What is the modern purpose of Halloween, especially as adults? To dress up and pretend to be someone we’re not.
This is a shift from when we are children on the surface. As children we are inspired to dress up as who we want to be- we choose superheroes, princesses, cowboys, and doctors because we hope someday that we could really be that person. Some of my favorite Halloween costumes as a kid were: Queen of Hearts, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, Lucille Ball, and Madonna. Clearly each of those women had traits that I was seeking to have within me.
But as adults we choose costumes that are opposite of who we think we are. We have freedom to dress up however we want because that’s not really us. Or is it? The irony of Halloween is that we are actually allowing ourselves to be more fully us.
We dip into our shadow side, the parts of us that we work well to hide and allow them to come out and play. We give ourselves a break from the shame and judgement we regularly feel or predict having if we were accessing this part of ourselves regularly.
It comes as no surprise to me that in the adult world Halloween has turned into a slut shaming frenzy. Often women are dressed up in costumes that showcase their sexuality, fierceness, and power and society fights back. We complain that Halloween is just an excuse for adults to run around half naked.
Which has me wondering this, What if we regularly embraced all of who we are? What if we embraced our sexuality and the perceived demons that live on our shadow side? What if it was okay to be ourselves?
There is great irony in Halloween, it is not about us dressing up as someone else, rather being fully ourselves.
Give yourself permission to be you not just on Halloween, but every day. You have the power to let go of the shame. Who you are is enough, whatever you are wearing.