Google Tells You How Unoriginal Your Halloween Costume Is
It’s almost Halloween—is your costume ready? If you’re anything like me, the answer is no, not even close. Halloween surfaces a particular breed of anxiety in those of us who would prefer to not walk around the city dressed as anything other than ourselves. There’s just so much pressure! The considerations are many: Should your costume be a contemporary cultural reference or a timeless classic? Will anyone actually understand your subtle nod to Heaven’s Gate? What if there’s another clown at the party?!
For those of you who prefer to apply a more quantitative approach to your decision-making, Google has made a handy microsite called Frightgeist to show you how truly unoriginal your Halloween costume will be this year. Warning: If you’re planning on going as Harley Quinn, you’re not alone. It’s a fun little interactive infographic that breaks down the most googled costumes by national and local trends. It’ll even tell you what is considered an “unusually popular” getup in your area.
If Halloween costumes are in some way a window on a city’s collective psyche, then perhaps we can learn a thing or two from Google Trends beyond which to avoid this year. A brief survey: In Boston, the number one googled costume is Pirate (appropriate); in Lincoln, Neb., it’s a pumpkin (agriculture); in Austin, Texas it’s dinosaur (keeping things weird); in Juneau, Alaska it’s Chucky (not sure what this is saying). In New York City, a metropolis with a notoriously outsized ego, the number one costume search is for superhero. Figures.