I read an article this morning written by the ever humorous, Josh Gad. In it he discusses taking his daughter trick-or-treating and the lack of originality in the costumes of today. Now, I am sure that this does not apply to everyone out there, there are plenty of us still left with imaginations!
However, I understood everything he was saying. We are living in a superficial world, filled with hipsters and people who have become famous for simply being on a reality TV show. Mostly they have become famous for acting like complete asses, yet the majority of the population wants to emulate their behaviour.
It truly annoys me when there is something I have been doing for a good majority of my life and it suddenly becomes the “in vogue” thing to do. Or, people who are regurgitating craft projects out of 1970’s issues of Women’s Day and the rest of the blogging/magazine/book world is eating it up, like these people are so creative and originative!
I was raised in an innovative household and our costumes were always unique. Now, I’m not saying that there wasn’t the occasional witches hat bought, but my mom made the majority of our costumes. There are some costumes that stand out more than others, like the year I decided to be St. Lucia, just like Kirsten Larson, my American Girl Doll.
My sister and I were both altar servers at the church and so I borrowed a white altar server robe for Halloween. My mom tied a big red satin ribbon around my waist, braided my hair in two long strips and pinned them up in loops with more red satin ribbon and she stuck our advent wreath with battery operated candles on top of my head. My neighbour who was Swedish, loved this costume, I will never forget seeing his face when we came to the door, he was truly tickled. If we dreamt it, my parents would help us make it.
I’m not saying that all store bought costumes are evil. Maybe you just have to be Spiderman, or life wouldn’t be worth living if you couldn’t where your Supergirl cape and red boots and thats okay. But, we should be striving to raise individuals instead of children who follow the masses. We should be striving to raise children who know who they are.
Josh’s article taken from USA Today, is below:
Josh Gad vs. Captain America: One parent’s horror
I took my daughter trick-or-treating on Halloween, or “All Hallow’s Eve,” or “an introduction to diabetes.” I dressed her up as Doc Brown fromBack to the Future and accompanied her as Marty McFly in head-to-toe denim paired with the mandatory orange puffy vest, which surprisingly is readily available at every major retailer. I also taught her a Pavlovian response for when residents opened their doors: “Great Scott!”
Feeling enormous pride in my 2-year-old’s bold costume choice, we ventured out into the Los Angeles fog and rang the first doorbell. A young woman and her two little boys wearing matching Captain America outfits looked at my daughter in confusion. “I don’t get it,” one Captain said to the other. “She’s Bruce Banner,” the other said. Patting the children on the head, the mom said, “She’s a doctor, like Dr. Izzy. That’s our pediatrician.” I wanted to grab the mother by her Prada leg warmers and say: “My daughter is not dressed as your darned pediatrician. She’s Doc Brown. The same Doctor Emmett Brown who sent McFly back to 1955 on Oct. 26th, 1985.”
But before I could get the words out, 10 kids dressed up as Marvel characters (two Thors, three Iron Mans, four Hulks, and one Samuel L. Jackson’s eye-patch character) all showed up to much fanfare. As I left the McMansion, I looked around and found myself in Biff Tannen’s alternate 1985. In this bizarro world of Halloween, everyone was either a Disney princess, a Marvel superhero or one of the homicidal children from The Hunger Games. I couldn’t believe it. What happened to originality?
When I was a child, my mother dressed me as King David from the Old Testament. I literally had a 2,000-year head start on any other kid in the neighborhood. My brothers dressed as Ferris Bueller and Ronald Reagan. Granted, that was the ’80s, a simpler time. But by 6 years old, if I had seen someone else wearing the same costume, I would have had a conniption and demanded to go home and start from scratch. Now, we have two boys in the same house both dressed as Captain America? At least make one of the boys the Winter Soldier! Let them fight it out on the doorstep, and whoever wins gets the large Reese’s double-chocolate-cream-filled, Katniss Everdeen-shaped candy bar.
But upon further reflection, as two people passed by my denim-on-denim outfit and said, “Oh, he’s dressed up as a dad having a midlife crisis,” it occurred to me. It’s not just our costume choices. It’s the way we live our lives. Uniformity has become the cool thing. We all have the same phones. We all dress the same way. We all made cronuts a thing even though we knew we were engineering something God never intended.
It has become unpopular not to agree or do that which is popular. Perhaps it is the advent of social media, which allows everyone to weigh in on a subject in 2.5 seconds. Or perhaps we have reached a tipping point where our relationship with the media has defined our culture because of its overwhelming presence in our lives. IfThe Karate Kid’s Ralph Macchio went to a Halloween party today, would he be too weary to do something as drastic as dress up as a shower curtain? For that matter, would the Cobra Kai do something as uncool as dress up as skeletons? Probably not. Ralph would be dressed up as Taylor Lautner in Twilight, and he’d have his butt kicked by a group of guys all dressed up as Robert Pattinson.
I think the path is clear. In order to reclaim our uniqueness, we must first reclaim Halloween, that night when we all illustrate how original we can be. So next year, when you’re looking at that princess outfit for your daughter, push it off to the side, pull out some old rags, a waistcoat and some trousers, and dress her up as Susan B. Anthony. She’ll hate you for the foreseeable future, but one day she’ll look back and say, “Now that was a cool costume.” After all, everyone knows Susan B. Anthony could kick Iron Man’s butt.