Where’s your shirt?


Photos from Halloween Pub always garner attention at The Medium office on publishing day. We crowd around the photo editor’s desk and gawk at the drunken moments and indecent costumes caught on camera.

The costumes always confuse me. The soccer referee outfit for girls—complete with low cut, striped halter top and mini skirt—makes an appearance every year. If a female ref ever showed up to a game dressed like that, I’m sure the players would pick significantly fewer fights on officiating. And I still don’t understand the costume for guys with the bowtie, naked upper half, and dress pants. Explanations are welcome; come find me in The Medium office.

I don’t mean to judge. Our years as university students are unique. We’re all young enough that we don’t have to be concerned with reputation and we’re all broke enough to excuse the lack of clothing on Halloween. I appreciate that so many students are comfortable and confident in their bodies.

Do we dress up—or down, rather—for Halloween because we genuinely want to show off some skin, or do we crave the attention?

Childhood is the truest time for Halloween. The algorithm was simple: the scarier the costume, the more candy that neighbours dump into your pumpkin bucket. Now the factors are slightly different, but the algorithm is more or less the same.

Around this time of year, the beauty community on YouTube pumps out videos on Halloween costumes and makeup tutorials, most of them showcasing skimpy Tinkerbell skirts and low cut firefighter vests.

I noticed one video on a make-up tutorial for a zombie bride costume, and not the sexy kind. It was very Mean Girls. The guru’s hair was frizzy, fake blood was splashed across her neck, and her face was painted to look bruised and hollow. I scowled at the image and bypassed the tutorial—there was no way I was going to look like that on Halloween.

Then I stopped myself. Every year, I comment on the strips of fabric that students wear as Halloween costumes. And I’ve done it too. Last year, I went to Halloween Pub dressed as a prisoner, but I doubt there are any prisons in North America where women suit up in tight striped dresses.

It’s not just girls that feel the pressure. The gym crew at this school sport suspenders, ties, chains—anything that will act as an accessory to their bare naked chests.

For those of you that don’t feel comfortable following the trend, don’t be deterred from going out for Halloween.


Stefanie Marotta