Op-Ed: Why can’t every day be Halloween?

Photo credit: Molly Putman

We are now firmly in the holiday season. Halloween has passed us by, Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away, and Christmas is just around the corner after that. Though I look forward to Christmas morning and to that wonderful Thanksgiving feast, just about anyone who has met me knows that Halloween is far and above my favorite time of the year.

Most of my friends tend to assume it’s because of my love of all things horror, or because of my love of candy. And although I did in fact spend the night before writing this watching three movies in a row from the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise while eating copious amounts of chocolate, it’s not the main reason I love Halloween.

What I really love about Halloween, and the reason I wait for it every year with bated breath, is how a lot of people feel just a little more free to show their love for fringe interests. People who love and feel inspired by superheroes and superhero comics will dress up as their favorite character and proudly show their love for that character’s stories. Some people who have always wanted to dress a certain way, whether it be dark and gothic or extravagant and glamorous, can use Halloween as an excuse to do so, and nobody will judge them for it.

I’m no exception. I’ve wanted to wear nail polish since middle school, and it’s no coincidence that when I did decide to take that plunge, it was near Halloween; it was the perfect excuse. If I didn’t like it and decided against it in the future, I could say it was just for Halloween. Any negative attention was also much less likely since people would generally figure that it was just an element of a costume I was planning.

This was at the forefront of my mind for most of the month, but then I really started thinking about it when I interviewed Dahlia Rot for a story on the recent “Rocky Horror Picture Show” production on campus.

“The whole gig is that he’s not judged for looking crazy; he’s judged for what he does,” said Rot. “Things were not easy for me back then, but seeing Rocky Horror was this revolutionary moment for me.”

These were all the reasons I love Halloween, and here was someone else saying the exact same things, but about a different experience they had. It also stressed the importance of this experience and validation within somebody’s life, and, the more I thought about it, the more unfortunate it seemed to me that this was something many people had to confine to one or two specific experiences.

What I would love is for this acceptance of things outside the norm to spread. I want everyday to be Halloween. I want everyone to feel like they can dress and look the way they want to and be judged based on how they treat othersnot the fact that they’re wearing different clothes than what some would consider to be normal. To be able to express oneself through style or niche interests is how we bring color to an otherwise grayscale landscape.

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