Yep, it's another Halloween post. I have to admit, even I am getting a bit tired of hearing myself talk about how much I love it. You all can rest easy, however, because this time around I will be talking about another aspect of this beloved holiday, because there's much more to All Hallows' Eve than just the scary stuff. When we were kids Halloween was about 2 things: What costume would we be wearing and how much candy could we get trick or treating?
By the way, this is the correct method of collecting candy. None of that Jack-O-Lantern nonsense.
Personally, I've never had much of a problem getting a Halloween costume ready. Such are the perks of being a cosplayer, I've got a whole wardrobe of costumes to choose from! From Renaissance to Steampunk, Sci-Fi to Fantasy RPG, Video Game to Anime. I'm more than prepared. It's a fact that anyone who is cosplays as a hobby gets giddy around Halloween time because there's no way for us to get stuck with a last minute option and we get to show off what we've created and crafted to the public and no one thinks we're weird. It's also a fact that when a cosplayer shows up to a 'normal' Halloween party, they blow everyone else out of the water.
….Did I overdo it?
Now, there's another smaller reason for why I stick to my own collection of outfits when Halloween rolls around instead of heading to the local costume shop (Though they see me enough in the off season when I buy out all of their wigs and makeup). All of the popular or interesting costumes for women are sexualized. Have Phoebe mention a much smaller reason as to why she sticks with her own collection of costumes rather than the kind you can get in stores. All the more interesting or popular costumes for women are sexualized. Before I go on, let me say that I am not a prude in any way, shape or form and I firmly believe that everyone has the right to wear what they want, within reason.
Took costume advise from Bjork, did ya?
Personally, I've never been too comfortable wearing very revealing outfits. I'm not too 'body confident' (Thanks a lot society!), everyone stares regardless of whether you do or don't have 'assets', and sexy costumes are always uncomfortable for one reason or another. So why can't there be both sexy and normal options for women? Why does being female mean I have to wear something that makes me freeze my butt off? Yes, we could just wear men's costumes, but that doesn't always work. Just ask my bff Margaret and her giant chest that refuses to be tethered down.
The truth is, us girls feel a great amount of pressure whenever we put on a costume no matter the occasion. The pressure to 'look good' in it, not be 'too slutty', or show parts of us we don't want others to notice is always on our minds at one point or another.
You may be wondering why I bother to have a hobby that revolves around costumes when this problem keeps showing up. It's because the cosplay community have taken great lengths to make sure everyone with a passion for their fandom has a safe and fun environment to play around in. A set of 'rules', so to speak, were put in place to ensure that this happens at every geek convention and get together and I believe the rest of the world needs to know about and practice them.
Hear are the rules y'all need to follow this Halloween Season:
First, be whatever you want to be! In the world of cosplay, anything goes. Make your favorite character from a different time like Victorian or Steampunk. Make them from male to female or vice versa. Take that obscure reference you love and make it into an ensemble. You're the one wearing the costume, wear what it is that YOU want!
Second, put a little bit of your own flair into the costume. Not everyone has the crafting skills required to make an entire outfit but they can put in a little detail or two to give it a more personalized feel. You'll be sure to strut your stuff when you're wearing something that you worked on yourself and make it truly your own.
Third, here's a phrase you should all learn. 'Cosplay is not Consent', but here we'll change it to 'Costume is not Consent'. If a girl decides that she does want to wear a sexy outfit, it doesn't mean she wants to be talked to or touched in an inappropriate manner. It's also true for a when a guy decides to do the same! Be respectful and courteous! Ask for permission to take a picture of someone in costume, don't be creeping on them with a camera in front of your face! Yes, in more close knit parties this may not apply, but it's still polite to ask them anyways.
Fourth and final, no shaming! This goes for literally every costume you come across. That bigger woman wearing the Ariel costume is having the time of her life dressed up as her favorite Disney princess! Don't make uncalled for comments about how she should've gone as Ursula (I've heard that one far too many times and it makes me sick). Don't berate that person who's wearing what is obviously a last minute costume. They may have had a different costume ready that got ruined and they had to improvise.
If everyone adhered to these rules at every Halloween party or gathering they went, they'd have the time of their lives like we geeks do when we go to our conventions and cosplay to our hearts content. Make Halloween fun and safe for everybody!
What are you going to go as this year? Tell me in the comments below!