'Every single member of Gen X can smell this photo,' says the woman and people from that generation totally agree.
The 80s had the best music, fashion, toys and shows. People did not need to go on social media to escape the world because the world was a 'good place.' Kelly Manno–who goes on TikTok by @kellymanno–reiterates this sentiment with her video by describing how Halloween was so much better in the 80s, with its outrageous costumes and practices. She explains how people went all out for the celebration, leaving no stone unturned, making it one of the best nights in their children's lives. Though some things might raise eyebrows today, it was still a time Gen Xers hold close to their heart because of the joy it encapsulated.
Manno begins the video by questioning people who choose to dress up as people from the 80s for Halloween. She shares one picture where a girl is donning a costume, which is put together in a rainbow theme. The GenXer scoffs at it by saying this is nothing like the 80s actually was. The costumes were quirky from every corner. After that, she attaches a photo of a bunch of kids in their weird plastic costumes, having holes in their masks, being a semblance of the character they wanted to dress up as for the event. She adds, "Every single member of Gen X can smell this photo. It's like a vinyl, like, plastic paint smell." There was no 'style' per se, which people were following.
She explains how Halloween is a special event for all the children. There used to be no mobile phones for people to constantly click photos. Every year, they had the opportunity to take 3 or 4 clicks and Halloween always made the cut simply because of the effort people put into it. The costumes would not make it to a fashion show, but they were always endearing. She went into more detail about the 'garbage bag' costumes saying, "We would push our tongue through the slit. The mask, it would cut our tongue, but then we keep doing it again because we were, like, eating up with, like, OCD and ADD and nobody cared."
Moreover, the 'garbage bag' costumes rarely matched the characters. The way out was having the picture of the character at the front to communicate the intention. The mother showed an example of it with a boy wearing the costume of Spiderman with a red shirt, loose mask and a photo of the superhero on the chest. The sound effects produced by the costumes were also 'mind-blowing.' She elucidates, "You could hear, like, a heard of us coming up the driveway, just swish, swish in our garbage bags."
The children in those days also had a passion for their candies. Manno shares how they walked so far that they ended up sweating profusely under their masks. They had no help and would have to haul their entire body weight when carrying candies back to their place. She ended the video with a funny memory from the 80s - the orange and black candies. "If you were a house that gave out this...just know everyone hated you," she said. "I still hate you. I can hold a grudge."
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In a follow-up video, she directly disagrees with some parents bringing up practices like "Switch-witch." In this, the family conjures up a 'witch' who takes away the candies to give the child a toy of their choice. This practice, in Manno's opinion, ruins the essence of Halloween, along with frisky parents. It is no longer an activity that children plan and execute with their friends. Instead, they always have their parents breathing down their necks.
Her viral video has gained over 4M views and 466K likes. The comment section soon got filled with GenXers sharing their own nostalgic memories. @cancanshan shared her own recollections of the holiday and wrote, "And we hauled all 30lbs of that candy in a used pillowcase. Hands absolutely cramping." @jmurphjr had more to add to the mask saga and commented, "Or the rubber band breaking at the second house and you had to hold it up on your face at the door the rest of the night. Good times."
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