Stanford, it seems, is losing its rally spirit. Today I sat forlornly in the corner of CS107 lecture, the lone froggy in a sea of normally-dressed people, looking hopefully to the doors, awaiting a fellow spirited student. No such individual arrived. The outside world was no better, and by the time I went to lunch I felt foolish for even bothering. While, as a friend of mine stated, “you always dress like this!” the point remains: on the one day a year when bizarre dress is encouraged, Stanford, lead university of the unorthodox, has failed to deliver.
Is rally dead? I wondered. Maybe I’ve got blinders on because, as a tour guide, 1.5 of my dorm room drawers are devoted to sequined, spandex, fluffy, feathered articles of clothing with no immediately obvious application. Maybe I’m unique in my possession of bizarre regalia. But still! I thought. No one tried?
Then it dawned on me: people probably aren’t wearing their costumes because they’re too inappropriate.
Sad as it is, ever since the advent of the Mean Girls generated formula of (lingerie + animal ears = costume), the selection of commercially available costumes for females has devolved into an endless stream of “Slutty _______” (fill in the blank with arbitrary occupation, animal, fictitious character, kitchen appliance, etc.). When the tamest costume I found at the Halloween superstore last year was “Sexy Dorothy,” complete with 4 inch skirt and hooker heels, I knew something was rotten in the state of Denmark.
Sure, whatever, I understand that costume propriety is a function of rapidly deteriorating pop culture, and I get that maybe passing Halloween off as “Slut for a Day” might be construed as somehow liberating of societal norms. But girls, we go to Stanford. We know better.
It’s saddening to me because Stanford women are the lucky few. While women in many nations and situations are confined to specific roles and ways of life based on their gender, we have the opportunity to become leaders of our generation, blasting through glass ceilings and shattering misconceptions about construing women as sex objects. That is, until Halloween, when an endless stream of scantily-clad women parades down Palm Drive to Mausoleum like so many pieces of meat.
To me, it boils down to a matter of self respect. When you look at your outfit, if you’re showing more cleavage than creativity, you’re doing a disservice to your intelligence and worth as an individual. Stanford women are brilliant, motivated, and stereotype-busting role models to younger girls. Don’t allow yourself to fall back into that stereotype for an evening just because it’s easy.
I’ll conclude with a piece of advice I gleaned from a good friend which is particularly applicable for Halloween. ”Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then definitely be Batman.”
Happy Halloween and goooooo Cardinal!!