Ladies: take back Halloween!

26 October 2011

I know what you’re thinking: hell, here comes another Halloween and I feel pressured to go as a Sexy Witch. Or a Naughty Evil Librarian. Or a Playboy Bunny of Death. Girls’ and women’s costumes have been completely hijacked by Proctor & Gamble, porn culture, and the Beauty Industrial Complex such that if you’re not showing a lotta T&A when you go to that cocktail party, you might as well kiss goodbye any chance of getting a date, ever (or so we are led to believe).

It’s at moments like this that I suggest you ask, “What would Leslie Knope do?”
(WWLKD for short) — that is, put yourself in the sensible shoes of Amy Poehler’s character in Parks and Recreation, that bullheaded feminist whose desk is covered with photos of great women like Hillary Clinton and Madeline Albright. Leslie Knope says that when you’re wondering how to dress for Halloween, think Athena!

I mean, having a spear and shield is always handy for parties, and going as Athena means you get to say things like, “I was born from my father’s head with all this great armor on already!” or “Say that again, and I’ll stick my spear straight up your nose into your brain.” Plus, you get an owl.

If you’re not really the knowledge/ reason/ heavy armor kinda gal, maybe you’d prefer going as Marie Curie (just figure out a way to glow in the dark — how awesome would that be?), or Carrie Nation, the turn-of-the-century temperance crusader who marched into bars with a hatchet and chopped them to pieces as a way of making her point that the nation needed prohibition laws.

Let’s pause on the Carrie Nation idea for a moment (I mean, that Ken Burns series, Prohibition, was just on TV this fall — people will actually get that reference!). Can you imagine how great it’ll be to show up to a cocktail party as Carrie Nation?!? That’s way more scary than a Sexy Zombie or Sexy Vampire. Plus, you get to wear that lace collar! (Sadly, the Carrie Nation outfit does not come with an owl.)

So show some imagination, people! Strike envy into the hearts of those poor wispy types shivering in their Playboy Bunny or Air Hostess from the 60s outfits, even as you steal their potential dates. Hold up your hatchet / spear / glowing arm and ask, “Did you forget to ask yourself, What Would Leslie Knope Do?

I mean, who wouldn’t want to date the glowing Marie Curie or the woman with the hatchet? I’m turned on just thinking about it. Your potential dates will mutter to themselves, “I’ve forgotten everything I ever knew. I feel impossibly transfixed by that amazing woman in the helmet. Is it possible she could tell me as much about weaving as the art of war?”

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7 Responses to “Ladies: take back Halloween!”

  1. JE Says:

    Resist . . . resist . . . aarrghh! . . . I cannot stop a plunge into the most pathetic depths of nerdville to point out that Athena is holding a Spartan shield and that she’s holding it upside down. Naturally, the Spartans also worshiped Athena, but honestly.

    But I love the idea of reclaiming women’s costumes for Halloween. I wonder where you can get those nifty black US Women’s Soccer team kits? I can imagine a whole troop of little girls racing from door to door in those.

    I like how Carrie Nation is carrying a hatchet in one hand and a Bible in the other. Scary.

  2. Didion Says:

    Nation would not have been the first to pair Bible and implement of destruction, would she?

    Do you know how much money you could make as a classical Halloween costume advisor? Well, on second thought… but really, I bet you could develop a very profitable web-based business selling excellent and more historically accurate costumes.

    You’ve also got me thinking (again) about how much I want one of those US women’s soccer team jerseys. I saw a fan with one at the Boston Breakers game I attended this summer. (You could get a Wambach jersey and have a ball stuck to your forehead!)

  3. servetus Says:

    My doctoral adviser always gave a Halloween party since it coincides with practically the most important calendar date to remember in our subfield. He always asked people to come as their favorite character from our research. It meant that many of us were dressed as the wives of the people we studied …

    • Didion Says:

      Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about. Might be tough to get these magnificently rearing horses to flank you, but I’d like to spend my whole halloween night in this arms-raised pose. (Dates collapsing at their feet all around me.)

  4. tam Says:

    And there’s Hua Mulan…the girls could get into her. She was one of my daughter’s fav Disney films when she was a preteen 🙂
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hua_Mulan


  5. […] at this wonderful Flavorwire site. And c’mon, people — do something a little different. Last year I advocated going as a glowing, irradiated Marie Curie, a hatchet-wielding Carrie Nation, or as the […]


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