The One Night of the Year...

In the movie Mean Girls, Lindsay Lohan's character grew up in Africa with her zoologist parents before moving back to the States in the middle of high school.
When she attends her first Halloween party, she arrives as Frankenstein's bride.

Karen: "Why are you dressed so scary?"
Cady (Lindsay Lohan): "It's Halloween..."

Note the surprised and disdainful looks she's getting above. Then her character has a voiceover, saying:

“In the real world, Halloween is a night when children dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In “Girl World”, Halloween is the one night a year when girls can dress like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it. Unfortunately, no one told me about the slut rule.”

Growing up in the States once you hit high school this concept comes around big time, although I wouldn't say that we're oblivious to the phenomenon... it's pretty obvious and laughed about. Girls make fun of themselves for looking for a sexy nurse or sexy cop or sexy Red Riding Hood or sexy Black Swan outfit... and then continue to do it anyway. I would like to say my outfits do not enter into slut territory... I think I have done a geisha, flapper, and a french painter all pretty tastefully in the last few years. A German beer maid, now that isn't slutty right... it was adorable! And at least I was never a french maid... okay well, not since I was a teenager at least. But you get the point... girls want to use the holiday to look good. Enough about me, more about where I came from in California; you should walk down State Street or through
Isla Vista
on Halloween. You will see a Gold Digger wearing only a shovel. You will see the blue thick paint only costume of Mystique from X-men. That's just a start.

Last year my American friend Sarah and I realized something after going to just a couple costume parties in Lund (of which there are many).

In Sweden it's pretty much the opposite.

This is a plausible scenario if you were an American college student coming on exchange to Sweden and going to your first costume party with mostly Swedes. It could be a circus party, or an Australia themed party. You put on your hot acrobat outfit or your lifeguard outfit, respectively. You show up, excited and feeling good.

Swedish girls: "Why are you dressed so cute/slutty/with so little clothes?" (although they may not say it, but just look at you with the thought)
American girl: "Um, it's a costume party?"

Yep. Oops. You did not get the memo. Costumes for girls in Sweden are not about that. They are about looking authentic, and looking hot is not such a consideration. To the circus party you'd find a hot girl as a clown, complete with all the crazy makeup. Or perhaps a girl dressed as a giant Coke bottle, her good looks completely hidden. To the Australia party you'll find a girl in a kangaroo suit and another dressed as a jar of Marmite. Not only are they not trying to be hot, but they put some real handiwork into their costumes to be authentic a lot of the time. And plenty of these Swedish girls would really nail a cute lifeguard or sexy tiger outfit, believe me.

These are true party themes and costume examples, except for the acrobat and lifeguard. Wasn't me, I had already gotten the memo by the point of these parties. But I don't know if I can bring myself to wear a kangaroo suit for my next Halloween. That outfit just doesn't allow much range of motion. Or at least that's this American girl's excuse.

*** Ha en kul Halloween! *** Downtown Stockholm showing some Halloween spirit this weekend. They don't celebrate like we do in the States, despite their love of costumes here, but it is growing in popularity.


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