When I was younger, I thought that when attending a costume party, I had to fit the role. Being brown meant that my options were limited and therefore, I usually ended up being Jasmine or Pocahontas, because how can a girl like me dress up as Snow White or Belle. The school kids would have had a lot of fun with that.
Then it hit me. Dressing up literally means becoming something that you are not. I may be brown, but am I princess who falls in love with a street boy that pretends to be a prince? No. So if that isn’t true, why should anything else be? You can be whoever you want to be (but be mindful of cultural appropriation).
- It was high school and we were tasked to dress up as “When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grow up?” Or something along those lines. I was in matric (final year) and a bit nervous, but I thought I would go out with a bang.
GO GO POWER RANGER
This costume was easy, because I hired it and it fit like a glove, no DIY necessary, no shopping around. A simple hire. I always knew I was meant to be a Power Ranger, I know this in my heart. I also won third place. First place was an insanely accurate Zohan (RIP Jared, you were a wonderful person), second place was Captain America and then there was me.
- Later on, I celebrated my 18th birthday party in the most self-centred way ever. Dress up as something beginning with a S H A M E E Z. (Original, yes). We had a wonderful variety of costumes: Miss World, Sherlock, Minnie Mouse, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe, Zorro, Zoolander and me…
Once again, the costume was hired (at the exact same place), I just had to practice my superhero pose (it wasn’t very good). Years later, my boss at Converse asked me to wear this costume to promote the new Superhero range we received. We sold a lot of shoes that day, because a parent is incapable of stopping their kid from running towards Super Girl.
- I attended a 90s themed party and in a last minute rush, pulled out all the black clothing I had and went as Wednesday Addams, the husb complimented me by dressing up as Lurch.
This again, was an easy one, so much so that there was another Wednesday at the party. All you need is a black dress, with a white shirt underneath and be sure to plait your hair in two plaits. Oh and you know the saying “You are never fully dressed without a smile”? It does not apply here.
Lurch was even easier, aside from already being a very big man, he just needed a suit and some dark circles around his eyes.
- The lovely Nat hosted a costume party, fictional themed, come as any character from a movie, series, game, whatever! I was a bit reluctant to go all out, she’s a popular gal and I knew I would not know most of her friends. What if I was only one who dressed up? (This is a valid fear which will be elaborated on later on).
Ah hah! Then it hit me, something subtle, but very fun.
This costume did take a bit more effort. I printed these, cut, fold, glue and voila, the perfect green plumbob. I went to the party store and bought one of these, pulled off the fluff ball and glued the plumbob to it. To add some pizzazz, I made some signs for positive and negative interactions, oh and a love one for whenever I spoke to my husband (puke, we’re so lame, but also cute).
Plus, I am fluent in Simlish, oh feebee lay, whippna choba dog, araganda!
Before you reconsider our friendship, I will stop here. Watch this space for Part 2 (and perhaps a Part 3, 4 and 5, we’ll see)
Shameez, the power ranger