Opinion: The nostalgia of past Halloweens

Oh, Halloween, the era of slutty cats and costumes that are either racially offensive or reveal more than a person’s body than anyone wants to see. It seemed like just yesterday that being a cat in fifth grade entailed innocuously resembling a fun, household kitty with little ears and tails. And of course we were covered up in a black puffy sweater or coat over this costume, because surely we would freeze in the cold night temperatures of October.

There were hundreds of “trick or treats!” to be followed by “thank yous” because we were taught to be grateful. Honestly, Halloween in elementary school was a month-long event, because the day of Halloween we just celebrated the day with spooky crosswords, candy exchanges, pin the tail on the cat, apple bobbing, and plentiful apple cider as we compared all of our costumes and marveled at those that went above and beyond.

Then middle school came and Halloween was slightly more sophisticated. And by that, I mean that we actually chose our own Halloween outfits and attempted to make them cool and relevant, because we couldn’t celebrate Halloween all day like in elementary school. We were more grown up; we had to go to classes in our costumes and actually learn! So of course, our costumes had to be functional while being stylish, and flexible enough for gym class if we had it that day. But there were still elements of celebration, as teachers wished us a ‘Happy Halloween’ and would often give out candy. Of course, there were always a few of the kids that were too cool for costumes, but we didn’t mind them too much for there were far more of us than there were of them.

Then, we went to high school, where we didn’t even need a day to celebrate the spookiness of it because it was terrifying all on its own. For some, high school was a place to bloom into their new bodies and ditch the awkwardness of middle school. Of course, the cliques that formed divided people into what one would call the typical high school movie trope: athletes, popular kids, nerds, and the rest of us that really didn’t fit into a category. But Halloween in high school allowed the most flexibility and fun with costumes. You had to meticulously plan your outfit, which included one to two months of prior research.

First, you had to decide whether you wanted to be in a group costume, a couples’ or duo costume, or an individual costume. Group costumes were personally some of my favorites since I saw such a variety of themes, from Trailer Park Boys, to Disney princesses, to Mario and Luigi. High school, since we were basically adults (or at least we thought we were), was the time where we began to go to parties.

Personally, I was a bookworm, but I have been told that high school parties pretty much just included discovering what drinking was. So imagine 16 and 17 year olds discovering alcohol; not a pretty sight. Furthermore, it was at this time that most teens began to hand out candy rather than go trick-or-treating. Personally, I was a die-hard candy fan and went hardcore trick or treating until twelfth grade. It’s free food, of course I’m going to go and collect it. Duh.

Enter: college. Essentially, just picture Bridget Jones when she shows up to the party that’s most definitely not a costume party in her sexy Playboy bunny costume. Basically, everyone is lame and doesn’t wear costumes to class because we’re actual ‘adults’ now and have to be professional people, but c’mon! Granted, you can do whatever you want and wear that Spiderman costume to class, but you definitely will get stares and feel alienated from society as they reject you with a scornful face. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but still. We now only wear costumes to parties at night, which is cool and fine.  

Much like Peter Pan, some of us don’t want to grow up and be slutty bunnies; where’s the originality in that? There’s thousands of sexy cats and bunnies, but how many Napolean Dynamites or movie characters are there? Plus, you can make a risque costume that’s also the talk of the party. Let’s face it. Cat costumes can be sexy, but are nothing new. For the lucky few, they can pull off not only a hot costume, but a super creative one too.

While many are nostalgic for the innocent Halloween costumes from years ago when we were just tikes, I raise a glass. I raise a glass to those sexy bunnies and those slutty cats and those lumberjacks, to remember as they are grinding against some unknown person with some alcoholic beverage in hand to remember the good old days. When Halloween was just Halloween.

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