Hi, readers. I just want to make one thing clear: since I’m riled up about the subject of depicting mentally ill people in caricatures and costumes, I’m sorry, but I think I want to go a step further: let’s also ban other costumes depicting blind people as drunken monsters or malcontents who don’t like this world. Let’s also not sell costumes depicting criminals or real life villains in a sympathetic light such as Jason from the Friday the 13th series. Unless you want to know the truth behind the horror character.
I was floored by a recent report about a robbery in which the burglars were dressed in Scream costume masks. Should we put a disclaimer on such things? I guess so.
What if someone wanted to dress as Lady Liberty? Why not! That’s patriotic and appropriate, which makes me happy. I would this year dress as Lady Justice, the symbol being a blind woman handing out a flame or something. Has anyone seen the statues that symbolize justice? The theme of my costumage would be that “Justice is blind.” That way, I could accessorize with my white cane. Then, I’d hold a fake candle, and boom! There’s a costume. I want a white robe for this one, maybe a white tunic and a pair of black pants. Now there’s a really appropriate costume for Halloween, or rather, the Harvest. IF we should celebrate Halloween, we must do so in a manner that does not stigmatize or hurt others. This means that any ensemble promoting stereotypes or dangerous myths about disability or mental health issues should be banned. It’s not the politically correct thing, it’s the morally correct thing to do by not dressing up as Eileen Wuornos and depicting yourself in a caricature of a serial killer. Such costumage makes badly troubled and sometimes slightly damaged souls look like jokes, which to me is personal. I have some other more positive ideas for costumes:
Try dressing up as a favorite food, movie character, book villain or main character, and yes, depict the positive aspects of Katniss Everdeen, not the weird and messed up aspects of her such as her in a hospital gown.
You could appropriately try ghouls, witches, goblins, ghosts. I would be so so about demons and devils. Spirits are funny, but Halloween costumes should never cross the line into offensive and maladaptive territory.
Here are some examples of positively messaged and worded costumes:
Many women dress as Disney characters. I have done Bell, Jasmine, and others. The possiblities are endless now with Mulan, Elsa from Frozen, her twin sister Ana, the sky’s the limit with Princess Anyone costumes.
You can dress up like a Roman soldier, or a Roman Senator if you’re politicaly inclined. All you need is a white toga or dreslike stola if you want to be a Roman Queen, then put pants and black panty hose underneath to preserve body parts. Then, yes, the crown for a Queen.
Science fiction characters are a treasure trove of costume ideas. I did Princess Leia a few times, but I personally wish I had been either Asoca Tano, maybe Padme Amidala. One of those two would work. Plus Padme was a Queen at fourteen, and she was really gorgeous in her gown. Leia was, as we find in Revenge of the Sith, the Queen’s blood daughter. Turns out so Luke is the son of the same woman, and both fathered by Darth Vader. I wouldn’t be so bad about Darth Vader, but we must be a bit careful about actual weaponry used for all Jedi or Sith ensembles.
If you’re in a fandom such as Potterheads, LOTR fans, etc., all characters in said book and movie phenomenons are appropriate. Just be wary of dressing as Voldemort if you’re into Harry Potter, but yeah, grab your Potter Puppet Pals and start chanting “Snape, Snape, Severus Snape” while walking down the street. Just a thought, especially if your desired look is indeed Snape.
Some parties are about a particular fandom such as bookworms, Potterheads, etc. Don’t forget to choose an appropriate costume for Halloween, and for those who aren’t into scary or weird, you could try serious. But yeah, the sky’s the limit, but there has to be some tact and real thought given to what you’re saying with a costume.
IF, for instance, I dress like Hermione Granger from HP, I’m saying, “Yeah, I’m a Potterhead/Harry fan, and I love Hermione.” If I were to try Galadriel from LOTR, it would be so like the personality I am often, a Queen. Yeah, and one more thing: be careful of other more subtle messages. But remember, the number one rule this fall is have fun and be merry.