Halloween, Adolescence, & American Culture

On Halloween and on the day before, lots of students came to school in costumes. It was great and entertaining to see their alter egos this year. It’s endearing to see a student, who was once a pain in an elective class, come into school outfitted in a giant squirrel costume.) Some others: A wolf in Little Red Riding Hood’s clothing (classic, creative, & literary), a couple of military men (their uniforms juxtaposed by lackadaisical adolescent postures), a couple of superheroes, several cats and princesses, in addition to two “schoolgirls”. They were days rich with irony. I kept telling everyone how creative they all were, and it was the truth.

Not everyone embraced the idea of dressing up, which is fine. People aren’t mandated to “celebrate” a holiday that’s been constructed and co-opted by secular and darker forces. I understand the desire to limit time spent meditating on darker things. However, it’s just a holiday! An American opportunity to embrace self-expression and artistic vision.

Then there were those who seemed to be unnerved by the boldness of certain students, particularly with regard to makeup and dress. I attribute this observation to cultural background and teachings on what’s appropriate for women in this regard. (Some of the more risqué costumes, particularly the ones involving a bold makeup look, elicited a few judgy looks, particularly from other young women in one class.)

Halloween is full of lots of risk, bad judgement, and creative genius in adolescence. I absolutely loved working on Halloween this year. Plus it was a Friday, which made it even more fun.

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