Updated: Oct 28, 2020
Dysmorphia, body image concerns, non-inclusive gender roles, and the negative impact of the sexualization of girls can absolutely tie into the infamous holiday tradition of Halloween. The pressure to select, put together, and wear a Halloween costume, for example, can be a highly triggering experience for some.
Stephanie Miodus, a school psychology Ph.D. student in the College of Education mentioned last Halloween in The Temple News, “at an age ripe with comparison, they may also feel the added pressure of how they dress on Halloween measuring up to some standard set by others instead of enjoying the spooky and fun aspects of the holiday.”
GRLKND, a not-for-profit organisation connecting female-identifying youth to mental wellness resources, has put together 5 solid circuit-breakers to help arm our community with resources that may help them combat the troubling intersection of body image, Halloween costumes, and the ongoing holiday season.
Write down in a private space (and keep for later) a top-ten list of things you like about yourself—things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often throughout the holiday season. Add to this list as you become aware of more things to like and love about yourself.
Aim to diffuse the thoughts in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or “good enough” or that you are a “bad” person. You have the ability to overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones, that are more rational, objective and true. The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you.
Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you — as a whole person. Have gratitude for and celebrate the things your body is able to do for you….dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.
Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.
Wear clothes that are comfortable. Throw out or give away the clothes that don’t fit. Choose to only wear clothes and that make you feel good about your body and make you feel safe and comfortable. Work with your body, not against it.
Crisis Lines: (Australia)
For feeling anxious/ depressed: Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) For Youth aged 5-25 counselling: Kids Helpline (1800 551 800) For personal or peer crisis: Lifeline (13 11 14) For anyone contemplating suicide: Suicide Call Service (1300 659 467) Emergency: Call 000
Crisis Lines: (USA)
For feeling anxious/ depressed: Crisis Text Line USA: Text HELLO to 741741 UK: Text HELLO to 85258
CANADA: Text HELLO to 686868
For anyone contemplating suicide:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 Emergency: Call 911