Thoughts on life after the PhD
Around this time of year I usually get annoyed with all the online and TV ads for Halloween costumes. Not because I dislike Halloween, but because it has officially become impossible to find women’s Halloween costumes that aren’t “sexy”. Even the KIDS’ costumes, for chrissakes. If you’re a dude you can be Frankenstein, a ghost in a goofy white sheet, or, I don’t know, a Wall Street exec with a great big bag of money. But if you’re a gal you’re pretty much limited to variations on the slut theme.
(There’s a YouTube joke ad for “Girls’ Costume Warehouse” that does a great send-up of this fact–you see the same model posing in a dozen different costumes while an old man narrates, “Sexy nurse! Sexy firefighter! Sexy vampire! Sexy 1930’s oil tycoon! Sexy Jesus! Sexy Abe Lincoln!”).
Luckily I managed to escape the sexy costume blitzkrieg and just had great Halloween experiences growing up, mostly because my mother actually made most of my costumes by hand. And they didn’t *look* cheap or hand-made, they looked awesome. I would tell her what I wanted to be–usually a favorite book or cartoon character–and she would find a way to make the costume. One year I said I wanted to be She-Ra. She proceeded to transform an old ballet costume into a shiny white top and skirt, complete with the little gold-and-jewel emblem on the chest. Shiny gold fabric became boot-covers and arm-covers, and some amazing combination of wire and felt was my little gold tiara. There was even a bright red cape! The year that I said I wanted to be Kira from The Dark Crystal I was sure she wouldn’t be able to pull it off, but of course she did. I had rubber elf-ears and a homespun tan dress and brown cloak. I loved that costume so much I wore it for months afterward.
One year she managed to turn my sister into a bright green inchworm, probably the cutest costume ever (I really wish I could upload pictures of all of these, but of course they’re buried in a box somewhere at home). One year I was an angel with sparkly wings and a halo that stood up on little wires. I think one year I was Spider-Man, or maybe that’s just because I have an old picture of myself wearing spider-man underoos and holding a plastic pumpkin. At some point my sister and I decided we wanted to rent costumes from Electric Ladyland, that crazy costume shop on South Congress, and we got identical circus performer outfits.
I know not everybody has the time to make handmade costumes for their kids or themselves these days, but at the very least I wish retail stores wouldn’t force women and pre-pubescent girls to dress like hookers. This year I’m thinking of dressing up as an unfinished dissertation (stick a few dozen pieces of paper to myself and voila!). Or maybe that mylar balloon from the Balloon Boy craziness, though I imagine plenty of people have me beat on that one. A friend mentioned that at a Cal Arts Halloween party a few years back there were about a dozen Andy Warhols. Which could have been even more fun if they’d all coordinated.
Thoughts on life after the PhD
tales of travel, research, and life
Just another WordPress.com site
WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.