Halloween Costumes and Body Image

Halloween: the time of year when we can all dress up as something we aren’t and play pretend for a night. When we were younger, it was about having the scariest costume, however with age the standard changes completely.

For girls, once we hit our late teens, it becomes a time for us to post a super good Instagram photo and hopefully get a lot of comments telling us how hot we look.

As you go through your feed looking at all your friends and acquaintances kill it, or look back on photos from last year, a thought creeps into your mind.

You want to look that hot. Can you look that hot?

Maybe you go to the gym a couple extra times the week before. But do you feel better? You put on your costume and your friends tell you you look AMAZING, and you smile and thank them. But you can’t stop looking in the mirror. You don’t feel amazing.

To some extent, almost every girl has issues with body image. How can we not? There are literally hundreds of different body types, and it’s easy to feel like we don’t have the right one. It’s harder in this generation because of social media - everywhere we go we have portable access to the profile of everyone from supermodels, to movie stars, to that one really fit friend who's willpower we wish we had. And it eats at us. We don’t notice, but over time we develop an image of how we think we need to look. It’s hard to get past it, and it’s hard to fully embrace how we look because we don’t consider our appearance the best option.

Halloween is great because we can dress up as whatever we want and whatever we feel comfortable in. But there’s a pretty high standard set among girls on how we should look on this one night.

And sometimes, a costume you’ve seen all over Pinterest doesn't look the same on your body as you expected it to. You want to be risky and show some skin, but how can you do that when you don’t feel comfortable in your own?

At the end of the day, an idea that’s hard to accept is that different body types are okay. Every body type is so different that even comparing them is nearly impossible. It’s like looking at things that are completely different and trying to come to a general consensus. There isn’t one. We are not all the same, and that’s okay. Despite how easy it is to use photos you see online as a goal for yourself, be mindful of the fact that there isn’t a body we are supposed to have. Embrace who you are and how you look, and accept that maybe if you don’t feel beautiful right now, someday you will, and so many other people do.

This Halloween season, don’t be scared to close the Snapchat stories and instead look in the mirror and find something you like about yourself. Because if you give yourself a chance, you’ll be surprised at what you see.

Just go out there and dance your heart out to the Monster Mash!