Shaun Chatman looks at why some costumes which seem to be the epitome of geekiness might be a not-so-smart idea.
Halloween is a time for tricks, treats, and a lot of fun — even for adults. It’s a day when you stop being yourself and embrace the character of your costume, giving you an endless amount of possibilities. Whether your mischievous mind conjures up a costume concept sure to scare, or your creativity leads to something simple and sweet, most ideas aren’t off-limits.
Unfortunately, there are some costumes you shouldn’t wear, especially if you happen to fall within the class of “geekdom.”
Image via Flickr by Alex Heberling
Napoleon’s had his moment in the limelight, but it’s time to move on. At this point, only hipsters who are pretending their “Vote for Pedro” outfit is somehow “iconic” can try to pull this costume off still.
There’s nothing wrong with being a geek, but wearing a costume like this hits too close to home. Unless you want to relive every bullying episode from your childhood or possibly get robbed of your own tat’r tots by an adult bully, you should never dress up as Napoleon Dynamite.
It doesn’t even matter if you can dance like Napoleon did in the movie, a night spent in this out-dated costume won’t end well.
Professor Snape from Harry Potter
Image via Flickr by Abby Armada
Harry Potter costumes are popular among geeks, nerds, rabid members of the fandom, and even regular folk. Not all the characters from Hogwarts are out-of-bounds for you, so don’t feel discouraged. You can still go as Harry, one of the Weasleys, Hagrid, or even Dumbledore. If you want to get really fancy, go as Dobby.
That being said, there is one character you should avoid at all costs, because he will make you look smug and self-satisfied.
Leave Professor Snape alone. Yes, Snape himself was an outcast and a loner, even an over-achieving geek, but he grew up to become a snarky and witty man. If you can’t pull that attitude off without appearing smug, don’t put on your black cloak, stop washing your hair for a week, and turn to page 394 — you’re not worthy.
The Situation from The Jersey Shore
Image via Flickr by Eli Christman
Although the show is over, dressing up as characters from The Jersey Shore is still a fad. Because the show only recently finished its run on TV, wearing a costume portraying one of its characters has a slight chance of still being funny. However, there is one particular cast member geeks should avoid: The Situation.
Mike calls himself “The Situation” for a reason. Those reasons are why he’s still one of the most universally hated people from the show, so you run the risk of becoming an object of hate yourself. Spraying on fake abs and running around all night taking your shirt off isn’t a good look for you — don’t do it.
If you must, go as Pauly D. He’s charming and has unbelievable hair.
DNA: Do Not Attempt
Image via Flickr by Duncan Hull
The urge to show off your smarts is completely understandable. Yes, you are smart and you should receive recognition for your intelligence. You should not, however, beg for recognition by showing up in a smarty-pants costume meant to make you look awesome. The double-stranded helix is a little overdone at this point.
Everyone is thoroughly impressed you know so much about DNA and genetics, but don’t come off as a try-hard geek. Once you start rambling on and hammering people with random facts about chromosomes, you’re sure to find yourself alone in a corner wondering where you went wrong.
Image via Flickr by Pat Loika
People get it. Clark Kent is kind of nerdy, you’re kind of nerdy. Clark Kent is secretly an amazing Man of Steel with superpowers up the wazoo; you’re secretly really awesome and cool and do not entirely deserve the “geek” moniker. The thing is, no nerd in the world should ever don a costume that includes wearing your underwear outside of your pants — or tights.
There are adult bullies, who are jerks, and it’s entirely possible that some party goers will miss the subtlety of your costume choice and give you a wedgie instead.
Going as a superhero is understandable. You want to assert your strength and your manliness. You want to prove that even geeks can become superheroes. Geeks can become anything, including smart and suave millionaires. That being said, if you want to go as a hero, check out Halloween Express for something “Dr. Who” related.
Han Solo from Star Wars
Image via Flickr by chaines106
There’s overdone, and then there’s overdone. Everyone expects you to come to the party dressed up like someone from Star Wars. It’s the biggest cliché in the Halloween world. Don’t feed into the stereotype, especially by dressing up as Han Solo. People will spend the entire night snickering about how they knew you were going to dress up as one of the most recognizable heroes in the world. They’ll further make jokes about your desperation to end up with Princess Leia.
By all means, if Star Wars is your thing, pick a character besides Han.
Sex Sells: Embrace Your Inner Geek
Image via Flickr by Michael Hanscom
The Halloween trend to make an otherwise geeky costume sexy is just sad. It’s worse for female geeks because of the current trend for entirely mainstream, pop-culture girls to throw on a pair of glasses and claim that they’re geeks. They’ll take the most obvious video game character, put a sexy spin on the costume, and steal all the attention at every party. Don’t fall for it.
Instead, embrace a different approach and look cute on your own. The party does not need another Lara Croft. Why not dress up as Velma from Scooby Doo? There’s a female geek that deserves attention.
Halloween presents a great opportunity to let your imagination run wild, but don’t fall for all the expected costume tricks. Be yourself, put a lot of thought into a costume that describes you or means something to you, and blow everyone else out of the water.