Saturday, October 31, 2015

Consider Claiming Halloween, Feminists

I was better than Beyonce.
What a fun sentence that is to write. But, it's true. Last year, I was hands down better than Beyonce and her Halloween costume. While she has more money, fame, and skin pigmentation (so jealous of that last one) than I do, her version of Frida Kahlo paled in comparison to mine. I can prove it.

Her Frida Kahlo:
Photo credit: US Magazine
My Frida Kahlo:

I look fierce and pale as my skin is, I otherwise nailed it. The surprising things about this was people's reactions. First, the majority of people did not know who I was (sad), and presenting myself to the world with atypical beauty (a lot of facial hair) made people uncomfortable: staring, staggering backwards, not looking at me when talking. It was quite the experience.  I wasn't fitting their mold. 

And it made me remember what Tina Fey said in Mean Girls and reminded me of Community Season 1 "Intro to Statistics" episode:

Annie: Oh Britta! You look adorable.

Yes, I do know. Do you?

I've been thinking about it and the expectation that women will wear a sexualized costume on Halloween is wrong. To be sure, women can be all the things: smart, funny, cute, strong, sexy. 
But October 31 feels like a messed up Neil Armstrong quote:

That's one skimpy costume for women, One giant leap backward for womankind. 

As a woman I want to be taken seriously. I want to be able to work and be paid the same as my male counterparts. I want justice when people harass and abuse me/us. And yeah, I want to look sexy, but for me, I want to do that on my terms: my own time, in my own way, not on a specific date with a costume from a bag that frankly should involve more cloth. 

So, I submit to you an idea:
If you're a girl, reject the Halloween costume industry. Here are some reasons why:

1.) Education & Appreciation
I was a famous historical noteworthy woman who everyone should know. It was a little discouraging that people didn't know who Friday Kahlo was, but that makes it all the more important to educate them on WHY she's a big deal.  

2.) The Whole Enchilada: Brains, Beauty, and Creativity
You won't be dressed like anyone else because you thought of it yourself. No hiding in the bathroom for you. You can proudly say you thought of your costume yourself, made it and are owning it. Those are pretty hot.
American Girl Dolls

3.) Living It Out
This year, I dyed my hair red on a whim. It was late at night when my inhibitions were down, but in the morning was embraced as Kimmy Schmidt---my favorite role model for resilience in 2015. By being like her, by committing to the role, I felt stronger. It came at a good time, because I was feeling more brittle than unbreakable. 

4.) Womanhood
Think of the future. I want to use this holiday from here on out to be someone notable and praiseworthy and to inspire other women to do likewise. Who knows, maybe it can propel us into a better place. Maybe that way our daughters won't understand or be able to understand Mean Girls. Now there's a thought. 

Who will I be next year? Brene Brown? Marie Curie? Not sure. But I can promise to keep the bar raised high and my hemlines low. 

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