By Gabby Teachey and Gauri Nair
When it comes to Halloween, celebrities have never failed to go over the top with their elaborate costumes. Halloween is celebrated every year on the night of Oct. 31. It was originally an event where people would gather to honor the deceased and it has now turned into an American tradition where communities come together, dressing in costumes with kids running around collecting their favorite candy.
The most noticeable aspect of Halloween are the costumes where people are able to get creative with their show stopping looks. Celebrity rapper Lil Nas X took his to the next level, using prosthetics and digital designs to enhance his features into that of Lord Voldemort from Harry Potter. The great efforts put into making his elaborate look come together cost a lot of money and work, requiring a huge creative team including high-end SFX artists, photographers, prop makers, retouchers, digital designers, and makeup artists. From the clothes, to the prosthetics, to the makeup and the props, it’s clear a lot goes into these outfits. A topic of discussion has sprouted from these costumes asking the question: is celebrities spending large sums of money on things with little to no value a practical use of their money?
Mt. Hebron junior Mahika Vedire answered this stating, “If it’s not harming anyone and that’s something he wants to do then go for it. It’s his money and he earned it.” While some may agree that celebrities can do what they please with the money they earned, others may have opposing views.
Mt. Hebron junior Michelle Leibrowitz is one of those people, stating, “I feel like they could spend their money on something more important like donating to charity.” This viewpoint comes from the idea that celebrities should put their money toward a more meaningful cause. A perfect embodiment of this is the well-known singer Katy Perry.
Katy Perry has always been open about her views on social and political issues. This year, she dressed up as a syringe, along with her actor husband Orlando Bloom, who stayed in theme dressing as a doctor. The idea behind this costume was to encourage fans to get vaccinated.
The pop icon of the 2010s no doubt has a big influence over younger generations, with junior Mahika Vedire saying, “Sometimes I feel like people will listen to their favorite popstar over health officials. So if they see Katy Perry doing it then they’ll want to do it too.”
Junior Ellin Jeon agreed, saying, “I think it’s a good way for people who don’t understand the situation as well, like younger people, to understand what’s going on and how they can help.” By Katy Perry using this opportunity to promote an issue she feels strongly about, it may influence other celebrities to use their platform for the better.
Another celebrity who used this Halloween season to share a part of themselves that they value is singer and songwriter Camila Cabello. This Halloween, she focused on the Mexican tradition of dressing up for Dia de los Muertos, translating to Day of the Dead. Camila and her celebrity boyfriend Shawn Mendes both wore skeleton-like make up and colorful clothes to celebrate the Mexican holiday. The couple shared their romantic moment of dancing to traditional mariachi music on social media. This post caused some speculation, claiming Shawn Mendes was appropriating traditional Mexican culture, but others saw his costume as an effort to appreciate rather than ridicule.
Vedire again lent her opinion, stating, “I think there’s the aspect of if they are understanding of what the culture is and not making fun of it or mocking it and respecting it, then it’s fine to some extent.” This stems from the issue of many people using Asian culture as an aesthetic and misrepresenting the culture.
Mahika touches on this subject stating, “We have seen issues of celebrities appropriating Asian cultures and having no understanding of the culture and sexualizing it or representing it in a disrespectful manner. But Shawn and Camila seem to be being respectful. And since Camila is Hispanic she can educate Shawn about her culture and tell him everything it’s about.” There’s a clear difference between appropriation and appreciation, and ultimately it is up to those who are a part of the culture to decide what’s appropriate and what’s not.
The basis of the holiday is not to induce harm, but with all the elements it can be tricky. Halloween is the one time of year people can dress without the pressures of society, and with that brings creative freedom, which opens a door of opportunities. Opinions that normally would be hidden are unleashed for the world to see, all of which come together to make this holiday so beautiful.