Happy Halloween! This year I’ve been up to my neck in work and anxieties…Feeling overwhelmed makes the smallest things feel impossible to do! Because of that, we very last-minute invited a few friends over to celebrate Halloween. I was pretty proud of what we all came up with in a day’s worth of prep: Dirt cups (chocolate pudding with Oreo crumbles) with headstones, peeled clementines with celery sticks inserted to look like pumpkins, cookies shaped like fingers with an almond fingernail, and banana ghosts with chocolate chip eyes and mouths (courtesy of Junwen)!
We’ve had fun dressing up in a theme together in the past. A couple years we’ve dressed up in Star Trek uniforms. Star Trek allows for you to dress up without having to match a particular character, since you can essentially go as yourself but dressed as an engineer, commanding officer, science officer, etc. It’s fun for Junwen, though, because he can dress as Sulu!
Because we’ve used the Star Trek theme several times, I wanted to do something different. It’s not that I think you have to physically resemble a character to dress up as him or her, but there is definitely a gravitation towards dressing as someone you can pull off. Sure, I could don a green dress and say I’m Arwen, but without the long dark hair the costume falls short. I feel therefore I make a much better Eowyn…and yes, I’ve dressed as her in the past. 😛 One of my friends and I (the Arwen to my Eowyn) have actually discussed that when reading books as kids, we gravitated toward the characters that matched our hair color…perhaps because it was easier to imagine ourselves as the character in the story?
But with that in mind, it can be a bit tricky to come up with a couple-costume-set that is designed for an Asian male and a white female (AMWF—an acronym we did not invent!). Thankfully, one of our favorite recent movies is Big Hero 6, which creatively merges San Francisco and Tokyo into San Fransokyo. Having just visited Tokyo when the movie came out, it was so much fun to see aspects of both cities throughout the movie—like the Golden Gate Bridge converted to include the Japanese “Gate” structure as the towers (so creative to merge the “Gate” theme! though probably lost among much of the audience—I wouldn’t have gotten the reference if I hadn’t just visited Japan!)
Another awesome thing about the movie (or should I say, the comics that it’s based on) is the seamless merger of interracial friendships, which actually reflects how I’ve experienced the West Coast to be like. Unlike most movies that focus on a White protagonist (see our previous post) —or, focus on an Asian protagonist because the story takes place in Asia (e.g., Mulan) and all characters are Asian— Big Hero 6 has an Asian protagonist who has Black, Asian, and White friends. Living in LA and working at UCLA where I think the student body is about 40% Asian, the population of San Fransokyo actually feels more realistic and normal to me.
Anyways, Big Hero 6 was the theme for our costumes this year, since Junwen could go as Hiro (he pretty much already owned Hiro’s wardrobe—no seriously, we didn’t have to buy him anything new), and I could go as Honey Lemon! This was doubly fun because Honey Lemon is a scientist, like me. ;-D So, although she’s definitely more of a girly-girl, I felt I could adequately channel her spirit…if only I could find her yellow dress and sweater! Thanks to the local thrift store, not only did I find her yellow dress and sweater, I found her white leggings and a yellow t-shirt I could cut up to make her headband. Her bright pink glasses were trivial to make—I just got pink duct tape and wrapped them around my old sunglasses after popping out the scratched lenses!
So what do you think, did we pull it off? 😉 What did you do for Halloween this year? Do you feel constrained to dress as a character that you can physically pull off (whether by race, hair color, build)? Or do you confidently become whomever you want to be? 🙂