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Crafting a Halloween Costume My Daughter and I Are Both Proud Of

Oct 31, 2017

There are grown-ups who put genius-level thought into Halloween costumes. Come October, crafty concepts are brought to life with theatrics that rival small budget productions. Then there’s me. Every few years, I put minimal effort into a last-minute costume sufficient for work socials.

Horrifying to some, I know.


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The gore, the masks, the horror films — I’m just not into it. But this year a personal trainer friend of mine is holding a Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling party — now that I’m into! I liked the strong, sporty spin on the gruesome occasion. And so began my first earnest foray into Halloween costume creation...

Wonder Woman was an obvious choice. Too obvious.

Army sergeant; too done.

Cheerleader. Ugh — too boring.

I don’t know what she pictured, but I was thinking less Queen Elsa, more African monarch.

Trending characters from It and Stranger Things weren’t even on my radar. Remember, I’m more of a G.L.O.W. kind-of-girl.

I thought about breaking from character with a sultry or cheeky costume. Then I thought of cliché French maid outfits, sexualized cartoon heroines, and explaining my choice to my eight-year-old daughter.

Thinking out loud, I suggested a queen. “Yes, a queen!” my princess-loving girl beamed in delight.

I don’t know what she pictured, but I was thinking less Queen Elsa, more African monarch. I started referencing images of traditional queens, until a separate search yielded a newspaper article with costume considerations for parents.

I was stuck on mimicking icons and archetypes when in fact, this was a perfect opportunity to defy trends, manufactured images, and even reality.

Apparently, a Quebec school sent parents a notice outlining policies and suggestions of costume dos and don’ts. Cultural dress, among other politically incorrect choices, is not an appropriate costume. Fair enough. Regardless of being black myself, I decided to take another approach. It was the sentiment that followed — one word, actually — that shifted my thinking: imagination.

The writer criticized our overall lack of imagination. I realized that for whatever reason, I found it hard to let go and give way to fantasy. Confined by Capricornian-practicality perhaps, I didn’t think about dressing up as a rainbow or make-believe fairy princess like my daughter so naturally had.

I was stuck on mimicking icons and archetypes when in fact, this was a perfect opportunity to defy trends, manufactured images, and even reality. So, I’ve permitted myself to be abstract, nonsensical, and insolvable for a night.

I can’t wait to let loose in the thrift store. I’m picturing layers of shimmery fabric, jewels, maybe feathers, and outrageous adornments that can’t be explained. For frame of reference, think African-inspired with a whisper of Tim Burton and hint of Karl Lagerfeld.

It’s still just a vision but my daughter loves the idea. Now she wants me, not daddy, to go trick-or-treating with her. The honour!

Incidentally, the G.L.O.W. party plan has changed to a traditional Halloween soiree so, the original sporty wrestling spin no longer stands. This frees me up to wear a tighter, taller or grander outfit!


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How (and when) it all comes together remains to be seen. Though one thing’s for sure: I’m making my costume warm enough to withstand what’s sure to be a nippy Halloween evening trick-or-treating with my daughter. What can I say? A little practicality still haunts me.

And no, my daughter doesn’t want to be a princess. She wants to be a blue three-eyed monster.

Article Author Debbie King
Debbie King

Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Debbie is a multi-sport athlete, freelance writer, wife, and mother of one. As creator and author of SUPAFITMAMA, she leads the everyday extraordinary woman on a journey through fitness, health and cultural experiences in her hometown. Her stories and reviews are honest, witty and packed with professional insights. The subjects of body image, strength, beauty and community are common currents throughout her work. Debbie explores a range of healthy living topics for individuals and Canadian families, with a unique personal twist. Follow her on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter

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