Sunday, September 8, 2013

I Always Wanted to be a Faery

I know Halloween is still two months away, but they are already putting things in the store and it got me to thinking. When I was young there were two things I always wanted to be for Halloween--an angel or a faerie.  I think the two options were probably one outfit in my mind.  It was the wings that appealed to me.  Wings, flying, appearing whenever I wanted and, of course, always being helpful.  I didn't know about bad faeries then.

However, given our family circumstances Halloween costumes were always made at home from the rag bag.  Needless to say I was always a Hobo.  Hobos are kind of cool because they don't have to be careful with their outfit, and if it is too large it's great because it's more Hobo-like.  If my parents had told me about the riding the rails part, I may have been more interested in the outfit. In my mind, Hobos were more like Emmett Kelley--part clown and part hobo.

Now, when I give out candy each Halloween, I rarely see faeries or angels anymore. The vast majority of costumes are super heroes or warriors. The girls are whoever the latest kick-butt heroine is, and usually that is the kind of person who kicks first and asks questions later. On the one hand I think: Yay! Girls can take care of themselves. They are confident. They don't need a boy to save them.  On the other hand, I think it's kind of sad that no one wants to be that sweet, helpful person anymore. The one who works in the background to help others and doesn't demand attention or kudos for all their wonderful deeds.

I definitely believe in powerful heroines, and I do write them in my books. However, they tend to be powerful because of making difficult decisions and carefully weighing what they do before they do it. They are powerful because they learn to become comfortable with who they are, even if it's not the fantasy they hoped. If they run into the fray without thinking, there is always hell to pay. In the end, I guess I still have a lot of angel or faery qualities in my heroines. They are not retiring and demure, but they also aren't exactly kick-butt.

What kind of heroines to you prefer? If you could choose a costume for  Halloween, what would it be?  I think I'll go as an author. :)


jamie said...

Maggie, nice post and it made me think about the extremes we have in girl-culture right now. Kick butt is at one end of the spectrum, and 50-shades is at the other. Neither seems like a good option.
Not sure on a costume this year.

Maggie Faire said...

I didn't even think about the 50-shades girl culture. That is just scary to me--especially for teens.

I agree there isn't much in the middle. I understand extremes because adolescence is all about testing. However, I'd really like to see a continuum of girl power stories. Some with powerful, but peaceful options to counterbalance the violent options. I'm still a believer that brains win over brawn. But then, did I mention I still want to be a faery? :)

Paty Jager said...

Hey, Maggie! I liked dressing up as a gypsy. What does that say about me? I wore my mom's square dance dress, was allowed to use makeup, and wore lots of jewelry.

My heroines need to be smart, resourceful, and don't need a man, but learn they like having one around.

Fun post!

Danita Cahill said...

This is a great post, Maggie. Faery away!

Paty, I didn't know you had some gypsy in you. Why weren't you the fortuneteller at my book launch party then? Oh, right, you were too busy helping with everything else!

Danita Cahill said...

PS Maggie, I think I'll go as an author, too. That means pjs and slippers, right? : )