Thirty one personalities for thirty one days
One day she became someone who destroys the world. The next day she dressed up as someone who saves it. No one knows who or what she will be next. But freshman Ellison Thompson always managed to put a smile on the class’s face with her variety of costumes.
Thompson dressed up for the month of October with a different costume for each school day. With each one, she captivated the attention of both her teachers and classmates with costumes such as Tin Tin from the “Adventures of Tintin” and Johnny Cade from “The Outsiders.”
“My teachers have [said that] they think the outfits I dress up in [are] cool,” Thompson said. “I always appreciate it when [they] point it out even if [they] don’t know what the costume is.”
As a result of distance learning, Thompson has been unable to participate in her favorite holiday. Starting in the last week of September, Thompson brainstormed ways to celebrate Halloween despite distance learning.
“Because we’re quarantining right now, I miss getting to dress up for Halloween. So I thought that I could dress up every school day because we’re just at home and I [still] want to enjoy [Halloween] somehow,” Thompson said.
Thompson’s appreciation for the holiday centers around the freedom she gets in choosing what she gets to wear rather than conforming to the dress code.
“My favorite part is that I can wear whatever I want. Usually at school, you can’t really wear different things that don’t adhere to the dress code,” Thompson said. “[I get to] wear large hats and wigs sometimes. [Once], I wore a colander [because] I wasn’t able to find the hat that I needed for a costume.”
Ever since she was young, Thompson enjoyed dressing up for Halloween and going trick-or-treating around her neighborhood to participate in the festivity. Through her years at Suzanne Middle School, she would also dress up and encourage her two younger siblings to participate as well.
“[When I was in middle school], I dressed up in two outfits from ‘Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure’ and some outfits from ‘The Adventures Zone,’” Thompson said. “[This year], I redid some of [those] outfits because I still have those outfits.”
However, the process for choosing and creating each costume was not simple. Thompson first spends an entire week deciding on what costumes she would like to wear for the following week. She then finds a reference photo and begins working immediately by using whatever materials such as string and cloth, she can scrounge around her house. After creating the apparel, Thompson spends the most amount of time choosing and preparing a wig that correlates with her costume’s personality.
“I have four wigs, yellow, pink, blue and green. [I usually] use the [wig] that looks the most similar to the color I’m going for. If I don’t have the [exact color], I work with what I have which is still a lot,” Thompson said.
After all preparations are complete, Thompson set aside the costume until the following day. She would wake up earlier on school days to make sure that her costume was ready and that it did not need any last minute changes.
“Sometimes it did take extra time [to dress up], but it usually [took] around 10 minutes,” Thompson said. “Sometimes I started the week before because I might have a lot of school assignments and I might not be able to get to it the night before.”
The costumes that Thompson creates are not entirely based on the internet and what she wants to do. Sometimes, her family suggests costume ideas for her to create.
“I have listened to some of their ideas because I feel like [some of my ideas that] I try to recreate are too complicated. [One] week, I was trying to dress as something complicated [but I wasn’t sure if I could make it]. My family suggested that I dress up as Chandler Bing from ‘Friends,’” Thompson said.
Although Thompson pursued the idea of making a costume on a whim, she was largely influenced by her friends who began to debate on what costume theme they as a friend group should wear as Halloween approached.
“[My friends and I] like some of the same things, so I [decided] to dress up as things that they [suggested] that I also like. They’ve been a fairly large influence [on] what I wear on occasion,” Thompson said.
By choosing to create a different costume every day for the month of October, Thompson is appreciating Halloween in her own way.
“It’s enjoyable, I’m having fun doing this because again we can’t really go for Halloween and trick-or-treating so this is really fun,” Thompson said. “I guess that I am antisocial but it’s just that when you get to know me, I’m kind of weird and zany.”
By Matthew Au, Manager
Photo by Sherlene Su
Illustration by Samuel Au