I’m Julie, one of the Changing Faces wellbeing practitioners. I work with children and their families, providing one-to-one sessions and workshops where we can help with issues such as teasing, bullying, social anxiety and social isolation connected to a young person’s visible difference.
I really enjoy my job as I get to meet and talk to so many different children, and quite often we get to be creative in our sessions. It can help us explore and think about our feelings in a different way.
Maybe it’s this enjoyment of all things creative which is why I have a special place in my heart for Halloween?
I am one of those people who love the glow of lit-up carved pumpkin lanterns, drape my front door in spider webs and plan a trick or treating outfit at least a few weeks in advance.
The idea of Halloween or ‘All Hallows Eve’ is originally taken from a Celtic festival where people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts and spirits. Over time, it has evolved into a day, and night, of fun activities.
Me and the team here at Changing Faces know that lots of children and young people love to celebrate Halloween with trick or treating, fancy dress and creative make up. But, on the other hand, we also know that many children and adults with a visible difference can feel distressed by their scars, marks or conditions being associated with negative characters and being labelled as ‘scary’ or ‘evil’ or feel that they are being made fun of at times like Halloween.
We’ve heard from some people in the visible difference community who want to remind others that when you have a scar, mark or condition, you can’t take that on and off like a costume – they live with their visible difference every day. That’s why this year we’re encouraging young people, parents and adults who like to join in with the fun, to be mindful and perhaps opt for a different choice of make up or costume. We’d like people to dress up as a character, not a condition. Perhaps a superhero character, an inspiring book character, a happy pumpkin or black cat?
Here are some other cheap and totally inspired ideas I’ve found:
- This brilliant bat costume idea looks simple to make and involves no sewing!
- You could opt for a different theme altogether and try some high jinks whilst dressed as a jellyfish – they can have a scary sting!
- Whilst these spiders look like they would be fun to create.
Maybe you could reuse use those costumes you have from past world book days? Or how about dressing up as your favourite sweet in a bid to encourage more treats than tricks? Or you could get creative with some Halloween make up:
These are just some of the ideas that we’ve been thinking about as the nights get darker and Halloween approaches.
Will you join us and share your #CharacterNotACondition Halloween outfits and make-up looks with us this spooky season? Just tag us in your social media posts so we can see what you come up with. I’ll be sharing mine.