What better occasion than Halloween for the celebrities to move out of the limelight and step into fantasyland? We all look up to and admire the stars. The funny thing is we don’t often think of them as regular people who can be startstruck in the same way we are. They too idealize other celebrities. This day of costumes and disguises allows them to in some ways hide behind a mask and wig, and in other ways reveal a true part of themselves. Who they choose to “be” can be a self-expression of an unseen wish or desire, with the added bonus of not having to be taken too seriously since it is all meant in fun. With that in mind, it is especially intriguing to see how the stars choose to dress. It is often a window into who they emulate or might want to be for that one special day of the year.

For example, this year Ellen DeGeneres dressed as Nicki Minaj. When you look at the pictures of her costume it’s clear that she was letting it all hang out. She was close to inches away from being completely exposed. In fact, this is true to who Ellen is. She was upfront, out there, and the first actress to open up about her sexuality, taking a risk when she shared that she is gay with the world, not concerning herself with what other people might say and think. If you watch Ellen’s show, you know she loves to dance and clearly has soul. Dressing as Nicki was Ellen’s hats off (and top off, too) to her appreciation of all that Nicki stands for in terms of her rhythm, music, as well as her sexual energy.

This year Hugh Hefner, who is the quintessential playboy and always bordered on the risqué, dressed as Robin Thicke who was in the news recently after twerking with Miley Cyrus at the VMA Awards. In this case, one might say that Robin was Hugh’s alter ego. Anyone who saw Miley with Robin at the awards could see that labeling their encounter as risqué is an understatement. We all know that the hardest part of getting older is that our bodies start to give us away long before we feel old. When Hugh greeted his guests in his bathrobe, he was pushing the boundaries way back when, so clearly he could identify with Robin’s crossing the line and going over the edge at the awards ceremony. Perhaps his costume choice also suggests the wish to do something like that again himself.

Interestingly enough, supermodel Heidi Klum wore a costume of an old woman. She said she wanted to do something no one else had done, and that was probably for good reason. If you are really beautiful and know it, it can make it easier to choose to hide it for a night. Heidi is known for and sought after for her beauty, but believe it or not that can sometimes be a burden. When you are super attractive it can sometimes be hard to know if people like you for who you really are, rather than for your appearance. For Heidi, Halloween was a chance to be seen and related to in a way that had nothing to do with her good looks. This year, she modeled for us how to grow old gracefully, and conveyed the notion that there is true value in that.

Reality star Snooki joined costar JWoww this year as Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Instead of choosing to disguise herself as something she wished for in real life, her philosophy was more along the lines of giving the people what they want. It has been rumored that she was not always the brightest flame, and not always taken seriously by the general public. In reality, though, she has settled down, had a family, and done quite well for herself. Her choice of costume seems to be saying: we may look dumb, but we are certainly not as dumb as we look.

Finally, Paris Hilton dressed as the much-talked about Miley Cyrus. This looks like an instance of good old-fashioned envy in the “All about Eve” way. Miley did what Paris does, but took it to a whole other level at the VMA awards. By dressing up like Miley, Paris, too, could be outrageous for a night.

Halloween is a time to not only reveal parts of your inner self, it can also be a time to deal with feelings and desires. This holiday usually associated with ghosts and goblins can be so much more when it becomes a vehicle for people to deal with a wide range of impluses. For Paris that might be envy, for Hugh it might be a longing to journey back to something he once had, for Heidi it was a chance to take a journey forward, and for Ellen it was an opportunity to live out a fantasy. Halloween is a stepping stone for any and all self-expression, and, as we see with the celebrities, can bring hidden parts of yourself to life.

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