15 Feminist Halloween Costumes!

Amelia-in-costume-flyingHalloween is just three days away and once again I am without a costume. Not to fear! There are plenty of places for a gal to purchase the necessary items for a last-minute Halloween costume. I stopped by the Value Village on my lunch break and found more than enough choices. I could be a sexy nurse, a sexy witch, a sexy cat, mouse or rabbit, or a sexy Goth chick… as if that’s even possible. I ended up with some cat ears and a tail. I’m just going to wear everything I own with a cat on it and be “The Crazy Cat Lady”. So not sexy.

For a DIY gal like myself, Halloween is the perfect time for me to put together something cool and original. But for those ladies who are not so inclined, Halloween can be a cruel reminder that being sexy is the most important thing in life. Store bought costumes for such mundane professions as “Cop” or “Nurse” all come with a pair of thigh-highs, booty shorts, and stiletto boots. Because everyone knows that it is way easier to catch bad guys, or help the sick while wearing high heels and no pants.

I’ve put together a list of costume ideas that are still cool and sexy, but hopefully have more creativity and imagination than your average store-bought variety. And your ass won’t get cold. Each choice comes with ideas on how to make this happen on the cheap.

  1. Amelia Earhart – All you need for this is a pair of tan slacks, brown boots, a white blouse and some goggles. A white scarf, wig and other accessories will help sell it, but they are not necessities. Those of you who want to go all out can use a cardboard box to make an airplane!
  2. Morticia Adams 71a64d2c8146fe32d43468c3177623faBefore there was such a thing as “Goth” there was the Addams. Of course Morticia is just a TV version of the great Vampira,but she isn’t so well-known so if you dress as Vampira, prepare to be called Morticia or Elvira all night. Morticia is a great choice though, and if you are going with a group you can do the whole creepy family. All you need is a long black dress (with sleeves) and a long black wig. Accessories such as a severed hand, a rose, long cigarette holder or a family member will help sell this look.
  3.  Ghost Buster, or Janine Melnitz – If you want to be a Ghost Buster all you need is a tan jump suit. You should be able to find one at a secondhand store. Next fashion a Proton Pack, and, since my boyfriend insists, you need a ghost trap. tumblr_mw2otrYszz1qmp5efo1_500To make these you can use a backpack, or paint a piece of cardboard and add some hoses. It just needs to give people an idea. It’s Halloween, not Cosplay. Now, if you want to be awesome, you go as Janine Melnitz from Ghost Busters. She was played by Annie Potts and is going to get you crazy point for creativity and originality. Get a red wig and cut it into a bob. Next, get a leopard print coat, some big plastic beads and a pair of glasses. It would help to walk around with the Ghost Busters.
  4. Ms. Marvel 531dd786ecf4bNo, not the hypersexy Ms. Marvel of the past, but the new Ms. Marvel. She’s been updated and she’s super hip, super cool, super…super, and sexy without being a gross stereotype. Kamala Khan is “a teenage Pakistani American from New Jersey with shapeshifting abilities, who discovers that she has Inhuman genes in the aftermath of the “Inhumanity” storyline and assumes the codename Ms. Marvel from her idol Carol Danvers.” (Wikipedia) All you need for this outfit is a black mask, (or old t-shirt cut into a mask)red tights or leggings, and a blue jersey knit dress. You can sew on a lightning bolt and add a red scarf and you are ready to save the world.
  5. Lydia Deetz (from Beetlejuice) – 9e420f480b2b9611674756888cd6afd9This one is sure to get you points for originality. All you need is a big black sun hat, a black blazer, and a long black dress. A stellar copy of The Handbook for the Recently Deceased would help. then do pale make up with dark eyes and some spiky bangs. If you are more ambitious, and have more money, go for the big red wedding dress. This is a popular idea in the Cosplay world, so you can actually find patterns for the red wedding dress and for the cover of the iconic handbook.
  6. The ladies of Mad Men – This is the perfect costume idea for a group of ladies going to a party together. Carrie, Charlotte and the gang are played out. These ladies are just as fashionable and more fun. Alone, these looks would just read as “60’s chick”. But together they spell out the whole story. Betty Draper, Joan Holloway, and even mousey Peggy and the glamorous 1a36799636c13dbb_ff178663-a8a8-298b-fbcd-867d4aa84525_Mad_Men_Stairs_Jon_Jessica_Elisabeth_January_Kiernan_Christina_1153_1182_V1.xxxlarge_2xMegan Draper are easy looks to achieve with the right accessories. Betty just needs an Aline dress and some pearls. Joan, a form-fitting dress, tight hair-do and heels. Peggy Olsen is conservative and should have on loafers. And that depends on what era you want to use. You can do 50’s, 60’s and even the 70’s! Have fun with it. 
