Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Gaga-tastic Halloween Post

I love Halloween. I make no qualms about admitting that it's my favorite holiday. Yes, I mean even more favorited than Christmas. I LOVE Christmas, but I don't get to dress up on Christmsas, so sorry Christmas, Halloween just beat you out.

I never out grew dressing up. Neither did my mother. Mom always infused in me a love of Halloween so deep and pure that it is more than just about candy. Way more. It's the freedom, the fun, the chance to be anyone, to look how you want and don't worry about how crazy it is. Mom decorates every year and we celebrate Halloween for weeks before the actual event.

That didn't change when I started college. Not a bit. I wouldn't DREAM of going a year without a costume. But this year, thinking of a costume was tough. In fact, I only decided on my costume last weekend - but boy, do I love what I chose! It took some trying on, online ordering, practicing walking in the shoes, and a lit bit of wig-work, but this is the final product!

That's right! I"m Lady Gaga!!!! This costume was pieced together just this week. The wig and glasses came together - though I also have a crazy funky cool mask - and the boots were on sale at Shoe Depot. The dress was the hardest part. No, it isn't an exact copy of any dress she has warn before. All of those, the ones you could be in stores, were not made in sizes for curvier girls (an issue I could rant about for ages but will not at this moment). So my mommy, the angel she is, helped me look online. We found this on a lingerie website, funnily enough, and it's a Lady Gaga "inspired" design. And, personally, I think Lady Gaga would approve. Its funky, sexy, and FUN!!!! Also, the feathers make me giggle!

I love Lady Gaga. You all probs know this by now, right? She's just so entertaining and her songs never get old for me. Plus, she's just so funky and unique! I'm also freaking excited about getting to see her in concert during my Spring Break in March. Gah, is it March yet??

I mean, how can you not love someone crazy enough to make this video? Epic much?

But the point of this post isn't for me to rant about my love of Lady Gaga - or even for me to show off my cute costume and sing all the lyrics to "Bad Romance" completely off-key -- no. It's about something a little more serious.

As I said before, I love Halloween because its the one time you can dress however you want and be crazy and its okay. And that's what I love about Gaga - she dresses how she wants and is crazy all the time. In some ways, Halloween is every day for Gaga - and not just because her clothes are funk-a-licious, but because she treats every day as an oppertunity to be crazy and bizarre, and that's okay!

I watched an interview with her recently that really got me thinking. Lady Gaga says that she grew up feeling out of place - like a "freak" - and she always had to hide who she was. Now that she's older, her goal is to send a message to her fans that it's okay to be who you are, even if who you are is different from the social norm. Her point is that if you want to be funky and crazy, even when it isn't Halloween, that's okay as long as you're being true to yourself.

As someone who grew up feeling out of place, I appreciate this in a way I can't even describe. I grew up in a very conservative, religious area. I always felt out of place because, despite the fact that I was religious, I didn't always believe the things my friends did. Not to mention, I'm a mega liberal. I felt like I had to hdie who I was. I was funky and kind of a hippie. I wanted to dress crazy when, where I'm from, you were "weird" if you wore anything but jeans and a t-shirt to school. Even girls who wore dresses or skirts were made fun of or called "preppy." It never felt quite fair to me.

I left home and I came to a very liberal area, where my hippie-ish-ness was accepted. Sometimes - most of the time even - I do wear jaens and a t-shirt, but if I want to wear my skirt and some knee highs with neon pink converse? No one even bats an eye. If I wear a plaid skirt wit a Wednesday Adams t-shirt and striped socks and sneakers? It's okay. I can dress how I want, no matter how random.

Now, this applies to writing to. Before I wrote THE DUFF, I was scared to write anythign edgy or remotely racy. The book I wrote before THE DUFF, the one that will never be published, was incredibly bland and tame. No swearing, no sex, no characters that acted like teenagers at all - instead it was the book a preacher at the local Baptist Church would have approved of. And you know what? It was awful, because it wasn't real and it wasn't the book I wanted to write.

THE DUFF was the book I wanted to write, and when I did, I tookt he risk. I wrote a book that I knew some wouldn't like, and I had fun anyway. Since then, I haven't looked back. All of my projects are stories I want to tell, even if they are risque or different or a little quirkier than the norm.

Lady Gaga wants her fans to know it's okay to be who you are, no matter how different or "weird."

I want my readers to know that it's okay to do what you want, write what you want, wear what you want, and BE WHO YOU WANT - no matter what others think. You only get one life to live, after all. Why waste it being a clone?

So, back to the beginning of this post. Halloween. I am going to have a blast this Halloween dressing crazy, singing off key, and pretending to be the woman who I have grown to look up to over the past several months. And on Monday? Maybe I'll be wearing blue jeans or maybe I'll be wearing a dress (I'l definitely be wearing funky colored converse, those are required). Who knows what I'll decide, but it won't be because of anyone else. It'll be what I want. And the stories I write, the places I go, the fun I'll have, will be because it's what I want.

Tomorrow night, dress up! Be crazy, have fun, and on Monday, don't let the spirit of Halloween die. Be who you want. Because me and Lady Gaga say so!

Now, to end this little impromptu rant - let's close with another Gaga-rific video. This is her performing one of my favorite songs, "Speechless" on Ellen. Enjoy, and have a great Halloween!


Julie said...

Kody, I LOVE this post! I did the same thing with a squeaky clean book. And my guy MC...OMG! He was the most conservative girl ever in a cute boy's body. Never had a single impure thought. Yeah right!

I'm a huge supporter of staying true to your characters and letting them stumble through life, make mistake, enjoy things they probably shouldn't be enjoying, like the rest of us.

And THE DUFF rocks!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

WOOT! I love everythingg about this post, Kody! Love Halloween, love Lady Gaga and your costume, and the message of being free and writing exactly what you want to write. Also...ITHACA!!! Most liberal awesome city in America:) Have fun!

Emilia Plater said...

Awesome, awesome <3 Your point is practically parallel with new feminism: whatever you want to do as a woman is okay, whether it's have a high-flying career or stay home with six kids. LOVE THE COSTUME!

Joanna said...

I heart you, Kody. You are so brave! Not only do I *love* Gaga, but you are so spot on with her message and your own.

Rock it this weekend!

Happy Halloween, yo.

Susanne Winnacker said...

Wonderful post!

Claire Dawn said...

1. I love the Duff, and I'm glad you wrote it. Plus I'm happy you wrote it as a teen, so that when some superconservative wants to jump up and make noise, they can't argue about age appropriateness.

2. I love this post. I still feel out of place. But I stopped caring a long long time ago. Still it's good to know you're not the only one :)

Ariana said...

Great post. I also love Hallowe'en and Gaga. Dressing up is one of my loves.

It's good that you got that first novel out of you and realized that it wasn't what you were aiming for at all! I feel very lucky to have grown up with family and friends who liked and encouraged my unique hobbies and traits and I'm glad you've found that now as well.

Mrs. DeRaps said...

Loved this post! And, I love your book. I started it yesterday and can't put it down. It is like real teens talking, which is sometimes uncomfortable for this old lady to read, but it rings true to me. And, that's what matters to me with every book I read.

Thanks for writing reality. Love it.

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