November 6, 2008

Nevernudes, Ninja Turtles and the Sarah Palin Parade: The Great Halloween Costume Shake-Down

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Check it: Three girls, one room, two pieces of glitter felt. No do-overs. Leftover week-old weed brownies for the girl who bought her costume the week before. The “Super-Meeeee” super emblem making session was going according to plan, until R burned an iron shaped burn into R’s rug —
R: I don’t know how to explain what happened.
R: Why is your carpet made out of plastic?
– and we were consumed with desire for waffle fries and bacon.
R: WAFFLE FRIES!
We hoped our Super-Meeee costumes would be a vast improvement over last year’s quasi-social-commentarial “Sluts in White Tees” fiasco, which, as you may or may not surmise, consisted only of white tees.
And they were vast improvements at that. Amidst brownies and French fries and rug burns, we managed to pump out some exceptionally excellent emblems.
R: No! Say first-class crests!
R: It’s like we’re wizards of language!
R: You know, “word” is “wizz-ord” in ebonics.
Which, equally inappropriately, reminds us of the many miscreants sporting black face on Halloween night. This got us thinking… What makes it OK to sport blackface on Halloween? What makes this night different from all other nights?
R: All other nights we sit upright but tonight we rest on pillows?
R: I love it when you teach me about Pesach!
R: Well I love it when you teach me about terrorism!
…But we digress. We were under the impression that Halloween is like a free pass to be super silly. Unlike all other nights, the super slutty become super cute, the super offensive become super witty, and regular Mes become Super-Mes. With their boobs out.
R: Only a little.
R: Who are you kidding?
But it’s OK. It’s OK to let the twins out, or wear just underwear out, or wear blackface (if you’re jocking Mr. T. and not Mr. President-Elect Obama.) Apparently it’s even OK to nonchalantly bare one’s ENTIRE ASS THE NEXT MORNING STROLLIN’ DOWN COLLEGE AVE. FOR A SANDWICH. What the fuck was that about?
But ass-girl is not a slut. The slutty nurse is not a slut. And those who were later deemed the “Super Boob Twins” by a certain Sun Arts Editor are certainly not sluts either. This is a night about shaving cream fights, the dead coming alive to haunt us in our sleep, candy and most importantly about being someone, or thing, or place that you’re not without being judged for it.
But for the purposes of this column, we’ve decided to judge you anyway! For those fantastically creative individuals out there who sported truly unforgettable guises, we salute your efforts and ingenuity in list form:

To “Pride,” for her inventive twist on a tired classic,
To “Mr. T” for his commitment to character,
To “Tobias Funke,” for paying homage to the great god of body paint and cutoffs,
To “Franzia Box,” for paying homage to a great drink,
To “Bus,” for paying homage to an environmentally friendly mode of transportation,
— and let’s not forget those cunningly convincing “cops” who showed up at Alpha Delt to ruin our Halloween fun. A bit too believable guys!
Unfortunately, not everyone was at their most impressive. The continual string of generic occupational slut costume was disappointing, and not to rain on the Sarah Palin Ninja Turtle Parade, but come on.
R: What happens when you put a turtle and a Sarah Palin in a tent?
R: Everyone loses.
They lose indeed. And then there are those misguided quasi-political statement costumes gone awry, such as the girl who donned a bikini top and cutoffs with “McCain” printed across the ass, claiming to be a “Republican.” Seriously. Come on.
So though we may give accolades to those whose creativity wowed us, and admonish the boring, expected and at times offensive choices of others, we celebrate everyone’s effort to break out of their everyday selves a little bit. That’s what makes Halloween night different than all other nights; it’s perhaps the one night each year when you can embrace the opportunity to be whoever or whatever you want to be.
R: Next Halloween I want to be Ann Veal!
R: Ann? Her? …Really?

Rabia Muqqadam and Rachel Gevirtz are juniors in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Agricultural and Life Sciences, respectively. They can be contacted at rcm47@cornell.edu. All The Characters Are Fictional appears alternate Thursdays.