Halloween: Personal Brand 1.0

29 10 2010

T-shirt + Duct Tape = Racer X

I went to Catholic school until 7th Grade.  We wore uniforms – navy blue cords, white collared shirt, and the optional red v-neck sweater.  Not a lot of opportunity for personal expression.

But once a year there was Halloween.  On Halloween I could be anything I wanted.  Express the inner me and show some personality.  I had my favorites – Evel Knievel, Wolfman, Batman, baseball player.  I think I was a pirate 3 or 4 times.  Everybody got into the spirit.  My older brother was often an Indian, and my kid brother was usually the Hulk.  Our friends all dressed up at the school carnival, and the streets filled with trick-or-treaters dressed as Jedi’s, vampires, and princesses.

Growing older, I was surprised to see that everyone continued to dress up.  We got decked-out for events in high school and college.  After that it became bars, clubs, and late-night house parties.  Talk about your self expression.  Seems a lot of people like to express themselves with very little clothing these days.

The costumes people choose have always intrigued me – actually, not the costumes, but the intention behind them.  What makes people choose their costume?  What influences that thought process?  Scary, silly, or sexy?  Funny, flirty, or famous?  Wonder Woman, a Banana, Scarlett O’Hara, Billy Idol, Popeye and Olive, a Cheerleader – you were those things for a reason.  You have to be comfortable in your costume, and I doubt you would be comfortable in something that wasn’t a personal reflection of some defining characteristic.  Seems to me that on Halloween we reach inside ourselves and find a quality that we can display on the outside, if only for one night a year.

At least that’s how we used to do it.  Now we constantly share our pictures, our thoughts, our friends, our likes.  We display everything – and we do it all 365.  Never have we been more able to express ourselves – or see the character of other people.  Everyone establishing their “personal brand” whether they realize it or not.  Halloween is a fun outlet for personal expression, but I do prefer this ability to do it on a more regular basis.

Happy Halloween everybody!



8 responses

29 10 2010

Brad, this is a great blog, very well written! My personal brand has been Carmen Miranda, Medusa, B-Movie Space Chick, Disco Diva, Marti Gras Devil, Dominatrix, Belly Dancer, Poison Ivy, the works. I guess my personal brand is strong female characters. One notable woman missing: Wonder Woman. Oh the great goddess, I never thought I could match up to her, that’s like covering Stairway to Heaven or something.

29 10 2010
Brad White

Thanks Jenn. Those costumes make my point exactly.

29 10 2010
Mitchell Brown

Great stuff, Brad. Now I’m conflicted, though, about what I was trying to say about myself when I was “Guy with Unfortunate Amount of Body Hair”. Then again, I knew that night that I had made a mistake in costume selection.

29 10 2010
Brad White

I believe you were saying that you were hilarious, showing the sense of humor a little more than you could in your regular life. Either that or you were predicting the future – you have seen your beard right?

29 10 2010
Mitchell Brown

Good point. A harbinger of my future inability to maintain a decent appearance as well as a trial run of sorts for this year’s costume. Thanks for helping me sort that out – I feel better. Kinda.

29 10 2010

Great costume, Brad. Our family likes to dress as literary characters. Now our choices are determined by the kids. Next year: Captain Underpants and the Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds.

31 10 2010

Great post Brad! Your insight in the last paragraph is excellent. My favorite Halloween costume was the year I dressed up as Wonder Woman : )

I read another blog post about Halloween & social media I thought you might enjoy:


31 10 2010
Brad White

Thanks Juhli. I wonder how many people will be thinking about how their pictures will look on Facebook as they get dressed in their costumes this year.

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