Today: Jun 16, 2024

Halloween: the old and new

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Mackenzie Hurlbert – Copy Editor

Remember those days when Halloween was all about getting the most candy and finding the coolest costume to show off in school? We’d wait by the window for the sky to darken and then beg our parents to take us out. Remember when we’d scout out which neighborhood was the most generous and then lighten the sack of candy on the way home until the thought of one more peanut butter cup would make us nauseous? Then the awesome costume you pined over for weeks for would be packed away and forgotten.

One of my most memorable Halloweens was in second grade, when I decided to go as a jellyfish. My mom and I usually made my costume as a do-it-yourself project, but this year we had a hard time finding a clear umbrella to use as the jellyfish’s top. Instead, we flipped a white laundry basket upside down and drilled a bowl to its bottom so I could balance it on my head. Then we tied shiny and transparent streamers and ribbons to it as to resemble the jellyfish’s tentacles, and I was supposed to wear all white so I blended in with the costume. It was a really creative idea, right? Well, the day of the Halloween parade was really cold, and without thinking, I put on my neon pink and orange coat before heading out into the parking lot of our school and swaying back and forth like a jellyfish would. Needless to say, nobody really got the costume and I just looked like a kid dancing around with a laundry basket on her head. I’ve got pictures to prove it. Nonetheless, it really didn’t ruin the day for me, and I’m sure I enjoyed plenty of candy by the end of the night.

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In college, Halloween is totally different. It’s lost that innocence of candy gorging witches and vampires, and instead has become all about being ‘sexy’ by strutting around half naked in 40 degree weather. Really? How can such an innocent holiday from childhood change into the one day of the year when any girl, no matter her personality or character, can dress as a ‘slut’? As a kid, most people dressed up as what they wanted to be: a princess, a fireman, a superhero. Does our generation really have a secret desire to be or look promiscuous? I think so but I must say it doesn’t appeal to me. Society and media portray women as objects of sexual desire: the star actress is always ‘hot,’ the woman on the yogurt commercial is always busty and skinny, and most perfume ads feature mostly-naked women crawling over shirtless men. Really? And now our sex-obsessed society has turned one of the most innocent holidays, based on sweets, children, and generosity within the community, into another chance to party, drink, and hook-up.

I guess that’s just part of growing up—things you enjoyed when you were younger don’t cut it anymore, or aren’t as fun as they once were, and we therefore find different things to entertain us. We realize those sticky candy bracelets we wore on our wrists and sucked on intermittently as children actually taste like chalk and flat soda. The act of walking around the neighborhood for a bag of candy doesn’t seem worth it when you could buy your own at the grocery store or mooch off of a younger sibling’s stash.

Instead of going out trick-or-treating, teenagers and college students have begun to amuse themselves in other ways, such as partying, or in my case, watching cheesy scary movies with a bunch of friends. Halloween has changed for us as we grow older, and I admit my version of the holiday has also transformed, but I’d rather wear that ridiculous jellyfish costume from second grade than be caught dead in some slutty red-riding hood outfit, especially on a cold night which usually is the case. Nevertheless, no matter your methods of enjoying the holiday, I hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween.

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