Last weekend I took my teenage daughter shopping for a Halloween costume. Sigh. Just that first sentence can cause anxiety for many parents: overpriced skimpy outfits designed to make your sweet girl look like a stripper. The trip was my idea, as too many years in a row she's left her costume choice to the last minute. One year she was certain she was going to be a goth nerd, had it all planned out. Then two days before Halloween she asked me to find her a bee costume.
Plenty has been written about the trampification of Halloween, so I checked out Party City's website for what they thought were appropriate costumes for girls. Looking under the "Careers" category, I thought I'd find doctors or athletes. Instead I found:
"Cupcake Cutie"--What do you suppose that pays?
"Miss Demeanor"-- I have heard of career criminals, but they say crime doesn't pay.
And one of the more modest costumes from the Teen section, "Crystal Ball Gypsy"--Now here's a career choice I'd never considered, perhaps because I clearly don't have the chest for it. (And where's her crystal ball?)
My younger daughter is easy--she always wants to dress as something creepy, anything as long as it's not "cute". We'd gotten her costume (from Party City, I might add) weeks ago. Zomberina, hopefully not a career choice, but not too skanky, either.
So my older daughter and I went the local thrift shop to get ideas for her. The problem is that while she's a teen girl and wants to fit in, she's also sort of a braniac bookworm so she wants to dress as something interesting. She'd thought of going as a character from one of her favorite book series, Divergent by Veronica Roth, but it's not an easily recognized costume. Last year she went as Katniss from The Hunger Games and all day at school people asked why she hadn't dressed up.
When we couldn't find anything else she liked, she decided on going for her first idea. I pointed out that she'd spend all day explaining to people what she was supposed to be. "Well," she said, "I'll just tell them I'm a Dauntless member from Divergent. And then I'll tell them to try reading the book."
You gotta love a self confident bookworm.
This is basically what she's wearing to school today, with the Dauntless "tattoo" on her forearm:
Looking cool and promoting literacy--it's what Halloween is all about.