Monday, 8 December 2014

Halloween Reflections...

Bella looks back at this year’s Halloween
successes and disasters and argues her case for fancy dress.

Halloween. The word conjures up fear in most of us, although possibly not for the usual reasons, as the years of wearing those embarrassing and questionable parent-chosen costumes are over (I hope)! Now, we have to create unique costumes ourselves, but unfortunately ghosts of English essays will haunt you way past the 31st, so minimal effort is definitely necessary. Halloween is the only time of the year you can legitimately dress up in something crazy, weird and scary, so what better excuse to go all out? 

Unfortunately, in today’s image obsessed society, looking ‘pretty’ or ‘cool’ takes absolute precedence, as Instagram and Facebook demand photogenic updates, and ‘likes’ are the only form of complement anyone wants. Mostly, girls are pressured to look like ‘hot’ witches, zombies or cats, and boys are criticised if they have ‘tried too hard’ with their costume; social media and society’s influence has effectively drained the fun out of Halloween. I know the nagging feeling that a more life-like skin-tone and less gruesome welts would extract a few more ‘likes’, but really, where is the fun in looking normal? I want to show you that a fantastic costume is perfectly possible, and re-inject some of that centuries-old excitement back into a celebration of the scary.  

Clichéd costumes are equally loved and hated, as they never fail to look great; dead schoolgirls or boys, mummies and vampires are all timelessly brilliant. Let’s face it, who wouldn’t want to rip up their school clothes and rebel? Of course, I have seen my fair share of M&S shirts and decidedly fake blood splatters, but you can’t help loving the feeling of rebellion it provokes. 
A mummy costume is often overlooked, but it is one of the most realistic- except obviously the becoming alive-after-death part, but we all know that Monday feeling. A few rolls of toilet roll (or masking tape) and embalming never got so easy! Unfortunately, the Egyptians weren’t so lucky, so spare a thought whilst   you procrastinate about your English homework, as a corpse is pretty hard to ignore. Black shadowy eyes inspired by that last-minute night-long homework session will create a costume…to die for!

A vampire never fails to look bloody brilliant, and going
super traditional will take a bite out of the opposition. Deathly pale skin, dressing in black, and slicking back your hair is a winning combination, and will turn a few necks. Adding some sparkly hairspray will catch the light, but isn’t so good if you are real because of the whole allergy thing. 

Many hate the idea of dressing up in a costume, as it makes them feel uncomfortable, but as an unshakeable advocate of fancy dress, I firmly believe that even making the smallest of efforts will turn out to be a lot of fun. Halloween costumes, or costumes in general are, and always should be an act of absolute fun and freedom, whether that be wearing a pair of cat ears and some face-paint or becoming a human bag of jelly beans.

For many, Halloween costumes are a chance to escape the usual uniform of jeans and a top, and become someone or something completely unlike your normal self. Vigorously smearing on the face paint or wildly flicking the fake blood around sparks the addictive confidence that comes with wearing a costume. You aren’t trying to look flawless; instead you are celebrating the dark, sunken eyes, gruesome cuts and messy hair which brings unfamiliar freedom to the self-conscious. After all, that bright eyed excitement everyone has when glimpsing each-other transformed into demons, ghouls or monsters is completely unique to one night of the year; All Hallow’s Eve.

By Bella Baillie

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