It is inevitable that as we grow older the amount of material we wear when donning fancy dress dramatically decreases.  Naturally, the time of year this is readily expected and encountered is the magical time of Halloween.  The idea, that ‘I don’t care what I look like; I’m supposed to scare people’, is widely accepted.  Unsurprisingly, it is a sentiment that I have exclaimed repeatedly these past weeks when planning this wonderful night. 

My housemates and I have ensured that we encompass a broad spectrum of terror when it comes to fancy dress this year.  Everything is covered from a cannibal cave girl – including a plastic club and incredibly short leopard print dress – to homage of the infamous Bloody Mary, complete with mirror in tow (we are yet to fully work out the logistics).  But how necessary is it that we, not just females, feel the need that it’s okay to brace freezing temperatures in little more than a loin cloth showing what our mama’s gave us?  It is hard to determine the age that one’s fancy dress dramatically changes, from the fleece-lined pumpkin suit that your mum bought you to a dead Playboy bunny.

In true Mean Girls style, I would feel quite the outsider if I did not brace this odd tradition of bearing as much leg as possible, without seeing tomorrow’s washing, and have to wonder where this pressure has come from.  Don’t get me wrong, I am one of those avid Halloween supporters that use fake blood to the extreme and have been known to dress up as a dead nurse or zombie school girl – short skirts and cleavage included.  I can also admit that I have never felt pressurised by my friends to dress promiscuously or in anything that I feel uncomfortable in.  So why is there a need for society to look down on those who are confident in their choice of fancy dress? 

As we all know the Daily Mail has put a considerable effort into labelling all students as a bunch of lazy alcoholics who like to ‘roll around in the hay’; there is no doubt there will be something said about the choice of attire and activities that occur on Halloween. In a world where the media is obsessed with appearance and the idea of perfection, I like knowing that on Halloween at least people can dress up and look as grotesque and promiscuous as they please, and they can feel truly confident in doing so.   

As companies retract the zombie Jimmy Saville and mental health patient costumes, and people start their papier mache wrecking balls, one thing is for certain: I shall still wear what I want, until that is, the cold starts to affect my joints and I start incorporating hot water bottles into my costumes.

Becky Healey              


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