Have we come full circle yet? Costumes and masks have changed drastically over the years. Some of us smile at the memory of Cinderella and princess costumes, shining knights with cardboard swords, and furry bears. Of course, we’ve always had the witches and skeletons. That’s what Halloween costumes were about. The pumpkins and cornstalks still sport our gardens and porches, and the square in Hummelstown. But there’s a new look in both costumes and decorations that’s beyond spooky. We’ve had the webs, and now we have the spiders to go with them.
Vampires have been around for a while, thanks to Harry Potter. Perhaps Harry is somewhat responsible for the graphic costumes that are appearing. But with TV programs like House, which lets nothing to the imagination in the medical field, even Doctor Oz’s enlarged pictures of human organs seem mild. Having fun at Halloween should be the goal. In speaking to a neighbor down the street about the spider on his door, he expressed concern about today’s trends.
“I remember how we used to go to the neighbors’ houses. They would put a few pieces of candies in our hands, admire our costumes, and we’d be so happy.” Pointing to the creepy looking door, he added: “With two boys, seven and eight, that just won’t work now.”
A matter of concern to the Christian faith community is the increased trend toward inappropriate costumes from a moral standpoint. The Huffington Post, warns of “the most inappropriate Halloween costumes of all time” that are now appearing. They would probably make the witches in Salem blush. The Post reports, “From costumes that have no business being sexy to children’s costumes that could land them in foster care, there are over 60 completely inappropriate costumes . . . of which you should definitely steer clear.” This is a sad and shocking scenario for a so-called civilized culture.
When you open the door to the trick or treaters this year, don’t be surprised to find yourself looking into intestines that are painted on the stomach area of a costume. Or into a representation of brains on somebody’s head covering. Costumes are showing what we look like inside out. Interesting.
If a designer could illustrate what we are “inside out” what would others see when they are in our company? Would it be the basket of fruit that the apostle describes in Galatians, chapter five? (Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.) Or would the devilish thoughts that proceed out of an unregenerate, unsanctified life be projected?
What are Halloween costumes really saying about our generation today? Think about it.