Halloween Costumes: Striking The Balance Between Sexy And Scary
So I’ll admit it, the idea of dressing up for Halloween scares me somewhat. Growing up, my mother hated Halloween with a passion that is violent and fiery. Ironic, when you consider that these are the values generally associated with Halloween, but I dare not point that out to her for fear of being turned into a newt or stabbed with a trident. Alas, I have never been trick or treating, bobbed for apples, or even carved a pumpkin. But I have been to a costume party, an experience that has haunted me for the rest of my dressing up career.
I was 12 years old, and had been invited to a Halloween party by a dead cool older girl that I knew from my home town. After days and days of persuasion, my appalled mother eventually came round and permitted me to go. As the party drew closer, (to be held a few days after Halloween), we realized that the shops had given up on flogging their spooky merchandise, as it was now November. Frantic, I began my search for a costume. Being the Halloween virgin that I was, I was pretty stuck for ideas, but I realised that with some tatty old clothes, a lot of white face paint and some red food colouring, I made a pretty passable vampire. I was pretty proud. I had nailed the scary look. Hell I wasn’t just scary, I was terrifying. I was definitely going to fit right in to the scare fest that was a Halloween party right?
Oh so wrong.
If you’ve ever seen mean girls, you will know exactly what my entrance to this party looked like. If you haven’t, let me paint a picture for you.
This party had been pretty highly anticipated in my area, and there were what seemed like thousands of people going. The hostess had hired a community centre just out of town, and there was even talk of the possibility of alcohol being present. Not that I was going to touch the stuff, I was 12 and this was my first ever Halloween. I was determined not to mess anything up. I failed at that immediately by getting lost on the way to the party- good one. Walking through the car park, ripped dress flailing in the breeze, I hoped that the hall would be crowded enough to allow me to slip in unnoticed. I had no such luck. As I walked through the double doors, every eye turned to look at me in confusion, and in some cases disgust. It took me less than a second to realise why.
Imagine, if you will, a crowded dance hall filled with attractive youths socialising and mildly grinding in the way that young to mid aged teenagers do. Imagine the girls, in short body con dresses with every style of head gear imaginable, from bunnies to devils (cue the plethora of immature jokes involving the word ‘horn’). Imagine the lads, dressed according to their body confidence; those with it as topless police men or Tarzans, and those without it in skeleton T-shirts and jeans, rocking the “I really couldn’t be bothered to find a costume” look.
Had you been there, you could have seen what can only be described as a pile of rags with suspicious blood stains all over them entering. On further inspection, you’d realise that this is actually a person, and wonder who the hell let the homeless guy in. Sorry, girl. You’d watch her talking to the host and wonder whether you should intervene, at this point fearing for your safety and the safety of everyone else in the building, on the street and in your neighbourhood.
Yes, I was the scary, bloody, androgynous hobo that night. And yes, I spent the entire night in a red faced state of humiliation, wondering when was too early to make my excuses and leave.
Here’s a tip, if you can’t spot the weirdo at a party, it’s you.
I don’t know when the point of Halloween shifted from terror to seduction, but nowadays it is far more common to see costumes designed to be sexy than to be scary. And we are also seeing a rise in comedic costumes (think the stuffed olive in Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging) One of my housemates said just the other day: “There are two types of girls when you’re preparing for Halloween. There are girls who go as a playboy wear-nothing type, and then there are other girls who are like ‘I JUST WANT TO BE A CRAYON.’”
Really there is no way to blend in at a Halloween party. If you don’t go in costume, you’ll spend your night explaining to people why you’re not wearing a costume. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to if you really don’t want to, just that if it’s an attempt to avoid attention you might find it futile. If you want to go as something sexy, go for it. But don’t feel pressured into wearing a racy costume just because you think everyone else is. You may not want the type of attention that would come with that outfit, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of! If you are the previously mentioned crayon, awesome. Keep doing what you’re doing.
And as for going as something scary? The thing I learned from my humiliating undead escapade, was not only that scary Halloween costumes are pretty much reserved for kids under the age of seven, but that you’ve got to own whatever it is that you wear for Halloween. Not literally, I borrow my friends’ clothes all the time, but in a metaphorical confident way. If I had laughed it off and not let the whole thing scare me into a quaking mess of hair, I might have had a good night, and people might have got used to vampiric Anna after a while.
So wear whatever you like! Just wear it with a smile and the knowledge that you look killer (see what I did there?). You’re rocking it, whatever you go as.