Expressing yourself through funky fresh costumes

Jasmin Linton (she/her) // Contributor
Geraldine Yaris (she/her) // Illustrator

Many people love dressing up for Halloween. It is a day where anything goes; no one is going to judge pattern clashes or too many colours. As a kid, I remember starting to plan my costume as early as June. I would gather bits of clothing to fashion into something presentable. I’d spend weeks searching for makeup tutorials, trying to keep my hands steady. What I ended up going as is irrelevant to the story. All that mattered was how excited I was and that I was comfortable in what I had chosen. 


Rather than focus on other’s costumes and if they are lame or not, what if we focused on the intention and joy that went into the creation? I would like to share with you the joys of dressing up for Halloween, celebrating the delight of self-expression and encouraging pride in your weirdness. But don’t worry, you won’t have to make sure a snowsuit can fit under your costume.


Putting yourself out there can be really scary, but how will you know what you do and don’t like about your style or expression? With all the masks and makeup you are free to explore aspects of yourself through your costume. And the best part, no one will know it’s you. Society puts a lot of pressure on individuals, particularly teens and young adults, on how to conform. Halloween can be an escape from what people think and the expectations they have. In a way, anonymity serves as a safety net — any anxiety or fear of trying something new or moving out of your comfort zone will hopefully begin to ebb. 


Every year is a new opportunity to show off a fresh and funky costume — be it bringing your favourite book character to life, going as an inanimate object or just sticking to the classics. There are unlimited options when it comes to what to dress up as, as well as unlimited ways. Take this opportunity to fully alter your costume to suit what you envision for yourself, and if you’re the type that likes the costume as is, that’s perfectly fine too.


Costumes can provide the perfect cover to try out something new. There are so many styles and personalities out there, how would you know what fits without trying it on? Halloween is a great way to experiment with style or unique items of clothing that you normally wouldn’t dare touch. There are no limitations. Even if you can’t find the perfect costume, you can make your own from scratch or alter an existing one. Everyone else will be in elaborate get ups anyway, the spooky season is a great excuse  to do the same. Treat this time as a practice run or, if you like, a runway stage. 


But no matter what you end up going as for Halloween, someone is always going to have an opinion on it. Most judgment surrounding today’s Halloween costumes comes from a place of gender bias and the infamous double standard. Girls are expected to wear less clothing as they get older (but are criticized regardless of if they choose to or not). Boys are expected to ‘not try too hard’ and just throw something together, while facing ridicule if they show ‘too much’ interest. Since these boxes are still incredibly rigid, non-binary folks get excluded from the equation all together. Any deviance from the norm results in unnecessary judgment that can result in low self-esteem, limit potential and increase mental health issues. It’s important to recognize this kind of judgement and the result of it, but not let it dictate your decisions. No matter what you wear, it’s impossible to please everyone. So instead of striving for the impossible, remember that at the end of the day, your opinion is the only relevant one.


Halloween is not just a day for dressing up, it’s an occasion to celebrate individuality and the joy of self-expression. Rather than fixating on judgement or conformity, we should focus on the intention and creativity that go into crafting costumes. So, let’s revel in dressing up, relish our uniqueness, and cherish the opportunity to proudly express ourselves.

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