We talk to many girls and young women who are fed up by the narrow choices of Halloween costumes for girls and women. As one of the girls from our MEDIAGIRLS program put it, “You basically have two choices: be cute or sexy.” What if you don’t want to be either? That’s why we started a list of girl-approved suggestions last year from MEDIAGIRLS participants with costumes they find inspiring and fun. It was such a hit we’re doing it again with suggestions from our Youth Advisory Board. Please leave YOUR ideas in the comments section to even further grow our list!
Maisie: My idea for an empowering Halloween costume is a twist on the traditional sexy cat costume: I call it "The Catcall." The costume would be a black (or other cat color) top and pants, cat ears, and a tail with a sign taped onto the top that says "1-800-FEMINISM." This is an empowering Halloween costume because it shows people how stupid and pointless catcalling women is.
Shira: I pick Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. For this great feat, she received the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross. Amelia Earhart is strong choice for girls because no matter how many times people put her down she got back up and tried again. I love her quote, “Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn't be done.” For this costume, you could wear tall brown boots, brown pants, a brown jacket, a white scarf, and aviator hat and goggles.
Risa: I was thinking Frida Kahlo could be a cool Halloween costume. She is important, inspiring, and empowering. She used her personal obstacles, such as fights and anger that came from her family, to make artwork. She used the anger she had, and put it on canvases. What's empowering about her is that she had the emotional strength and guts to put her work out into the world for everyone to see.
Amita: I think an empowering costume would be a teenage mutant ninja turtle. The turtles are known for being super fun, tough, strong, and different, qualities that are not often expressed through girls' Halloween costumes. This is because there is a lot of peer pressure for girls to look "cute" and "sexy." But who doesn't love wearing a comfy onesie while also looking fierce and expressing your willingness to be different? Girls can look just as powerful and strong as boys during Halloween, because in reality, girls ARE just as strong and powerful as boys!
Naomi: Be a superhero. Men are not the only strong superheroes. I would be Wonder Woman for Halloween because she portrays a smart and strong woman. Wearing the costume will make you feel like you can conquer the world without being a man's sidekick!
Thenicha: I pick a Zombie or Vampire just something from the dead...well, that's not stereotyping a girl to have to look sexy in an inappropriate costume. This doesn't have to be a costume from the store. You could simple DIY by adding a few tears/shreds to clothing you don't care for much... a zombie walk.. and make up to look bloody with scars. You just need some face paint, white powder, etc.
Annie: I like the idea of going as Lisa Simpson. While she might not be the first person you think of when you hear the word "feminist," throughout "The Simpsons" she repeatedly proves that girls can do anything boys can do and that girls are more than just their looks. I think that it's the perfect Halloween costume with a really good message for girls regardless of whether or not they watch the show. Sola: My idea is a member of the Ghostbusters, from the version that came out this year. The gals from the movie are all smart, strong, and funny. They set out to prove that there were ghosts, and did exactly that. None of them let other people's opinions stop them from doing what they wanted. Plus, the uniforms don't expose nearly as much skin as the "empowering" uniforms that comic-book heroines (written by men) wear. And besides, who doesn't want to have an awesome laser-blaster-modified-vacum thing and hunt down paranormal creatures with your squad?
Sasha: I say dress as a woman who makes you feel inspired such as Serena Williams, Hillary Clinton, Selena Gomez, or Elle Woods from "Legally Blonde." It's a good way to feel empowered this Halloween!