Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween!

If you're like me, then you'll take any excuse to don a costume and play around. And if you're like me, that means you love Halloween.

Halloween is probably my favorite holiday, but I have to say, sometimes the costumes I see break my heart.

Look, I'm a firm believer that people should be able to wear whatever they want and not get harassed for it. You wanna dress sexy, go for it. You want to genderbend, do it. My issue isn't that people are using Halloween as an excuse to dress in sexy costumes.

My issues are these: one, that most of the sexy costumes show a lamentable lack of creativity (seriously, it's like "take x, and turn it into a tube dress"), and two that the options for female costumes are limited to the overtly sexy--again, if you want to dress in a sexy costume, that's great, but for female-identifiers who don't, the lack of options makes the whole process frustrating.

Seriously. (image via Sociological Images)

I could spend some time talking about how these gendered costumes perpetuate some pretty insidious ideas about sexuality and gender performance, but there are plenty of other places that are leading that discussion--I've spent a lot of time scrolling through the Fuck No Sexist Halloween Costumes Tumblr page.

But instead of bemoaning the heteronormative travesty that is Halloween costume advertising or the disappointing lack of unique costume options, I thought I'd share a place where you can see some creative options for female-identifiers.

I was introduced to Take Back Halloween last year. It's a collection of interesting costume ideas--notable women from history, goddesses from nearly every pantheon, classic glamour girls, and queens from just about any where and any time--and lists of how and the things you'll need to make the costumes.

Just check out some of their options.

Queen Nzinga of Ndongo

Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo

I know the day before Halloween is a little too late to put together a new costume, but I'm sharing this in part to give you something to think about to distract you when you see the fiftieth Sexy Big Bird of the night and, in part, to let you know about their Kickstarter project

Take Back Halloween  is in the process of expanding their costume ideas for 2013, and they need help funding their research. Check it out--see if funding this project is something you're interested in.

In the end, it's Halloween. You should dress how you want, without being limited by what stores and society think is appropriate for your gender.

Enjoy the holiday, guys!


  1. The author of the feminist webcomic Gyno-Star has been posting snarky sketches of the "sexy costume" concept. The formula she came up with is "lingerie + headwear + prop = sexy costume". Her funniest example was "Sexy Poo": http://gynostar.tumblr.com/image/34457351132

  2. This popped up on my dashboard this evening, about half an hour after I read this post. Thought you might find it interesting.