Where Is The Costume Spirit?
by Bridie Blake
Violet Hayes loves Halloween. It reminds her of happier times in her childhood when she and Rose would get dressed up together and go trick or treating around the neighbourhood. It reminds her of a time when her parents were still together and she wasn’t the one holding the family together. But she also loves it because she can don a costume and transform into someone else. A character. She gets a night off from being who she is. A sad, lonely, lost girl. And a costume does that. You can wear it like a mask; a shield. Behind the costume and makeup the real you is hidden. If only for a few hours.
That got me thinking about writers and the characters we create. Do we use them as our costumes?
Do we try and hide behind them? And then I realized that was going into territory that’s far too deep
for me. I can only do deep after a few glasses of wine! So I went back to thinking about costumes. I love them. Throw a costume party, and I’m there. Unfortunately for me, not everyone else is as costume mad as me.
I went to a cocktail party the other week and it was superhero themed. Pretty cool, right? Wrong. Do you know how hard it is to find a cool female superhero costume in Australia? And one that doesn’t cost a fortune? Near impossible. Unless you want to go as Batgirl, Wonder Woman or Supergirl. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to be the only one in my costume of choice. I looked online, searching through dozens of websites that all sold the same costumes, just at different prices and sometimes different materials. Money was a bit tight at the time so in the end I gave up, caved and went as Batgirl; pulling together things from my wardrobe and borrowing what I didn’t have.
Luckily for me a friend made me a couple of bat logos covered in glitter and if there’s glitter, all is
right in the world. So, happy with my costume, I went to the party only to find that less than half the people there were in costume. And of those, most were just in a superhero t-shirt. Disappointing!
A few years ago I threw a ‘come as your favourite character’ party. Great idea I thought. The scope
was huge. You could literally come as anyone from a book, movie, TV show. The world was your oyster. I, being a major Gleek at the time, went as Rachel Berry. I went all out with the outfit, even
styling my bangs just like her and I expected everyone else to do the same. Most did. Two turned up
wearing a sign that said ‘Extra’. True story.
Where’s the costume spirit? Where’s everyone’s inner child? Where’s everyone’s inner Violet?
Bridie lives, daydreams and writes in Melbourne, Australia. She’s happiest at her computer, coffee in hand, Tim Tams on standby and her furry companion Poppy at her feet. When not writing she’s usually found with a book in her hand or playing with her tribe of nieces and nephews Discover more about her at www.bridieblake.com,
https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBridieBlake or @BridieBlake on Twitter!
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