It’s the most wonderful time of the year.
Of course, “wonderful” here is truly relative. Given the national and global crises that make it feel like a higher being has been playing tragi-comedy bingo with our existences, it may seem crass to roll that all aside and play Halloween dress-up for a night.
And while we’re being gloomy, have you ever considered how much plastic waste is generated by Halloween merchandise retailers every year, whether or not the stock is sold? Isn’t it weird how normalized it is to buy a plastic polymer costume that — if you’re lucky — won’t dissolve until the very end of the night, like Cinderella’s gown when the clock strikes 12? Isn’t it disappointing that millions of people do the same exact thing every following year?
That being said, I love Halloween. I love those little Pillsbury Ready-To-Bake cookies that are shaped like pumpkins and the all-night movie marathons. I own at least four costumes that I can pull out of my closet at any given time.
What I can’t stand is the rapid production of trendy materials at the expense of the environment and our bank accounts.
I don’t mean to demonize people for whom fast fashion is the most fiscally responsible choice for their income level. I know the pleasure of buying a new clothing item, particularly during these dark times when serotonin seems to be at an all time low. Also, it’s unreasonable to expect people to be ethical consumers 24/7. Impulse buying those plastic vampire fangs that you’re only going to wear around the house might not make the most sense from a logical standpoint, but it means the world to you.
I have a proposal: Normalize wearing Halloween costumes year round.
Goths got it right in the 80s. Start wearing your frilly vampire shirts and fishnets on a Tuesday in April. Make costume elements statement pieces that you can wear on multiple occasions —start wearing that clear Patrick Bateman raincoat as a sexy editorial piece. You might make a fashion statement! Since the last time I wore my clown costume, I’ve integrated a few different ruffled collars into my wardrobe.
Maybe Halloween wasn’t on your list of priorities this month because you had more important things to worry about — classes, finances, your health. For you, I have a small gift:
It’s not much, but then again, Halloween isn’t exactly the end-all panacea that will solve our nation’s problems. We shouldn’t use temporary diversions to avoid ever thinking about the greater issues at hand, but that doesn’t mean you can’t consume conscientiously.
Put it on, indulge yourself in a sweet treat and a creepy movie, listen to the Monster Mash once or twice, and have a good night. You deserve it.