Theme: Halloween Costumes
Halloween is fast approaching (just a scant 15 days away!), so it’s time to lock down what your costume is going to be. Are you going solo, as a couple, or even, the greatest of unicorns, as part of a group? Will you do something traditional like a ghost or zombie, pop culture characters like a Star Wars character or a Minion, or a visual pun like this guy that faked being caught in a hurricane? There are literally thousands of costumes to choose from, but to help you narrow it down a bit, here are some links.
I wanted to share with everyone a good source for why we dress up, but I’ve had a hard time finding one. If anyone has one, please let me know so I can share it! That being said, I did find two very cool (and pretty fucking creepy) sources for Halloween costumes of the past 100 years. For a random video of a few select costumes, click here. For some truly terrifying, authentic, old costumes, click here and here.
But let’s get to the present. What are you likely to see this year? Well, to find out, click on this link about the most popular Halloween costumes for 2015. That’ll help you figure out if your idea is going to blend into the crowd or stand out.
However, maybe you want something a little more nostalgic. In that case, click on this link for TV-inspired costumes (mostly 90s cartoons) and this one for Disney costumes. They’re not how-tos, but they give you a good idea about what your costume could look like and how you can DIY it.
Now let’s turn our attention to DIY, specifically, make-up. Zombies are always fun to do and surprisingly low cost (if you don’t go as a zombie version of someone, anyway), but you’ve really got to sell the make-up aspect of it. I have three links for you to try. This one is a cool and fairly easy version that makes you look pretty glamorous. This one is a bit harder and goes for a messier, less Zombie Model look, and this one is pretty complex but has amazing results. If you’ve practiced complex make-up before, I’d go with that one.
I would also like to plug my friend Chezlin’s DIY werewolf costume. She does a great job of laying out everything you need to do and keeping it fairly simple. It’ll take some practice to get it right, but it’s still a great resource. Give it a try!
Before we go, let’s talk briefly about cultural appropriation and Halloween (yes, I know, groan, but it’s important!). Dia de los Muertos costumes and art have become increasingly more popular, most notably calaveras (sugar skulls), but is that cultural appropriation? Well, some sources (like this one) say dressing up like a calavera is absolutely cultural appropriation while others (like this one) argue that it’s not. As I pointed out in last week’s link post, Dia de los Muertos is not “Mexican Halloween” but rather a holiday meant to honor and celebrate the dead. However, there are many fun and non-religious aspects of it, and many Mexicans and people of Mexican descent routinely secularize it. My friends of Mexican descent say dressing up as a calavera isn’t cultural appropriation, but I’m not sure I agree with them — then again, I’m not of Mexican descent, so my opinion shouldn’t count more than theirs on the subject. That is why I’m going to post this link about calavera make-up ideas and this one about how to do calavera make-up — because the subject is pretty convoluted, still being debating, and, at the very least, calavera make-up is a beautiful and intricate part of the culture that everyone could benefit from knowing more about. That being said, I would still ask you to think carefully before dressing up as a calavera. Do you understand anything about Dia de los Muertos? Have you looked up actual pictures of people dressing up like calaveras? Are you choosing something highly specific and of religious importance to dress as? Would your costume make your friends or loved ones upset or offended? If so, don’t do it. You can still be a skeleton person; just lay off the Mexican-inspired imagery.
Finally, what if you want to do black face (the tradition of darkening your skin to look like a person of African descent)? How would you go about doing that? Well, if you click here, you’ll learn all you need to know about the appropriateness of donning black face and even how to do so (please click the link before sending hate).