Column: costumes should empower, not denigrate

Column: costumes should empower, not denigrate

By Julia Gall

As Halloween quickly approaches, I’ve been trying to choose my costume for one of my favorite holidays.

Every year I try to come up with a creative costume, which is usually a celebrity imitation rather than something store-bought. My previous masterpieces include Marilyn Monroe and Lindsay Lohan. I find that look-alikes are always popular at parties because they’re easily recognizable, and people find them funny.

In the general consensus of college students, Halloween is a time where it’s perfectly acceptable to be, well, slutty. It was best said in the movie Mean Girls: “Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it.”

And it’s true. But when you think about it, what’s the point of looking slutty on Halloween? Frankly I think it’s pretty sad if a girl has to resort to the measures of wearing a leotard with bunny ears to get someone’s attention. And I’m sure a drunken Halloween hookup will add to the meaningful experience.

Regardless, it’s OK to be sexy in your costume choice, but there are better ways to go about it. For instance, last year when you decided to go for the super-original “sexy cop,” did there end up being a whole brigade at the party?

If you go on any Halloween costume website or costume store, the “sexy” costume selection is endless. According to one website, “Strip Search Sally” (the sexy cop), “Dr. Anita Hardwon” (the sexy pharmacist) or the politically incorrect favorite “Sister Sin” (the sexy nun) are among the endless “sexy” options. I’m pretty sure there is a “sexy” version of every profession and even worse, every childrens’ story character (think sexed-up Wizard of Oz).

Aside from being borderline creepy, the overpriced cheap polyester outfits are lacking an element of class. What I’m saying is, you could make a bigger impact with something original than something everyone else has.

I still think celebrities are a good way to go. You can still look good and people will usually recognize you and commend your creativity. What I’d advise you to do is think about hot celebrities that would be fun to dress up as. Angelina? Britney (pre-pregnancy/pre-Federline)? Paris? While all of these are popular and probably over-done, it’s a good start.

Rock stars are also a really fun option. Seriously, why wouldn’t you want to dress up like a rock star? Gwen Stefani, Lil’ Kim and J.Lo are all really interesting, are original ideas and are easy to put together. And then there is Madonna, who has more defining looks than I can probably mention here. All of these women I named are pretty much sex symbols in one way or another, so the sex appeal is still there, but you’re still being a little unique.

Just consider the defining characteristics that make up these stars and then imitate them. Try finding clothes at thrift or consignment stores; they pretty much have everything you’d need and for a very low price. All it takes is a little creativity and a little time.

I’m also quite an advocate of wigs. I think they can really make any costume more convincing. I love them because they can change your image entirely and transform you into just about anyone in a matter of seconds. Pretty much any kind of wig you’d need would be available at costume stores for about $20.

So ladies, contrary to the opinions of your male peers, I urge you to consider your choice of Halloween costume carefully. You could be a typical “sexy whatever” and risk the chance of being just like everyone else, or you could take a more original approach and be something different.

As I’ve said, celebrities are a sound choice because they look good and are easy to piece together. All it takes is a little creativity, and you can make this year’s Halloween quite a memorable one.

– Julia Gall can be reached at [email protected]

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