  7. Suffragette – If you really want to go as a feminist this Halloween, then this is the look for you. Go to your local Goodwill or Value Village and find a high collared old timey dress. Or night-gown. If you sew, you can add details to help, if not there are places to find a costume dress that looks 19th century. Then all you need is a banner across your chest or a picket sign. And a hat. Those ladies loved hats.
  8. img_1910Frida Kahlo – First of all, yes you must do the eyebrows and the mustache. That is a deal breaker. There is nothing worse than a really pretty girl trying to be Frida Kahlo. The real Frida embraced her unique qualities and lived with them. So it needs to be part of your costume. And honestly, the eyebrows sell the look. Aside from that you need your hair slicked back, or in braids. You need flowers in your hair, a shawl, and about 40 necklaces, braclette and a big skirt. Done.
  9. Buffy the Vampire Slayer – This one is all about props and accessories. Any Buffy fan will tell you she didn’t go anywhere without Mr. Pointy, her favorite stake. So you’ll need to make one of those. Next, you’ll want to try for an iconic Buffy look: Leather jacket, black slacks, jeans or red leather pants, tank top and hair back with bangs. You’ll need black boots and a cross around your neck. full_30102010218_1298118365You could also do a big pink prom dress, but you’ll need to make sure Mr. Pointy is always in hand.
  10. The Bride AKA Beatrix Kiddo, (Kill Bill) – This is easy. Get yourself a yellow track suit and a plastic samurai sword. You’ll need some yellow running shoes as well. If you are not blond you’ll need a long blond wig with straight bangs, Then spatter yourself with blood. Or soak yourself. It’s Tarantino and Halloween. Go crazy with the blood. The more the better. Soak it up.
  11. Agent Scully 86442-b1a60045dc8ced2a443097c43aad5192The hottest FBI Agent this side of Agent Mulder. Dana Scully is all about the black skirt suit and pumps. Add to that a red wig ( a must!) and make yourself a FBI badge. Extra accessories can include a flashlight, an outdated cell phone, trench coat and a gun.
  12. Pussy Riot – This is the easiest, the most timely, the most feminist and the most badass choice you can make. Extra points if you dress your daughter like this. grid-cell-28985-1413567743-5Gold star if your daughter asks to go as one of The Pussy Riot girls. These chicks define what it means to be a badass, and what it means to walk the walk. First you’ll need a stocking cap that covers your face. Now cut holes for eyes if there are none. It doesn’t have to be pretty. Next get some bright-colored tights and a (different) bright-colored jersey dress. Write some stuff on your arms in black marker and you are good to go.
  13. Xena Warrior Princess 2This one is a little harder to make at home, but there are plenty of places to buy a full Xena costume or accessories. What I would do is buy a brown corset and fashion a breast plate out of something. trial and error would have to come into play. Foil? Fabric? Who knows. For the skirt I would probably find a spartan skirt at a costume store and use that. Then add boots and make a Chakram by cutting a frisbee and painting it. I’d need a black wig and better abs, but that would ba a pretty convincing Xena Warrior Princess costume if you ask me.
  14. Princess Leia – So the trick here is to go with Leai from the first movie. That is “A New Hope”. You know, white dress, laser gun, cinnamon bun hair do. I was Princess Leia when I was a little kid and my brother was Darth Vader. My mom made the costumes. She made the Vader helment with a pair if sunglasses, an army helment and card stock. That’s how you do Halloween. Don’t go for the Gold Bikini look. 5959268c0bb885a28894d64af0bf0e12It’s played out, and the Cosplay chicks who do it, do it really well. So instead go for an easier, more comfortable and more iconic look. You’ll need a long white dress with a turtle neck. If you can’t do that, a long white dress with long white sleeves. Or a white bathrobe. White boots. A thick silver belt. you can make one of these if necessary. It’s a recognisable part of the look, so it should be there. And now, the hair. It’s a must. If you have long hair, you can actually do this with your hair. If not, the options are endless. Actual cinnamon buns. Ear muffs dyed and styled. Knit caps that have buns on the sides. Panty hose fashioned into a Leia’s Hair hat. Store bought Leia hair buns. They all exist. I promise.
  15. Mary Poppins – Who is more iconic than Mary Poppins? Nobody. If you get this look right nobody at the party will ask, “Who are you supposed to be?” keikolynnThey’ll know right away. The outfit is fairly simple. You’ll need a shin length black skirt and a button down white blouse. You’ll need white gloves, a scarf, and black boxy shoes or booties. Now for the accessories. These are important. Of course you’ll need an umbrella. A black umbrella. Next a black hat with daisies and flowers on it. You’ll need a big carpet bag and a little red bow-tie. Boom. Mary Poppins.

