For people who look different Halloween is one of the worst times of the year, after Valentines Day, especially those who are facially disfigured. For ‘normal people’ they will never know how it feels for someone to dress up to look like you do on a daily basis in order to scare people at Halloween, then describe their ‘costume’ as horrific or a monster.
I’ve been told on many occasions that I look like a monster or I look so ugly that I don’t need to wear a mask at Halloween. People think that because it is Halloween they can be as offensive as they like. I would never go out in public on Halloween, I might go to a house party but I would never go out in town or anywhere public because the comments and looks I would get would crush me, it would take me weeks to recover emotionally (and I might punch someone).
Every year I see people dressing up as a ‘burn victim’ and see myself, I look like that or used to look like that. People can tell me that they are not dressed up as me in particular (of course I know that, I am not that self obsessed) or not to be so sensitive or to get a sense of humour as much as they like but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. Believe me it is not as much fun having to look like that every day. Now I am fully aware that 95% of people do not mean to be offensive, they just don’t think about it but it is still offensive and it hurts. At the end of the day I am human and I have to walk around every day with burns, I am discriminated against and looked down on as a result so to make light of that is just cruel.
Dress up as a super hero, a celebrity, an animal not a group of people who are treated so badly by society it is bullying plain and simple, it may not be intentional but that doesn’t matter. It is possible to have a good time without being offensive. Just last week I read about a group of students that dressed up as the survivors of the Smiler rollercoaster accident for a pub crawl missing limbs and all. Two girls lost their legs in that accident, how did anyone think that is appropriate?! This incident just demonstrates the lack of empathy that people have towards others who have been through a traumatic incidents or those who are different to them. Is the 5 minutes of attention you get for having a cool costume really worth crushing someone else’s self esteem and putting their recovery back months, even years?
People seem to be willing to put themselves and their children in serious danger at Halloween. Fireworks and Bonfires are not toys, every year i hear about people, mainly children, blowing fingers or hands off as a result of fireworks or people falling into Bonfires, it is not worth it! Also a lot of people don’t seem to realise how dangerous Halloween costumes are they are very very flammable, stand near a candle and you can go up in seconds. You do not want to end up in the Burns Unit.
Please be careful or you may end up looking like a Halloween costume next wear, a costume you wont be able to remove on the 1st of November.