Responseto #1: Examples of costumes observed during Halloween
Inthe United States, one of the distinctive characteristic of Halloweenis usually seen in the kind of costumes that people wear. The type ofcostume that one wears can be used to predict their gender, class,nationality, profession and hobbies. I observed different kinds ofcostumes. For example, there were those who dressed in Superman,ghost, pirates, ninjas, skeletons and pumpkin attires. Additionally,there were those who looked like Vampires, clowns, Batman and HarleyQuinn among many others. From an individual`s perspective, most ofthese costumes were based on folkloric or frightening supernaturalbeings. Only a few people differentiated themselves by putting oncostumes that were associated with famous media personalities.
Responseto #2:Howdid costumes vary between men and women or boys and girls?
Sincethere is usually a lot of disguise during Halloween, it can be veryhard to differentiate men from women. However, if one looks at thetwo groups critically, there are some distinct attributes that areonly associated with particular sexes. The first difference betweenmen and women costumes was seen in the amount of fabrics that eachgroup used. Women generally used fewer fabrics compared to men. Forthose costumes that had buttons, for men they were placed on theright-hand side while for women, they were on the left. From myobservation, it was evident that mostwomen preferred bright and colourful costumes while men opted forscary and less coloured ones. It was also clear from my observationthat most men associated their Halloween clothes with power and pridewhile for women, costumes were supposed to show personal beauty(Seinfeld, & Bennett, 2012).
Responseto #3: Whatsimilarities do you see in each of the men’s costumes?
Althoughduring Halloween most men prefer wearing distinct costumes from eachother, it is evident that there are also a lot of similarities. Forexample, it was clear that most men preferred costumes that coveredmost parts of their bodies. Examples of such costumes included thebatman and superman attires. Additionally, some also preferred ninja,ghost, and vampire costumes which also covered significant sectionsof their bodies. Additionally, men in generally preferred dullcolors. Lastly, it was evident that most of the costumes that wereworn by men depicted power and strength. Men preferred to disguisethemselves as ghosts and other scary creatures.
Responseto #4:Whatsimilarities do you see in each of the women’s costumes?
Women’scostumes were quite different from those of men. For example, thefabric that was used to make most of the women`s costumes were‘small,` and revealed most of their body. Irrespective of the typeof costume that women had chosen, the theme was to become visuallyattractive. Their costume depicted the kind of society that womenlived. For example, a majority of women’s costumes depictedfeminism because they did not show strength and power. It was evidentfrom my observation that women depended on men. Women preferredbright costumes.
Responseto #5: Whatexamples do you see of gender stereotyping?
Genderstereotyping refers to the generalization of attributes, differences,and characteristics on a particular group based on their gender.Gender stereotyping tends to discriminate a particular group ofpeople because they are usually considered as outcasts if they do notconform to the society`s expectation (Conley,2011).The most evident gender-based stereotype was that for women to havethe best costumes, they needed to have a male counterpart who alsodressed in a similar way. From what I observed, although some maleswore unique costumes, women preferred being in groups or with a malepartner. There was also another common notion that women should wearsexy and revealing dresses to look pretty and attractive. There wasalso a common belief that belief that men should avoid anything thatis considered feminine.
Responseto #6: Whatexamples do you see of gender stereotype-breaking?
Althoughcostumes are an integral part Halloween traditions, they are alsosusceptible to change. From what I was able to observe, there weresome happenings which showed that gender stereotype was breaking. Forinstance, there were some costumes which showed female power. A goodexample of this was the superwoman costume which many ladiespreferred. Additionally, most costumes indicated a decline in malechauvinisms. Unlike in previous Halloween celebrations were therewere many male costumes, this time, there was some balance.
Responseto #7:Whatage level do you see the beginning of gender stereotypes in Halloweencostumes?
Genderstereotyping begins in Halloween costumes at an early age in lifebecause, during this time, children are given different attires whichare specific to their genders. The resultant impact of this is thata child’s gender is likely to be instilled in him or her from anearly age. Additionally, girls are usually encouraged to refrain fromdressing in horror costumes. As one grown up, gender stereotype takescourse, and this affects their clothing preferences all through theirlives (Boas,2016).This is true because as one grows up, he or she is expected toconform to certain standards.
Boas,E. M. (2016). Education in disguise: sanctioning sexuality inelementary school Halloween celebrations. SexEducation, 16(1),91-104.
Conley,D. (2011). YouMay Ask Yourself.New York: Norton.
Seinfeld,J., & Bennett, J. (2012). Halloween.Boston: Little, Brown.