September 3, 2010, Newsletter Issue #307: What Your Halloween Costume Says About You

Tip of the Week

Look around the room at this year's Halloween costume party. What do everyone's costumes say about them? Psychologists say your Halloween costume actually says a lot about your personality. Experts say our costume choices aren't random, even if we think they are. Halloween, they say, is an occasion for people to either dress up as someone they love or would emulate or someone they hate and therefore want to mock. According to a report by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, psychologists offer the following explanations for the costumes you choose.

Sexy costumes: French maids, hot nurses or prostitutes can represent one's own repressed sexuality. They also can be healthy expressions of someone who is not very repressed. The increasingly popular "pimp and ho" characters may represent inner struggles between being pure or letting loose.

Celebrities: people may simply wish to display a knowledge of current events or share their interests. Or they may use them to express personality traits or social issues that are associated with the celebrity's image (sensuality, intelligence, power, corruption, rebellion, etc.).

Scary characters: zombies, vampires, skeletons and other monsters show our fascination with the macabre, the grotesque.

Innocents: fairies or princesses represent one's lost innocence or beauty, or a return to a safer and simpler time.

Animals: generally, animals represent strength, basic instincts, with other specific traits for specific creatures. For instance, cats are sensual, purring, soft creatures.

Comic/cartoon figures: clowns and the like represent whimsy, playfulness and youth. People want to leave their serious natures behind on this holiday.

Evil characters: evil costumes allow people to safely -- and even creatively -- express their dark side without guilt. Some people may use evil or aggressive costumes as a way (consciously or unconsciously) to alienate others, which indicate anxiety about intimacy and being vulnerable.

Powerful characters: Can express underlying feelings of helplessness and insecurity.

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