Thanks For Nothing

My first Thanksgiving stateside in seven years left me in shock. Why would you need THREE turkeys for twelve people? For a person such as myself, a person who takes only what they need and not more, a person who is conscious about waste – it was very frustrating. On top of that I watched a mother leave Thanksgiving Dinner so that she could go stand in line for Black Friday. She left her sweet little baby (4 months old), and her toddler so that she could shopping. It seems ironic to me that Thanksgiving is supposed to be “about family” and she left hers to go spend fifty bucks on a plastic kitchen set. I hung out with that baby all night. Mom came back empty-handed and annoyed that no one had saved left overs for her. Priorities.

Black Friday is a blight on the face of America. It is like a big zit right on our collective nose. The rest of the world hears the horror stories and is left scratching their heads, wondering “why?” And I don’t have an answer. It seems that somewhere along the way Thanksgiving has stopped being about family and friends, and getting a few days off work. Thanksgiving is now all about consumption at home and at large. After you stuff yourself full of enough fatty foods for three people, why not head down to the Wal-Mart and wait in line for ten hours only to be pushed through the doors by a horde of bargain hunting assholes? Thanksgiving is supposed to be the one day Americans say Thank You for what they already have. It seems ironic that we chose that particular day to be excessive.

Buying an XBOX on sale isn’t worth fighting traffic, crowds, or leaving your family on Thanksgiving. Hell, if I have to be there, then YOU have to be  there. You get me? The folks who participate in Black Friday aren’t really getting any super awesome deals. It has been proven. On top of that you have blatant consumerism mixed with angry mobs. It’s gross. You don’t need gifts piled high to the ceiling on Christmas. If you show love for your family by buying them plastic toys, electronics, video games, or a Cabbage Patch Doll – you’re doing it wrong. You are teaching your family that money and things are important. You are helping your family buy into the notion that Thanksgiving and Christmas are all about what you get, and how much you got it for.

If that’s Christmas then I say – BAH HUMBUG.

Thanksgiving Playlist

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t like Thanksgiving. For me it is nothing but overeating and sloth sprinkled with a few family fights over silly things like politics or who has to wash the heaping pile of dishes. Ugh. No thanks. This will be my first Thanksgiving in America since 2005 so I am trying to be a little more positive. I am going to bake some soft, frosted Pumpkin Spice cookies and get a new fall outfit to sooth my dampening spirit.

