Let’s make October 31st festivities enjoyable for every-BODY!
A princess, superhero, cuddly cat or simple ghost… Hallowe’en is such an exciting time for young as well as old. Whether dressing up, hanging decorations and trick-or-treating, there’s fun to be had for everyone! Hallowe’en celebrates each individual’s uniqueness, their choice of self-expression through art and imagination.
Personally, our family doesn’t celebrate this holiday. However, I am always amazed by the fantastic displays of creativity and playful surprises this festival brings to my community.
Amidst all this excitement, let’s be thoughtful about living our values. This is a great opportunity to show your TRUE COLOURS – What are your beliefs about Inclusion? Body image? Sexuality? Stigma?
Most of us, whether children or adults, find it tricky to project positive relationships of ourselves within our surrounding world. Yet, it’s no fun to be defined by others and the media. Fat costumes and “psycho” getups ARE scary, but only because they reflect social practices of body shaming and mental illness stigma.
However you decide to portray your and your family’s unique selves on Hallowe’en, double check that you’re expressing yourself as you intend.
Some helpful inclusivity checks:
1. Does your costume or décor stereotype or dishonour someone else’s culture, religion, body type, gender, or physical or mental disability?
2. Do your Hallowe’en practices embrace and accept people for who they are?
3. Fighting stigma can be fun – how will you contribute this Hallowe’en?
“We’re a culture, NOT a costume” Click here for more about cultural appropriation at Halloween
“My mental illness isn’t a joke” Click here for more about mental illness stigma and Halloween
- by Ummehani Rehmani, Child and Family Behavioural Therapist