Be confident in your own skin

Colleen Roach, Staff Writer

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Women struggle with their body image on a regular basis, but does it get worse around Halloween or if they dress up as a character, otherwise known as cosplay, at a convention?

I went shopping for Halloween costumes with the full intention of purchasing a Harley Quinn costume or, at the very least, accessories for one. With the recent success of “Suicide Squad,” I knew there would be several costume styles to choose from.

I happened upon the perfect costume and proceeded to make my happy way towards the register. It was while I was purchasing the outfit that I sensed eyes on me and noticed a young mother in the next lane with her children casting me a judgemental look. However, the exchange was brief; and since I will  probably not see that woman again, I purged the incident from my mind.

Returning to my room on campus later, I tried on the costume and took pictures. I then sent them to close friends and my family. At first, the responses were very gratifying, stating that I looked fantastic. Then came the patronizing messages of, “You didn’t buy that did you?” and  “That’s too sexualized of a costume for you; it doesn’t look good.”

All at once, I felt awkward in my own skin. The costume I thought looked so fantastic on me became something that, in my mind, made me look like I was trying too hard to be beautiful. I seriously debated going all the way back to the store to return it.

But why was it that after only a few negative comments, I began to see myself as unattractive after having a moment of being completely confident in myself? “I believe that when it comes to family, they don’t see you growing up. So when you decide to go from the bedsheet ghost to Harley Quinn, it’s not just a big step for you, it’s a big step for your family for accepting the transition,” Ashlyn Monroe, sophomore math major, said.

“People get less judgemental as you grow up, because everyone is going through the same thing and no one cares what you dress up as on Halloween. You feel a sense of empowerment because you become the character, so they’re looking at Harley Quinn, not Ashlyn,” Monroe said.

Whatever you decide to be for Halloween, or any other day of the year, know that as long as you feel comfortable in your own skin you’ll have the confidence to pull off any ensemble.

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