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Sunday, June 16, 2024
The Observer

Take the stress out of Halloween costumes

I’m never particularly creative when it comes to deciding what to be for Halloween. Because I want Halloween to stay fun, though, I never really stress out about it — something I’ve noticed more and more people doing as I get older.

Growing up, I think I was Hermione Granger for about three Halloweens in a row, and not just because I’m a big fan of the books and movies. I genuinely had no idea what else to do for Halloween, and I already had the costume, so I just re-wore it. I can remember multiple other occasions when I basically just threw a random costume together at the last minute and went out for the night. On Halloween of my freshman year, I borrowed some of my friend’s issued Under Armour gear and athlete backpack and dressed up as a Notre Dame golfer when I decided to dress up at the last minute. Last year’s outing was even less inspired as I wore a flannel and called myself a lumberjack. Not a “sexy lumberjack” (if those even exist), either.

I don’t really understand why it has become so normal — and almost required — for girls to turn any Halloween costume into a “sexy” Halloween costume, but I have to say, seeing a “sexy Hermione” after being plain old Hermione from ages 7 to 10 is pretty rattling. What happened to accuracy in becoming a character or even just straight-up scary costumes? And aside from the sexy twist, why is there so much pressure to do something completely different and new for Halloween? I don’t care if I wear flannel shirts on days other than Halloween, I’ll add some work boots and call myself a lumberjack if I want to call myself a lumberjack on Halloween.

The group costume phenomenon is also particularly interesting. On the one hand, it can be much easier to decide on a Halloween costume if there is a group theme you need to fit into. On the other, though, it can be hard for multiple people to agree on what to do together, and sometimes it can be hard to complete the group. For example, the juniors in my section had to give up on the idea of being all the Taylor Swifts from the end of the “Look What You Made Me Do” music video because where the heck are we going to get a Met Gala ballgown? (The live snake posed a bit of a problem, too.) Group costumes can be really cool when they work out well, but sometimes you need to know when it just won’t work.

There is so much more to Halloween than dressing up in a costume, but it can be the most fun part of the holiday — especially now that we’re now pretty solidly past the point of trick-or-treating. Why would we take some of the fun out of the holiday by worrying about how sexy we are or how creative a particular costume is? Just have fun. For my part, I’m just going to put my hair in a ponytail, toss on a quarter-zip sweatshirt, slap on a name tag and call myself Sports Editor Elizabeth Greason.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.