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Adventures in Feministory: Five Halloween Costume Ideas From History!

feministory logo in red and orange. Scripty font reads Adventures in Feministory with a silhouette on either side of a woman holding a lasso and a protest sign

Halloween has arrived! If you're still scrambling for a last-minute costume to wear out tonight, put down the "sexy cat" getup—Adventures in Feministory is here to help! Here are five costume ideas from the past year in Feministories, all guaranteed to make for great Halloweenwear (and you don't even need a pushup bra to pull them off). Click on the links to learn all about these women (and get info to enhance your costume)!

Valentina Tereshkova, First Woman in Space Tereshkova, a young white woman, in a space helmet and orange jumpsuit
You'll need: An orange jumpsuit, a white helmet, and an adventurous spirit. Bonus detail: Tereshkova's space call sign was Chaika—ask your friends to refer to you by that name all night long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Mama Thornton, Blues Singer Extraordinaire Big Mama Thornton singing, wearing a dress
You'll need: A vintage dress, a harmonica, and a willingness to sing in public. Bonus detail: Thornton also played the drums, so bring a couple of sticks with you if you've got 'em.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Rust Westheimer, Sexologist Dr Ruth in a red suit
You'll need: A snappy pantsuit, a pair of oval-shaped glasses, and a healthy and frank outlook on human sexuality. Bonus detail: Westheimer co-hosted an episode of Friday Night Videos with Ozzy Osborne—a great addition to your Halloween bona fides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna May Wong in black and white leaning against a paintingAnna May Wong as Madame Liu-Tsong, Art-Loving TV Detective You'll need: A silk dress, a detective's magnifying glass, and a working knowledge of fine art. Bonus detail: Liu-Tsong owned her own gallery, so don't be afraid to comment on your host's decor.

 

 

 

 

 

Gertrude Stein, Writer and Scenester Picasso painting of Gertrude Stein
You'll need: A white scarf, a notebook and pen, and an entourage of famous friends and hangers-on. Bonus detail: The truly lazy Halloween celebrator could write "Gertrude" on a beer stein and still make a costume out of it.

 

 

 

 

 

Any other history-inspired Halloween costume ideas? Share them with us in the comments! Happy Halloween!

Related Reading: Feministorical Ladyween Costume Ideas!

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Comments

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great ideas! If I hadn't been

great ideas! If I hadn't been so lazy (or shallow pocketed) I was going to seriously do up the prosthetic gore and be Hypatia - the last librarian of the Library of Alexandria who was dragged through the streets and had her skin shredded with sea shells and broken pots by a Christian mob. Maybe next year.

Ohmygod. With your skin

Ohmygod. With your skin hanging off and everything!? I MUST SEE THAT. Seriously, if you do it next year, find me and send me photos!

Might steal that, if my latex-loving friends can lend me a hand.

I love this collection of

I love this collection of women!

Halloween.

This year I went to our friend's annual Halloween party as Eurydice from H.D.'s poem of the same name (I wore all black, other than a bright flower, and made myself all pale and death-like). I was planning on going as H.D., but I dress like her pretty much on a daily basis, so my friends would probably have accused me of not coming in costume. Ditto Djuna Barnes.

I also wanted to go as a poem this year, specifically Adrienne Rich's "Diving Into the Wreck." I was planning on wearing my swimsuit and snorkeling kit (didn't have a diving suit!) and then taking a cover-all, on which I was going to dye oceanic colors and write the poem on it with fabric paint. However, I couldn't find a white cover-all in October (or September). I think I may do that one next year.

I also thought about going as the flight attendant from James Dickey's poem "Falling," but I'd have to be half-naked, so I opted out of that one.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM a literary geek. Why do you ask?

Chaika is an AWESOME callsign. I forgot that's what she used. I am going to have to start using that more as an alias, because there was a LONG TIME in my childhood where I really wanted to be an astronaut.

Last year I was a Lady

Last year I was a Lady Against Women! (truly scary). I dressed up in 50s garb and marched around with a sign that said, "Babies not Ballots" and wore the tenants on a sign around my neck. If you're not going to a feminist-savvy party it's not the best, but provided a lot of great talking points!

http://bitchmagazine.org/article/ladies-first