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Gender boundaries needn’t define Halloween choices


Halloween, or All Hallows Eve as some would call it, is a time for the scariest horror movies, the most haunted of houses, and candy galore. When people talk about Halloween, it always leads to the all-important question, “Who are you dressing up as for Halloween?”

What's weird is that on the one night we can dress up as anyone, people still stick within their gendered roles. One rarely hears a man say he's going as Queen Elsa from “Frozen,” or a girl saying she's dressing up as Goku from the “Dragonball” series.

Those who choose to dress up outside of their respective genders are usually perceived as weird, wrong or just stupid. Because of the toxic culture that floats around the term “masculinity,” men limit themselves to expected choices, which causes an overlap and repetition of costumes. The same thing happens to women, and the horrible standards we hold for them in society.

In a recent article, Time magazine stated that the most popular Halloween costumes for last year were Wonder Woman, Harley Quinn, a clown, Moana, and a unicorn — note that only two out of five of those are unisex.

Why is it that on Halloween, we are quick to accept people dressed as monsters and murderers, but not a man in a dress or a girl in full body armor? Costumes shouldn’t define a person. We don’t judge a man covered in fake blood and welding a plastic machete, so why should we judge that same man for wearing high heels and a dress?

A good example of how limiting it is for someone to choose a Halloween costume is Dr. Who. For an alien that regenerates a new body every few years since 1963, it took 13 generations to get a female doctor?

Why not just let a girl be dressed all snazzy in a fez and bow tie, sonic screwdriver in one hand and a bag of candy in the other?

Yes, I hear the questions being asked like, “What about Superman/Superwoman?” or “What about Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen?” To that I say congrats, but is there a female alternative to Master Chief, Bane, Freddy, and so on and so forth? No there isn't.

Nobody should have to ask themselves when looking at a costume, “Does this fit my gender?” Our costumes don't show who we are, but it's to mask who we are, so why do we need to stick to our assigned gender roles when choosing a costume?

As for myself, I’m going full Queen Elsa this year. If anyone’s offended by it, they should just “Let It Go.”

Story by Jason Hebner, UP contributor

Category: Opinion