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Are couples Halloween costumes good or bad?

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno – The Sentry

They inhibit individuality

Opinion by Amanda Blackman

Halloween is the time for people to express their individuality by dressing up as their favorite character. Instead of being endearing, couples costumes cause one individual’s preferences to be amplified and the other repressed. Additionally, it reinforces the stigma that a couple must coordinate costumes as well as repeat the same costumes year after year.

Couples costumes don’t allow for relationship equality. Just because one person thinks that making a reference to a duo from a TV show would be the best option for their costume doesn’t mean that the other will agree. Both individuals in a relationship deserve to have their opinions respected.

The current social culture stresses the fact that any pair of individuals in a romantic partnership are required to have costumes that relate to one another. When a couple chooses to have Halloween costumes completely unrelated from one another, many people will bother the couple by asking them why they didn’t coordinate their outfits. In reality, having unrelated Halloween costumes allow for couples to express their own individual interests and support each other in them.

Many people agree that popular Halloween costumes in the past have perpetuated the oversexualization of non-sexy careers, like a sexy doctor and a sexy nurse. Couples costumes that follow this theme only serve to reinforce this.

The tropes of couples Halloween costumes, beyond being overly sexualized, have been overplayed and are, at this point, dull and cringeworthy. Every year, it can be counted on that party goers will run into a reference to Spongebob or The Office or even Pulp Fiction. There’s nothing wrong with the costumes, other than the fact that after years of reproduction, they’ve become stale.

Just because a couple chooses to not wear coordinating costumes does not mean that they are not in love. Love is not bound by an outfit on a single day. It is more loving to support personal decision making. Individual preferences matter, even in the most devoted of couples. Halloween is one of the few times a year that people can express their interests to such a degree. Couples’ costumes only inhibit a person’s ability to express their individuality.   

They’re part of the culture

Opinion by Sam Weigel

Halloween costumes have become an opportunity to emulate the iconic characters or aspects of a favored show, movie, or other piece of media. In this light, couples costumes take this emulation to a higher level.

Imagine, for instance, a Scott Pilgrim traipsing the dance floor of an All Hallow’s Eve party without his Ramona Flowers. This scene could be substituted with any duo of iconic characters—Lilo and Stitch, the couple from UP, even the Mario Brothers. 

The point is that the integrity of the costume is dependent on there being two people to fulfill each role. Therefore, the couple provides the ideal venue for these costumes to be realized. Not all costumes, certainly, but some absolutely require a couple in order to truly capture the Halloween spirit. 

Moreover, a couple’s costume is an expression of the youthful love between two individuals. Love is the most beautiful and human emotion of them all, and to celebrate this with the usage of a dichotomous costume is something of beauty. 

There is nothing sappier and lovelier than two people so entrenched in their own romance that they join each other wholeheartedly in the fantasy world perpetuated by the October enchantment. Without couples costumes in the Halloween lexicon, this slice of the romantic side would ultimately go overlooked. 

Yes, seeing a tacky peanut butter and jelly costume on a pair of strangers may seem like a cheap idea executed in a way that is simply uncomfortable. Same with any cringe-worthy innuendo outfit, which is nothing short of distasteful.   

There are plenty of couples costumes like this, but they do not exclude the purity of a wholesome costume between two people exploring their love between each other. They shout this love from the rooftops as they adorn the outfits of Sam and Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom and should be commended.

In essence, couples costumes ultimately play a significant role in the festivities of the Halloween season and are therefore tantamount to the celebration of the holiday. 

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