Trick or Treat for a New Halloween Costume

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. That’s me in the red.

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. That’s me in the red.

Halloween is probably my all-time favorite holiday. I love costumes and going all-out on the delivery of the identity of the character I am dressed as. However, I know it’s no secret that we still need drastic change when it comes to mainstream costume options for women and girls.

I am so over this self-objectification when it comes to cultural expectations of what women should choose to dress up as. And as Gloria Steinem said concerning the Miley Cyrus debate, “I think we need to change the culture, not blame the people that are playing the only game that exists.” And so, I apply this to Halloween. I hereby dub Halloween as a catalyst for change.

It seems this year is no different in that people are fully aware of the need to re-write the narrative when it comes to Halloween costumes for women and girls.

High School Senior, Maya, ever-so bravely petitioned Party City in a call to action for non-sexy costumes.

Buzzfeed jumped on the train by releasing 24 Badass Halloween Costumes To Empower Little Girls. My favorites are #12 and #24. Obviously.

And a Take The Lead personal favorite is when photographer and mother Jaime Moore decided to take matters into her own hands and dressed her 5-year-old daughter, Emma, in costumes of iconic revolutionary women instead of the various Disney Princesses. That little girl will be a force to be reckoned with. No doubt about it.

As Annette Lynch suggests in an interview with HuffPo about Porn Chic, Gender Performance and Halloween Fashion, “We need to offer young women alternative millennium identities that move them forward and out of the crippling gender constructions many young women are currently laboring under”.

And so. I am doing just that. Here are three of my suggestions for empowering costume ideas for you women out there who LOVE Halloween (as do I) and still want to dress up but can’t help thinking, “But wait, I am a strong confident woman who does not want to throw all that out the window just because it’s Halloween,” here are some fem-tastic costume ideas from yours truly:

1. Costume: Hillary Clinton

What You Need: Vote For Hillary 2016 campaign buttons, a powerful pantsuit, determination, and the will to lead

[Optional]: Have a friend who wants to do a joint costume with you? Not a problem. They can go as either: A) Your bodyguard (to ward off everyone wanting your autograph… duh) or B) Chelsea Clinton, because they are such an awesome dynamic-duo. So much so, that it may be weird if you dress as Hillary WITHOUT Chelsea. Just sayin’.

2. Costume: The cast from Orange Is The New Black

What You Need: Orange or beige jumpsuits, temporary tattoos, diversity, and an attitude to back it all up

Bonus: Use the hashtag #BigBoo to enter into their costume contest!

3. Costume: Sonia Sotomayor

What You Need: Long Black Robes, a copy of My Beloved World, and expert level negotiating skills

I triple-dog-dare you to use this Halloween to Take The Lead. Be something inspirational, spunky, and unique. Now, I’m not saying don’t break out those tutu’s and the fake eyelashes. But think really hard before going with the “sexy” witch/refuree/zombie/firefighter/pretty-much-anything-you-can-think-of. Been there, done that. Girl, confident looks good on you. Why not incorporate that into your costume?

Do you have an idea for an empowering Halloween costume? Share them with us by leaving a comment!

Kaitlin writes about current events, pop culture, and innovative ways to promote gender equality through online advocacy. Read more of Kaitlin’s posts here.

About the Author

Kaitlin Rattiganis a recent graduate with an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution with a concentration in Gender and Peacebuilding. She is a firm believer in social media as an effective and meaningful tool to promote positive societal change. Never underestimate the power of 140 characters. Kaitlin is a voice for the Millennials, a constructive disruptionist, an advocate for women’s leadership, and is a believer in challenging and expanding the definitions of what it means to be a feminist. For gender-analytical fem-tastic commentary on current events, follow Kaitlin@KaitlinRattigan. Do you have an issue you want highlighted on The Movement Blog? Is there an area within women’s leadership that you feel passionate about and want to share with a wide audience? Feel free to send Kaitlin a DM or Tweet to@KaitlinRattiganwith the hashtag #Women2025 and let’s keep the conversation going and work together to propel women into their equal share of leadership positions by 2025.