Six Most Feminist Halloween Costumes
By: Mallory Harris
Rosie originated in an ad campaign intended to encourage women to join the labor force during World War II and remains a symbol of feminism and the economic empowerment of women. While Rosie appeared in various posters and songs to promote the war effort, the most iconic image of her appears on a J. Howard Miller poster, where Rosie flexes under the slogan “We Can Do It!” Rock this costume with a red bandana, a denim jacket, and a fierce glare toward the camera.
Drop the “slutty” moniker and reclaim this Halloween classic in a body-positive manner. Take a stand against slut shaming and body-shaming this year and conceal or reveal in the manner that makes you feel most confident. If you’re not a fan of cats, this costume is easily modified to extend to a wide variety of animals throughout the (sex positive) animal kingdom. Bonus points if you can work in a pun about catcalling and speak out against street harassment.
Say “Hey, Ms. Carter!” Beyoncé’s music promotes sexual liberation, financial empowerment, and self-confidence. Most recently, she injected discussion about feminism into pop culture by sampling Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s speech “We Should All Be Feminists” in her song “***Flawless.” Her anthems of empowerment run the gamut from “Single Ladies” to parenthood. Grab your freakum dress and the nearest fan (for that perpetually windblown hair) to channel Queen Bey.
If “pop feminism” isn’t for you, try a costume inspired by an iconic political feminist, such as the Notorious RBG. Show your support for this Supreme Court Justice, who is a major proponent of gender equality. Don your robes, a lacy collar, and your no-nonsense face. Conservative feminists may prefer a costume modeled after Condolleezza Rice, while a more nonpartisan costume could emulate the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Malala Yousafzai. Regardless of whom you select as your costume muse, you’ll send out a powerful message on the importance of women holding positions of power.
What could be scarier? If you prefer a more abstract costume, focus your efforts this Halloween on presenting yourself as a destroyer of the proverbial barrier that prevents women and minorities from exceling in their careers in spite of their credentials. As a feminist, you’re committed to demolishing these barriers–truly alarming forces that don’t take a break for trick-or-treating.
Anything Else You Could Possibly Desire
Halloween is all about self-expression and trying on new identities, so why not try on a new form of feminism for the night? Remember that feminism encompasses a broad spectrum of races, ages, genders, sexualities. There’s no right way to be a feminist, so there’s certainly no best way to dress like one. Don your best patriarchy-smashing (instead of pumpkin-smashing) costume and remember that, regardless of how sweet the candy is, gender equality is always sweeter.