I am thankful for so much. I am thankful for my boyfriend who makes me happy everyday. I am thankful for my job and the cute little brats I get to hang out with and teach. I am thankful for books, music, pizza, pancakes, boots, coffee, my penguin slippers and the new warm blanket my mommie sent. I am thankful for all that I have – everyday. Here is a playlist of gratitude. Play it while you bake some pies.

  1. Little Old Wine Drinker Me – Dean Martin 
  2. The Slackers – Thank You 
  3. Beans and Cornbread – Louis Jordan 
  4. Caveman – Thankful 
  5. Homeward Bound – Simon & Garfunkel 
  6. Making Pies – Patty Griffin 
  7. We All Want To – A La Mode 
  8. Nothing Short of Thankful – The Avett Brothers 
  9. Everybody Eats When They Come to My House – Cab Calloway 
  10. Talking Turkey – Electric Six 
  11. The Long Way Home – Tom Waits 
  12. Maximum Consumption – The Kinks 
  13. Charlie Parker – Carvin’ the Bird 
  14. Eat It – “Weird Al” Yankovic 
  15. Alcohol – Bare Naked Ladies 

Happy Slut-o-Ween!

The other day my boyfriend and I went to one of those pop up Halloween stores in hopes of finding inspiration for our first Halloween stateside in, for me, seven years. The first thing we saw was a “Sexy Cop” outfit. “Ugh,” I said as I rolled my eyes. “Why does every fucking costume for a woman have to be slutty? Why can’t we just be scary or funny?” My boyfriend told me to relax. This was not the first time I have complained about the social injustices of my favorite holiday.

We kept walking. We past slutty Elmo, sexy Chewbaca, sexy fairy, sexy taxi driver(!), slutty cat, dog, fish and rabbit, and of course the classic – sexy nurse. Finding zero inspiration among the prepackaged male fantasies I had to choose from, I tried to think of what I could use from my own closet. After seven Halloween’s in a country that doesn’t celebrate Halloween, I have gotten pretty good at make-shift costuming. It was then I remembered I had a French Maid outfit. The same one I had worn in High School, and again a few years ago in Prague. Sure it is totally unoriginal, but it’s easy and cheap. And I could always be a zombie French Maid, or a French Maid who’s had the shit knocked out of her once or twice. Perfect. I told my fella that I’d just use what I had at home and he said, “Wait. Why is a sexy nurse bad, and a French Maid is ok?”

A valid question with a simple answer. I walked him back over to the slutty cop outfit and said, “Have you ever seen a cop dressed like this? Nope. The French Maid outfit is naturally sexy. It isn’t contrived to be sexy – it just is. Nobody lowered the hem or changed it to make it sexy. The sexy Elmo, or nurse or whatever – is deliberate. There is nothing sexy about a taxi driver or Elmo. It’s just underwear pretending to be a costume. Lame.” Personally, I’d have more respect for a woman who wore lingerie and said she was dressed as a hooker. At least that’s honest.

What I hate about the sexist Halloween costume surge is the fact that we ladies buy into it. A long time ago Halloween wasn’t about showing cleavage or being sexy – it was about being scary. When did we all decide that being man candy for Halloween was a good idea? I’m happy to say that I grew out of it. The French Maid outfit is modest in comparison to some of the things I have seen packaged as a costume.

The difference between being sexy and being slutty is simple. A woman can be super sexy without showing her boobs, her ass, and everything else. Once you raise the hemlines, lower the neckline and put on fuck me heels (all at the same time) you have ventured into slutty. If that is the kind of attention you really want, then knock yourself out. Have a good time. Just know that EVERYONE at the party thinks you are a walking, talking cliché.

Happy Halloween!

