by Becca Adleberg, M.Ed
Halloween has always been my favorite. Beginning October 1st, I consider spooky season officially upon us, and my clients see me in all of my glory. We’re talking spooky sweaters, pumpkin pants, glow-in-the-dark earrings, you name it. Then comes the penultimate day of Halloween. My home is always filled with little candy bowls in anticipation of trick-or-treaters or coworkers who need a little boost in their day. And of course, there’s my yearly costume, which I most likely came up with months ago, and wear with pride.
I make most of my costumes; the sparkles are sewn into each piece of fabric with love and care. Each piece I create proudly accentuates the body that I have and love. All of its curves and edges, painted with makeup and textures, transform me into whatever hilarious or glamorous creation I want. It looks even better after eating a pail full of my nephews trick-or-treat candy (I let him keep most, but hey, he’s 3, so I can still tell him sour is “spicy” and eat it).
Still, despite all the fun of this glorious holiday, it can be hard to feel confident in costumes when social media tells us we need to look a specific way. It can be even harder when influencers encourage us to achieve these looks by not eating candy or sweets.
This Halloween, I hope we can all strive to feel confident in our costumes and grounded in our bodies even after a few extra treats.
I follow the ideology of body positivity, believing that we all deserve to celebrate how we look regardless of the patriarchal society. Who cares if the character you are trying to emulate is supposed to be a size 0 and you are a size 8? If you feel good, go for it! Or maybe you are afraid it will be “too revealing” or “too scandalous.” Costumes do not equal consent! Only you own your body, and you get to decide the rules for what to put on it.
The same goes for the things you put into it, which should be extra sweet or sour this Halloween! Candy is not the enemy. If you are inclined to have some sweet treats- go for it! There should be no shame or compensation needed for celebrating.
Before the evening of festivities arrives, I encourage you to practice offering kindness to yourself in your costume. Stand in front of the mirror and say things about yourself that you like! It may be hard at first, but continued exposure to being nice will help ease that discomfort. Worried about what others might say? Remind yourself that at the core of this experience is YOUR body and YOUR costume, and whatever you wear should only matter to YOU.
The same goes for eating candy. Give yourself the space to acknowledge that it tastes good and that it’s okay. Avoid counting or checking calories and instead engage in mindful eating. While eating your favorite treat try to notice all the senses to enhance and enjoy the thing you are eating. With these tools, we can stay grounded in our bodies, allowing us to own our choices and feel confident.
Comparison is the thief of joy, so stay focused on how you are- a badass!