Halloween Costume Subtext: A Chronology

Costumes in list. Subtext in description.
  1. Ages 0-7: Ballerina. (Or Princess.)
    I 💗 gender norms! They are what I've been handed and I don't question them! La la la.
  2. Age 8: Scarlett O'Hara
    Mom's idea. I have no idea who this person is. Being a Southern belle in a sea of bed sheet ghosts terrifies me, but here I am. A pleaser in a hoop skirt. Somehow it feels okay to stand out when I'm pretending to be somebody else.
  3. Age 9: Cleopatra
    Powerful women are awesome! FYI October in Connecticut is not ideal for chiffon pants and a bare midriff. I refuse a coat *because I love my costume.* This is the last time I'll wear something so revealing without any understanding of sexuality or objectification.
  4. Age 10: Corn
    Martha Stewart lived nearby and I got to be in her magazine with some neighborhood kids. She was very nice, and it was a great costume. I almost caught on fire.
  5. Age 11: Samantha Saves the Day
    My BFF's dress as Meet Molly, Meet Samantha, Kirsten Saves the Day and Kirsten's Surprise. We're an exclusive clique and we have this American Girls thing on lock.
  6. Age 12: the Devil.
    Devil is classic! Why is everyone so concerned with being cool?
  7. Age 13: a Witch.
    Witch is classic! Why is everyone so concerned with being cool?
  8. High School: No costume.
    Guys? BE COOL. People who like "fun" don't even understand, like, how deep life actually is.
  9. College: As little clothing as possible.
    Sex! Liberation! Mystery! Boundaries! Discovery!
  10. Age 23: Marilyn Monroe
    I'm fun AND political! (My friends and I went as "women who love John(s)." Kerry lost the election a week later.)
  11. Age 25: Harpy
    If it's based in mythology, it makes the torn fishnets highbrow... right?
  12. The rest of the 20s: Sexy Devil
    I'm beginning to resent the sexualizing of women on Halloween but I'm doing it anyway because it's my default mode and that says a lot but whatever.
  13. 2010: Marla Singer
    Finally, an outfit that looks on the outside the way I feel on the inside.
  14. 2011: The 99%
    Last minute costume that's topical and warm. I'm prioritizing topical and warm over eye-catching and pretty.
  15. 2013: Charlie Chaplin
    I'm over women being sexualized on Halloween. I'm so over it that I'm going to be a man.
  16. 2014: Masquerade
    How is this different from the masks we wear each day? (See what I did there?)
  17. 2016: Unicorn
    I'm exhausted and this feels like pajamas. Goodnight.