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Photo by Emily Goldstein ’23

A popular costume this year is clowns where girls’ tend to where vibrant face makeup and attire ranges from ruched skirts to tight corsets.

Halloween heightens stress for teens, especially girls

I will always remember my childhood Halloweens filled with trick or treating, oversized onesie costumes and of course, buckets of candy. No one cared what they looked like and the biggest concern was how many KitKats were in the neighbor’s trick or treat basket. 

Halloween unfortunately has not looked like this for me and many other high schoolers for a while. Where has all the fun gone? The lighthearted, unconcerned attitude has left and stress has taken its place. 

Along with the candy, horror movies and extravagant house decorations, social pressure and anxiety interfere with the joys of Halloween festivities. There is an ongoing expectation to dress up with a specific group of people which can leave those without a finite “friend group” feeling lost and isolated. The pressure of group costumes leaves teens excluded and tends to create more feelings of worry for a holiday that is supposed to be the opposite. Many teens are left doubting if they should even dress up if they don’t have the perfect group to supplement them. 

The start of the school year is stressful enough between intense academics, sports and a large social scene. The anxiety that the once harmless holiday, Halloween, brings is just an added disappointment. ”

— Emily Goldstein '23

According to Psychology Today parent’s participation in the holiday can “incite or intensify the conflict.” Many parents are actively getting involved in their kids’ plans, making them feel bad if they don’t have a party or place to go on such a popular holiday. 

In addition to the stress of finding a group to go with there are also high expectations for looks, especially when it comes to females. More revealing and tight fit costumes are praised, making girls insecure and constantly comparing themselves to others. There is certainly a pressure to secure social status by wearing the best costume. 

Social media has heightened the stress of finding the best costume and party to go to. According to Public Health Columbia, Instagram worsens body image for every one in three teenage girls. Halloween is just an excuse for girls to post pictures in excessive outfits, making these numbers even worse. 

The start of the school year is stressful enough between intense academics, sports and a large social scene. The anxiety that the once harmless holiday, Halloween, brings is just an added disappointment. 

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