Halloween And Me: A Long Complicated Relationship

It’s almost Halloween again, and this year I’ve already decided to forego the costumes and stuff I usually do. Why? Well, I’ve always had a strange relationship with Halloween, thanks to my terrible religious upbringing, and now once again I find myself being discouraged from having any kind of fun with it because the entire world hasn’t been rid of all injustice. I grew up being discouraged from having Halloween fun and instead encouraged to skip the fun in favor of religious brainwashing. Today’s social climate feels the same, with the exception that the herd mentality isn’t religious.

I was raised by strict Baptists, so Halloween was always pretty far from their ideal holiday. I grew up hearing about how it was the devil’s holiday and I shouldn’t be celebrating it. When I was very young and still allowed to go trick-or-treating, I always had to dress up as something “nice.” I swear, I probably wore the same angel costume 3 different years because there were so few costumes deemed appropriate for someone my parents hoped would be the ultimate fundamentalist Christian (sorry not sorry). Amazing how I ended up being an atheist. One year, when I was about 4, I remember my mom dressing me up as a Native American girl: If only she had known that would be deemed the most terribly racist thing ever 30 years in the future! Anyway, I wasn’t allowed to trick or treat anymore after about age 9. Instead, they shipped me off to some church sleepover on Halloween. Again, I have no idea how I ended up being an atheist. 😂 What 9-year-old DOESN’T want to skip trick or treating and instead hear about how they’re a terrible sinner deserving of fire and brimstone?

As an adult, I began to celebrate Halloween again to make up for all the lost years of fun. The last two years, I handmade both of Rey’s outfits from Episode 7 and Episode 8 and went to work in costume with my lightsaber, only to be asked several times “Who are you supposed to be?” People, really?! Turn off the fake housewives and watch some Star Wars already!

I mean, is it really that hard to tell that I was Rey? I thought it would be obvious to anyone who even saw the trailers for Episodes 7 and 8 on TV.

This year, I no longer have an office outside of my home to go to, and I’d rather not go to some crowded bar party, so I’m just skipping the whole thing. Besides, there’s too much controversy over Halloween costumes these days and I’d rather not get sucked into the inevitable contest to see who can be the most offended by everything in the world. Also, I’m the type of person who loses interest in doing something if it comes with a long list of rules. I’m white so now I can only dress up as characters who are white, otherwise people will think I’m a terrible racist (even if I’m not spoofing the character but simply recreating their likeness respectfully…isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?)

Let’s dig deeper. I’m very pale white, so I guess any character who has a tan is out. I have blue eyes, so I guess I can’t dress as anyone with brown eyes. I’m short, so I better not dress as a character who’s tall because it might offend tall people. Any costume involving a blonde wig is out too since I’m brunette and that might offend natural blondes. Come to think of it, maybe my Rey costumes accidentally offended skinny people since I’m not skinny like Daisy Ridley. Yes, I know how ridiculous this sounds. That’s the point. Lengthy lists of rules and expectations that everyone be offended on cue take away from the fun of what is supposed to be a fun holiday.

What’s even worse is that the same people demanding these rules and insisting that we should all be pissed off 24/7 are also calling for violence. Check out this gem I saw on Twitter.

Another tweet I saw encouraged people to “smack those bitches” when they saw any white person wearing a costume of someone of a different race. And people liked these tweets and replied, condoning random acts of violence (and the wasting of perfectly good alcohol). Really? If this is what Halloween has come to, count me out. I’ll stay home and dress up as a white short brunette blue-eyed tired dog mom, exactly who I am. That way, nobody can get offended. RIP Halloween: I wish I could have at least enjoyed the fun as a kid.

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