There is only one thing that I like about Halloween: dressing up.
After dyeing my hair red, sitting while my mom created a perfect beehive hairdo, painting my nails red, and applying flawless make-up with bright red lipstick, I donned my little black dress. To transform it into 1960s era, I added a belt and a bright brooch. Button earrings completed the outfit.
Suddenly, I was not just dressed as Joan, but transformed into her, walking like her, talking like her, and getting ogled like her.
This is what I learned from (being) Joan Holloway.
1. Sexy isn't slutty.
Masquerading as someone else can be really fun, especially if that person is completely different from me. Instead of choosing a naughty nurse, I went with the modest costume, which is more my style. What really surprised me is how many more men checked me out! I had more looks than I can imagine without feeling the need to explain I really am not a tramp. I also didn't feel the need to drape myself with a tablecloth to cover up too much exposed skin.
2. Posture is everything.
Good posture can make the difference between looking unkempt and looking stunning. My posture isn't perfect, but immediately after I was transformed into Joan, I stood taller and pushed my shoulders back. In addition to displaying greater confidence, I noticed how much standing up straight enhanced my curves and made my chest seem larger.
3. Women should have curves and men want them.
One of the things I love about Joan is that she isn't a spindly or emaciated. Somehow Joan's character (brilliantly played by Christina Hendricks) has reminded America of how sexy curves are (think Marilyn Monroe's size 8 body). Instead of aspiring to be pencil thin, she looks like she eats. Women need more fat for pregnancy and lactation, plus our bodies store fat more easily than men and it is harder for us to burn it. Men can't help but be intoxicated by those parts of us which are supposed to be round and insinuate fertility.
4. I deserve men to open doors for me.
My husband has always been pretty good at opening doors for me. It isn't that I can't open them myself, but one way he shows me respect; I shouldn't have to open them. When I was Joan, I had more men opening doors for me and showing me the old-fashioned chivalry many twenty-first century women never experience. I felt like royalty.
|Me as Joan|
5. Blonds don't always have more fun.
Red hair is a must for putting on the character of Joan Holloway. When I looked for temporary red hair dye, I couldn't find any. So I went for it: Pomegranate by Garnier. The last time I dyed my naturally blond hair red was when I was in junior high. Though it was a slight strawberry blond, I was so terrified I would get teased about it I spent the entire night washing it with Pert shampoo to try to get the color out. Although it may be because I live in one of the Swedish capitals of Nebraska, men notice me because of the red hair. I am amazed by how many looks I get even when in a T-shirt grocery shopping or with disheveled hair at the gym.
Instead of Halloween bringing me a few extra pounds, this year it brought me confidence. I'm keeping the red hair for now, wearing the classic femininity and poise without the beehive and button earrings.
1. Did you dress up for Halloween? What did you dress up as? Did you like it? How did you feel in the costume?
2. Do you think that women have lost anything in the past 50 years? Why or why not?