Less than two weeks from now, a hell of political and comical proportions will descend on the sleepy streets of suburbia. Neighborhoods will be overrun with pasty faces and obscenely angled smiles. Pairs of peepers in rimless glasses will stare from every corner, updos abound. Two figures, viewed alternately as both mastermind and villain, will be imitated and elaborately duplicated.
As with everything else, Halloween costumes are exceedingly influenced by pop culture. For the low price of a few nick-nacks anyone can dress in one of this year’s most popular costumes, namely, Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Heath Ledger’s Joker. Both are sure to be crowd pleasers and cause screams and squeals alike, though these costumes are scary for very different reasons.
‘ The nature of America’s obsession with the Alaskan governor will inevitably lead to a combination of this year’s most popular costume and the age-old Halloween tradition of women dressing like hookers: the GILF. Surely a combo of garter belts and librarian frames will be a sensation.
BuyCostumes.com, the most popular online costume store, already offers a good-to-go mock up of sexy Sarah. By combining a Halloween standard, the sexy school girl, which in this case looks more like a see-through power suit, and the ubiquitous librarian glasses, they managed to put together a top-seller in no time.
Another suit wearing phenom captured the minds and imaginations of the American public months before the political pit bull strutted onto the scene. Though this character may not win any beauty contests, it’s a shoe in for most popular costume of the year.
The Extreme Halloween Network, an online and in-flesh costume shop since the 1970’s named the Joker the most popular costume for this year’s festivities after polling thousands and consulting with the National Costumers Association.
‘We have a million Batman costumes, especially the Joker,’ said one employee at the Spirit Halloween Superstore in Granada Hills. ‘At least a couple people buy it every day. We will definitely sell out.’
Other costumes that may merit sellout status include vampires of the non mythical variety, thanks to the teenaged vampire saga ‘Twilight,’ and the whip wielding archeologist Indiana Jones.
Like the Palin costume, transforming into a vampire straight out of Stephenie Meyer’s novel requires little effort, or cash.
Pale skin and pretty faces are hallmarks of the genre, but in order to be truly Twilight-worthy, leave the fangs at home. Dark under eye circles resulting from blood lust and sparkling skin are among the distinguishing traits of this breed of blood sucker.
‘No fangs allowed,’ said Paive Thompson, a Barnes and Noble employee and Twilight aficionado. ‘I would seriously get beaten up,’ she said of her plans to go fangless on Halloween.
A costume with less bite, but just as much pop culture prevalence is the aging action hero Indiana Jones. Any costume store carries a version of his signature ensemble, complete with fedora, and many closets have the makings of this archeologist.
Brown pants, khaki shirt, and a wide brimmed hat can be easily dredged up in most households; some may even have a whip.
From ghouls and ghosties to leggy beauties to things that demand the spotlight, the spirit of modern Halloween offers an amalgamation of favorite American pastimes.
Pop culture mingles with archaic ideals to produce multiple Palins and vampires galore.
Whatever you choose to be, cheap or chic, old or new, Halloween is the one night a year to eat, drink, and be scary.