Halloween is almost here – the ghoulish holiday that mandates overconsumption of candy (for kids) and alcohol (for adults). Nothing like seeing a bunch of kids on a sugar high darting between stumbling groups of robots, and prisoners, and superheroes and sexy police officers/fairytale characters/pandas. Apparently, adult women and 10 year old girls wear the same size costume! (I say this after having been in said sort of costume more than once!)
So the premise of Halloween as I’ve gotten older has gone from scary to candalous; I refrain from saying slutty because it implies a judgment I don’t feel. If you want to rock your body and show it off – go for it! It’s none of my business whether you do it on Halloween or on a Tuesday.
What I don’t like is that many women, and sadly, young girls, feel like their uncool if they dress as a zombie or a non-sexy cat or a witch or whatever. At wine tasting over the weekend, I was chatting with some girls about Halloween and they were saying how they wear non-sexy costumes and their girlfriends actually get upset about it and question their decision. That’s the kind of behavior I’m not down with. Dress up how you want, scantily clad or not, and just rock your own costume without worrying about what everyone else is wearing. Unless, of course, it’s your kid’s class party – then maybe the sexy panda costume is less than appropriate.
The next premise I’m about to discuss is the antithesis of every other value I espouse on the blog, but I retain the right to be contradictory!
I’m also not on board with the healtification of Halloween.
Halloween is not the cause of childhood obesity – it’s eating a ton of crap the other 364 days of the year (although, accounting for Thanksgiving, Easter, birthdays, and Christmas, maybe more like 350) that’s the problem.
What I would love to see changed is the quality of what people hand out. It would be great to see people handing out Fair Trade mini candy bars or locally produced hard candies. The conventional production of chocolate for standard candy has come under great scrutiny recently for it’s social and environmental repercussions. This article from Get Rich Slowly goes into more depth about the horrors of chocolate production and the alternate options available.
Kids gorging on traditional Halloween candy for one night doesn’t bother me much health wise – if kids eat a balanced, healthy diet the rest of the year they’ll be fine. More of an issue for me is the millions of dollars that go into the candy industry because of Halloween. WIthout mainstream demand for better quality ingredients, we’ll never get better products. Someday, if I ever have a house where kids come to my door, I’m going to shell out and buy a boatload of high quality chocolate bars and give em out – what a great way to educate people that otherwise might not be reached by traditional marketing.
I hope that some day these things aren’t seen as “what the hippie house does” but instead is seen as the norm – because Halloween shouldn’t be about educating people on the horrors of chocolate production or a lecture on body image issues. It should be fun, carefree, silly holiday. So that’s what I wish for all of you this year – a safe, fun Halloween where you get to live the life of someone (or something) else for a night!