October 30, 2014 — Halloween has been my favorite holiday since I was as a kid. A night filled with free candy, original costumes, and terrifying haunted houses—what’s not to like? The holiday gives you the freedom to completely transform into whoever you choose to be. As I have grown older, I have begun to use it as a night to raise awareness of feminist heroes. In past years, I’ve dressed up as Rosie the Riveter and a “binder full of women.” This year, inspired by Comic Con, I plan to be the feminist super hero, Wonder Woman.
If you too want to use Halloween to channel disruptive women today and throughout history, check out my feminist costume ideas!
1) Beyoncé | "I am modern day feminist. I do believe in equality. . . Why do you have to choose what type of woman you are? Why do you have to label yourself anything?"
Disruptive because … Beyoncé has come far since her Destiny’s Child days and is now on track to become the highest paid African-American musician of all time!
What you'll need … Join the Bey-hive and simulate Queen “Bey” (Bee), by trying this easy online “bee” costume. Add a crown to visually demonstrate royalty with the nickname.
2) Dolores Huerta | “Look at our women. They are strong you can feel it. They are the rocks on which we really build.”
Disruptive because … Dolores Huerta was the co-founder of the National Farmworkers Association. Known as one of the most important labor leaders of our time, she is recognized for her work as a women’s and immigrants’ rights activist.
What you'll need … A protest sign of any sort (“¡Si se puede!” < Yes, you can! > OR “¡Huelga!” < Strike >) and a homemade shirt that reads “Boycott grapes” [in honor of the Delano Grape Strike of 1965-70]!
3) J.K. Rowling | “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all—in which case you have failed by default.”
Disruptive because … J.K. Rowling authored the best-selling series in history Harry Potter, which sold more than 400 million copies. The Harry Potter film series is also the highest-grossing film series in history. Rowling broke barriers in the realm of fantasy writing, which is known for being somewhat hostile to women authors.
What you'll need … Try channeling one of the characters that J.K. Rowling created in her novels. Consider dressing up like Hermione, who is played by feminist Emma Watson in the film, by wearing a school uniform and robe, and carrying a sorcerer’s stick.
4) Marie Curie | “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
Disruptive because … Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, as well as the first person, and only woman, to win twice. She is also the only person to win twice in multiple sciences (physics and chemistry).
What you'll need … Consider a lab coat, goggles, beakers, and plastic gloves. Be sure to add a lab coat name tag that reads “Marie Curie, Physicist & Chemist” to avoid any confusion with Albert Einstein.
5) Shirley Chisholm | “In the end, anti-black and anti-female, and all forms of discrimination are equivalent to the same thing: anti-humanism.”
Disruptive because … Shirley Chisholm was the first black woman elected to Congress in the United States in 1968. Four years later, Chisholm was also the first woman to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. She served for seven terms between the years of 1969 and 1983 and was an advocate for women’s equality and civil rights.
What you'll need … A vintage pantsuit or dress, awesome cat eye glasses, and a campaign button. Don’t forget to flash a peace sign!
6) Venus & Serena Williams | “You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That makes you a winner right there.” – Venus Williams | “I always believe I can beat the best, achieve the best. I always see myself in the top.” – Serena Williams
Disruptive because … The Williams sisters have made a huge mark in the realm of sports. The tennis stars have received major accolades throughout their careers. Venus won seven Grand Slam singles and is a four-time Olympic gold medalist. Serena has won eighteen Grand Slam singles and is also a four-time Olympic gold medalist. Serena is currently ranked No. 1 in women’s singles tennis.
What you'll need … Find a friend to join you, so you can be Venus and Serena. Invest in an affordable tennis outfit which can consist of a skirt and athletic tank, a visor sweatbands, and tennis racket. Don’t forget the hardware – consider a HUGE trophy or four gold medals!
7) Rosie the Riveter |
All the day long,
Whether rain or shine,
She's a part of the assembly line.
She's making history,
Working for victory,
Rosie the Riveter.
Keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage,
Sitting up there on the fuselage.
That little girl will do more than a male will do.— "Rosie the Riveter" song, 1943
Disruptive because … Rosie the Riveter was an iconic figure during World War II. Her fabled defense worker character inspired women to take on roles in male-dominated industries at a time when women had previously been told to only focus on domestic duties.
What you’ll need … Pull out your chambray shirt and roll up your sleeves to channel your inner Rosie the Riveter. Top off the look by tying a folded polka dot handkerchief around your head and donning a bright red lip color.