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The Daily Tar Heel

COLUMN: This Halloween, Barbie is just like other girls

Textures courtesy of Unsplash.

Like many others, I’ve spent the past week racking every inch of my brain for a creative Halloween costume: Fleabag from "Fleabag", Mia Thermopolis from "The Princess Diaries" and Steve from "Blue’s Clues" were my initial thoughts. But, in part due to the precarious state of my college student funds, this year I will be a black cat.

"Isn't every girl just going to be a sexy black cat for Halloween?" my friend asked, after I informed him of my decision. 

His comment — which included words I hadn't personally used to describe my costume —  rubbed me the wrong way. I’ve felt a weird sense of shame since about how unoriginal and basic my costume is. 

The same verdict seems to be in for "Barbie" costumes. Even though the movie just came out this summer, the doll’s iconic monochromatic pink outfits have already been deemed unoriginal by the internet because of their popularity. 

Videos and comments all over my For You page warn to avoid these costumes like the plague because everyone will be wearing them. What people fail to consider is that the fun of dressing like Barbie this year may actually be found in looking like everyone else. 

Like the stigma around many girls dressing as a black cat, the Halloween Barbie discourse encourages the idea of being "not like other girls," which tends to entail women feeling the need to stand out against others. But there’s nothing wrong with being like other girls. 

Throughout "Barbie", it’s clear that director Greta Gerwig is making a point that it’s not a bad thing to be like other girls. In fact, it’s incredible. 

Stereotypical Barbie, President Barbie, Physicist Barbie and every other Barbie in the movie is unique in some way — and that doesn't take away from their identity as Barbie. Instead of trying to prove themselves to stand out against the other dolls, each was proud to be part of the group of women.

When deciding what to be for Halloween, I’ve felt like I either have to look super sexy or be super unique, which is an experience I’m sure many others share. Ultimately, it felt like choosing a costume came down to how I thought others would perceive me. 

But regardless of if you are going to be Barbie, Steve from "Blue’s Clues", a sexy black cat or maybe just a black cat, the Halloween Barbie discourse exemplifies that it doesn’t matter what costume you settle on. No matter how "basic" or unique your outfit is, it doesn't take away from the season’s festivities and having fun. 

So, I will happily go about my weekend in my newly bought $6 Spirit Halloween cat ears, proud to be like so many other girls.

 @dthopinion | 

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