With the vibrant fiery-toned Ann Arbor leaves strewn more on the ground than in the trees, it is clear that one of college students’ most beloved holidays is fast approaching. Halloween, that sacred pagan holiday of dressing up like a monster and drinking to excess, arrives tomorrow in Ann Arbor, and while the Michigan campus does not draw over 65,000 trick-or-treaters like the University of North Carolina, which claims one of the biggest Halloween parties in the nation, chilly Ann Arbor still provides students with an opportunity to express themselves, and their inner demon — or angel — through costume.
For those of you who still haven’t decided on what costume to wear, or who are still looking for that one last touch — the coup de grace — that will set you apart, or at least make people notice you, there are a few simple guidelines to bear in mind. These are not overly childish suggestions like those doled out from the University a few weeks ago, guaranteed to get you laughed out of even a pre-school Halloween party, but rather a few simple maxims you should bear in mind while designing your costume to fit into any bacchanal celebration.
First and foremost among these guidelines is that everyone should feel free to express the inner slut inside of them. Halloween is an excuse to mask oneself and unleash all carnal lusts, regardless if one is actually wearing a mask. Anyone who has ever seen a college-aged girl walking around in the freezing cold with a short black mini skirt and claiming to be a “pussy cat,” has seen this first hand. The slutty pussy cat could be the most popular costume for young women, but it is not the only option afforded to those who want to dress a little more risque than usual. After all, what is Halloween good for if not for an excuse to dress in the way you normally cannot?
The obviousness of the slutty devil or the inherent sluttiness of the succubus and incubus cannot be overlooked, but how about bending the roles a little this Halloween and whipping out the ol’ slutty angel costume with the siren-song harp that leads certain lucky souls to heaven? Consider how many naked or scantily clad angels Western art has provided. Aside from these spiritual costumes, you and your friends could go out as a group of slutty Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, replete with a badolier of slutty merit badges rewarding nefarious activities. Think of all the fun you can have with a “Leave No Trace: Outdoor Ethics” or “Snorkling” badge, both offered by the Boy Scouts of America.
While “slutty” is by far the most prevalent adjective attached to costumes on All Hallow’s Eve, running a close second has to be “drunk.” In fact, the two often go hand in hand, with such examples like a slutty drunk Snow White or Pocahontas. Actually, if you follow these guidelines, fairy tale characters make just as good costumes as they did when you were only a few hands high. Disney has provided us with a healthy portion of characters that can easily be adapted to fit the level of drunkeness appropriate for the holiday. If you live with six other roommates you could always go as the seven drunk dwarves. While the drunken frat boy costume is only sometimes intentional, and mostly by those not involved in the fraternity system, you can keep with the Greek theme and go as a drunken toga-toting Greek god — Dionysus and the rest of the Pantheon would be proud.
Of course, if the prospect of being scantily clad and inebriated on the frigid Ann Arbor streets is not one you find overly appealing, you can always dress up as a pretty pink princess or some other tame costume. Just because you are free to unleash the slut inside yourself, doesn’t mean that you have to.
Halloween affords people the opportunity to break out of their everyday routine and have a good time. The tradition of dressing up and acting foolish is as much a part of Halloween as watching fireworks and parades on the Fourth of July. Halloween is the ultimate game of pretend, and should be enjoyed as such.
In honor of indulging in sultry sweets and in gratitude to our freedom of expression, Weekend Magazine wishes you a safe and happy Halloween.
— Charles Paradis and Rebecca Ramsey