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Happy HallowCon!

As Halloween approaches this year, I’ve been noticing a distinct change from Halloweens past. Not a change in what people do—dressing up in costumes for various events, contests, and parties—but rather a change in how it all FEELS.

It used to be that for MOST people, Halloween was the only time during the year that they played around with costumery. People waited all year for the chance to dress and enjoy the fun of taking on a different look (or, indeed, a whole different persona) for an evening. And while that’s still true for many people, there’s been an explosion in the number of people who count “cosplay” as one of their year-round hobbies, and the number of winter, spring, and summer events where dressing-up is favored or encouraged.

What I’m trying to say is that seeing a vast number of people dressed in costume no longer feels “Halloweeny” . . . it just feels like a weekend (or, for me, a regular Thursday night since that’s when we do our weekly cosplay Drink & Draw event at AFK E&E in Renton . . . you should join us some week). Really, it feels like I’m at a big, sprawling, almost never-ending convention. And that’s a GOOD thing!

I love the fact that people at large are feeling comfortable enough to engage in the PLAY aspect of cosplay in their normal, day to day lives. I love the fact that it’s become so socially acceptable to have fun with self-expression, style, and even personality . . . that doing so no longer necessarily garners looks of disapproval, distrust, or derision. I love that I live in a world where it’s okay to play around with just about every aspect of who you are.

Of course, I realize that I move in a crowd where that ALREADY was a fairly acceptable thing, and that not everyone has that freedom and acceptance . . . but the trend is that direction, and that makes me happy. I only hope that it continues until costumery, self-expression, and a palpable sense of playfulness ARE embraced everywhere all the time.

In the meanwhile, I’ve just got to wrap my head around the notion that Halloween will no longer feel quite as unique as it once did. Except for the candy.

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