Every year, no matter where you live in Britain, you can’t miss the period in January when all you hear is people constantly complaining.
Mainly complaining about the fact that it is no longer Christmas and that life is just back to normal.
I mean, of course, it is surprising every year when after New Year’s Eve in December, we wake up the next day and it’s January.
Who would ever have thought it – not like it happens every year or anything.
But it seems to be the norm that people get all bummed out in the post-Christmas period as it is the holiday people most enjoy.
Of course, eating way, way too much and being bought lots of things you don’t actually need in your life is generally quite a great time.
But, for me at least, the joys of Christmas don’t quite measure up to the creative phenomenon that is Halloween.
And I don’t mean the half arsed Halloween where you draw four lines on your face then stick on two cardboard triangles to a headband and call yourself a cat (or wear what you normally would with a plastic mask from Poundland).
What I’m talking about is Halloween at its most demanding and inspired.
And most students know that when you’re involved with a society and news gets out of a party, you’re gonna need to bring your A game.
The standard will be high and the pressure to impress will be higher.
But then you go to said party. Of course, the costumes are incredible, the decorations more so and the themed food is inspired.
But before you know it, it’s November.
The time for face paint, and fake blood, and morph suits, and top hats is gone and what you’re left with is your normal clothes on top of your regularly coloured skin.
The sight of yourself in the mirror bores you and your patchy multi-coloured sink just fills you with nostalgic sadness.
And this got me thinking about the whole concept of dressing up.
Why is it that we only get one day a year to be someone, even something, else?
There is the occasional fancy dress party that maybe one friend has one year in a moment of wasted optimism (this usually being met with one or two Jokers and the rest of the friends turning up in casual and claiming they came dressed as each other).
But I, for one, enjoy painting my face, I enjoy wearing something I wouldn’t in daily life and I enjoy not having to be myself for a couple of hours (this is maybe getting to close to auto-psychological analysis so I will move on).
So why isn’t this a more common thing, why can’t people walk around the streets dressed up without triggering people’s inbuilt xenophobia (again, maybe too deep, moving on quickly) and why isn’t there more ofan opportunity to just be purely creative with our appearances?
Unless you are an actor or make it a hobby to embody someone else (my hat does go off to cos-players and drag-queens and all the others who walk the streets proudly as other personas), there is such little opportunity for dressing up and leaving the stresses of your own life for a while.
I feel the opportunity should be more frequent to simply not be you.
Escaping our lives is what makes us appreciate who we are and what we have so much more when we return to ourselves.
I propose a monthly event of identity escapism where being ourselves is not compulsory and in which we are free to paint, dress and manipulate our way to being anything we want to be in that moment in time.
Why is it that identity operates on the grounds of “one per person” and “no swapsies half-way through”?
If Bruce Wayne can dress up on a daily basis, why can’t I?
by Stuart Graham
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