Stepping Into Character and Acting Out

Halloween is the one time of year we get to throw caution to the wind and become someone other than our ordinary selves. After weeks of anticipation, we don our masks and set out for a night of (hopefully) harmless mischief. 

Growing up, I loved the idea of putting on a little witch’s hat or vampire fangs that were far too big for my mouth. I buzzed at the thought of walking around my neighborhood with my jack-o-lantern and ending the night with enough candy to send myself into a coma. Nowadays, the excitement is still there—albeit rooted in something entirely different. In 2023, Halloween is a time to let loose and forget about whatever twenty-something-year-old problems are plaguing me. This shift begs the question: why do we relish acting out of character on Halloween? 

I’m definitely guilty of being sat down on the morning of November 1st by friends and reminded of my actions the night before. When confronted with the perceptions of ourselves that others hold of us, it’s easy to say that we feel embarrassed at the very least. However, it’s a bald-faced lie to say there isn’t a twinge of satisfaction with ourselves in those moments. I’m going to challenge the notion that we act out on Halloween. We’ve all heard that drunk words or actions are sober thoughts. Halloween is an even more powerful intoxicant that gives us an excuse to act on our deepest desires. On October 31st, there’s no need to worry about how you’ll be perceived. It’s Halloween; it’s just a costume—just a character. It’s not really you. You didn’t press that random guy from your history lecture up against a wall; sexy Patrick Bateman did.

It’s liberating to act out of character by stepping into character. I’ll be the first to admit that there are some days when I would literally rather be anyone else. Halloween is God’s gift to young adults who just need a fucking break. It acts as a temporary escape from the seriousness of life. It reminds us that it’s perfectly okay to get a little wild and explore the unknown. So, when the opportunity arises to be someone other than the person others expect you to be, why not revel in the freedom it brings?

This year, I’ve been saying I’m dressing up as Betty Boop because “my hair will probably never be this short again.” Bullshit. I just want an excuse to wear a sexy red dress and flirt with people that I probably shouldn’t. In the past, I never would have admitted to this. It goes against what I want others to think of me. This year, I’m done with the charade. I’m twenty years old. It’s my right to be sexy. 

This Halloween, don your costumes and step into the out-of-character parts of yourself. Forget about what everyone else thinks. Forget about what you think of yourself. Be free and have fun. 

Just make sure your actions don’t have consequences that haunt you into the next Halloween season.

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