Put On Your Hoodie – Autumn Playlist

I love Fall. Or if you’re bein’ fancy, I just adore Autumn. Fall in Prague was my favorite time of year there. The leaves all changed colors, the air became all crisp and cool, and ladies everywhere start showing off their favorite boots and scarves. Maybe growing up in Southern California left me feeling like I missed out on something essential to any good childhood – jumping into a big pile of bright colored leaves for instance? Fall doesn’t feel the same without a change in climate and clothing. I never got to do any of the cool stuff I saw on TV or in movies, that is until I moved to Prague. In Prague I had a snowball fight, I jumped in a pile of leaves, I saw a real Spring and experienced a REAL winter.

Austin? You got your work cut out for you. Here is my Autumn inspired playlist. Play it in order as you bake some cookies.

  1. Peanut’s Theme song – Nothing says Fall like Halloween, and nothing says Haloween like “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!” This piece of music always makes me think of fall… 
  2. Neil Young, Harvest Moon – I’m taking the theme a little literal here, but I still like the song and it feels like fall, don’t it? 
  3. Small Faces, Autumn Stone 
  4. Chet Baker, Autumn Leaves – There were a lot of choices for this song. I liked this one best. Today. 
  5. The Manas and the Papas, California Dreaming – OK. It’s techincally a winter song, but it feels like a fall song. 
  6. French Kicks, So Far We Are – 
  7. American Football, Never Meant – 
  8. MGMT, Time to Pretend – If you can get past the pretension and hipsters, this song is pretty rad. And feels like fall. And the video has cats. 
  9. Mumford & Sons, To Darkness – 
  10. Shakespeare’s Sister, Stay – 
  11. Nancy Sinatra, As Tears Go By – 
  12. Ella & Louis, Autumn in New York – 
  13. Squeeze, Coffee in Bed – 
  14. ABBA, When All is Said and Done – Yeah, not the best ABBA song, but it is still ABBA so it is still awesome. 
  15. Tom Waits, Last Leaf – Duh. Of COURSE I put Tom Waits on the list. He should be included on lists of awesome stuff as much as possible. 

Fall Nostalgia

Fall is my favorite time of year in Prague. The air starts getting a little bit cooler, the leaves start dressing with a little more fire and flair, and I get to start using my heater to dry clothes again. Fall is the time that I start the “Jacket Evolution” which begins with a hoodie, and then over the course of the long winter, ends with a full length, weather proof and very warm coat. I should note that not all ladies in this fair city participate in the Jacket Evolution. Prague is the one city where it can be freezing (literally) cold outside and you will see women walking around in mini skirts and heels. Better you than me honey.

Fall here is way better than the faux Fall of Southern California. In L.A. fall consists of mild temperatures (about 70 degrees) and department stores decorating their display tables with lots of oranges, browns, and yellows. It’s not California’s fault, and until I moved to Europe I really didn’t know what I was missing. It’s a grass is always greener deal, I think. When I talk to the parents at my pre-school, the first thing they want to know is why in the world I would want to move from California to live in Prague. “California is sunny and you have the beach!” they always say. Well, I got news for you. I rarely – if ever – went to the beach in Los Angeles. I can’t even recall the last time I went to a beach in L.A. I went often in Mexico, and once or twice to a bon fire in San Francisco, but I must have been a teenager the last time I saw waves in sunny Los Angeles. I guess it comes down to me not being a “beach” person. If we were playing one of those games where you have to choose either BEACH or MOUNTAINS – and you can’t say both – then I would say mountains. The mountains don’t leave a salty film on me.

So, Prague is kind of the best of both worlds for me. Sure it’s landlocked, but I honestly don’t mind. I like the cold weather here and seeing the change of seasons. I like having a reason other than fashion to wear a coat. I like starting a fire in the fire place out of necessity for warmth. I came to this country in fall about four years ago, so maybe its just as simple as that. It reminds me of a time when I found my home.