes us laugh, you have hit a home run. I recently laughed at a women in a black sweat suit covered with stars and a pair of antlers on her head. She was “Starbucks.” I also laughed at a pair of toddlers dressed as a grandma and grandpa, complete with wigs, glasses and walkers- which actually helped them to walk! Funny costumes are often best when they are homemade; they suggest you are creative and have a sense of humor.
Aspiration costumes tell the world who you want to be. Every children’s costume party or Halloween parade is full of football players and princesses. Harry Potter costumes fall into this category, as do superheroes and scientists. My favorite example of this was on a recent episode of Modern Family, where Alex dressed as Tess McGill, the 1980’s character from the Melanie Griffith movie Working Girl. Tess was smart and hard working. Her goal in life was to get out of the typing pool and into a position of leadership. That is aspirational at its stereotypical finest.
Our choice of costume can say a lot about us. Some costumes pronounce ” I was desperate at the last minute.” Some say, ” I have no creativity but I have enough money to rent this Game of Thrones attire.” Some costumes say “Look at me, I’m adorable” while others say “back off.” You can have fun being someone very different from your usual self, or someone with exaggerated existing characteristics.
The magic of Halloween is that for one night each year, you can be anything or anyone you want to be. Who will you be?
Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? If so, what does your Halloween Costume say about you?