Pop-culture costume ideas for Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, so I’m sure there must be a question in many practicing parties’ minds about just what they are going to disguise themselves as when Oct. 31 (or all the “awesome” parties on the weekend before) rolls around.

Dressing up on Halloween actually began with an old Celtic ritual dating back to the origin of the holiday. People believed that around this time, demons and evil spirits were most rampant, so they’d dress up as witches and ghouls in order to frighten them away for a few more seasons and keep a few less people possessed. Later on down the road, after the Romans seized this druid festival and meshed it with their own, the Catholic church stuck their hands in it too and called the night Hallows Eve, a night where people would dress up as saints and honor them and the dead in a ceremonious manner.

Now the nature of Halloween has changed from less of a ceremony and into more of an honorific, month-long horror movie montage. The nature of pop culture through the ages has also changed the pool of costumes people pull from when the traditional witch or werewolf seems to be overplayed.

Putting together celebrity costumes can always be fun, and whether dressing up as Snooki is supposed to pay a homage to her or frighten her away, there’s something to be said about the lengths we go to mimic the various stars around us.

There are the Elvises of the ’50s, the Marilyn Monroes of the ’60s, Madonnas and Michael Jacksons from the ’80s, and who can forget the Katy Perrys, Justin Biebers, and the entire Jersey Shore gang that I personally have seen become very popular in the last few years?

Modern pop-culture celebrities also give people a new variety when choosing a costume. Before, you had celebrities who may have had a single iconic look, such as Marilyn and her white dress. However, it seems to have become an accessory of fame to have as many alter egos as possible nowadays.

Say you want to dress up as Lady Gaga, but you’re not digging the “Just Dance” or “Poker Face” look with the bleached-blonde wig and electric-colored, bedazzled accessories. No problem! You also have “Bad Romance” Lady Gaga with the cartoon enlarged eyes, “Born this Way” Gaga with alien cheekbones, “You and I” Gaga involving a James Dean impersonation, and heck, there’s even her alter ego “Yui,” the green-haired mermaid from the same video. There are endless, obscurely differing possibilities.

Besides celebrity impersonation, there’s also the dominating movie and game culture that may have changed the traditional costumes.

Twilight has now classified a vampire costume as not just a long black cape and pair of fangs, but also the the option of rolling around in a puddle of glitter and donning a pair of topaz contacts. Portraying zombies is not merely a slow corpse-like gait with the occasional mutter of “brains.” There is now the persona of souped-up viral mutant attacking the first sign of flesh it senses in order to spread its pestilence. Even wardrobes for witches and wizards will most likely now involve a striped scarf and a house crest, courtesy of Harry Potter.

I could go on and on as well about how superheroes have become more popular via Dark Knight and Avengers portrayals, or about how every little girl may want to be Katniss with an archery set, or how the likelihood is very high that parents will be forcing their small children into costumes of their favorite Angry Bird . . . but I think you get the point.

Dress how you want! Masquerade as whatever fantasy you want, no matter where it takes you for that day. That is the one entitlement left to you for this spooky holiday. But then again, since when did anyone ever get too old for the free candy either?