It’s that time of year when thousands of people, adults and kids alike, search for “the perfect outfit” to wear to celebrate Halloween. But why does this appeal so much to us? What is it about dressing up that makes us so giddy?
1. It allows us to be someone else. In fact, we can be whoever we want. We can wear a mask, cake on makeup, wear an outfit we might never wear otherwise. We get to escape judgement.
2. We can tap into our dark or naughty side. Almost every person has different personas within themselves. Some might refer to it as wearing “different hats”. We are one person at work, a different person with our children, with our spouse, with our friends, etc. By wearing an “evil” costume, we get to tap into that dark side of us that we have been taught is “inappropriate” to express. By dressing “sexy” we get to tap into that naughty man or woman we often have to keep hidden in public.
3. We can face our fears. Dr. Carole Leiberman, a psychiatrist on the clinical faculty at UCLA, reported that some people might dress up as something they are afraid of, such as clowns, in an effort to feel our fears have been conquered.
Halloween allows us to be whatever and whomever we desire for evening. But it doesn’t have to be for just one night. Thousands of people go to Renaissance festivals throughout the year, throughout the country. People dress up for comic and other conventions. And finally, many couples enjoy role playing as a way to tap into their hidden selves and spice up their sex lives. Costumes aren’t just for Halloween if you don’t want them to be.