Planning creative costumes for Halloween can be tough. As a college student, you might find that your funds can’t stand putting down $40-$60 on a costume from the stores and the last thing you want to do is be that person who utilizes every fluorescent colored article of clothing to be an 80’s icon–AGAIN. You also might find that some of the costumes that you see on the street are highly offensive cultural appropriations, such as those who dress up as “Indians”, “Geishas”, or trying to or even put on black face to be their “favorite hip hop rapper.”
On the opposite end, where are the cool costumes inspired by social justice activists across different movements? For our awesome student activists, here are some historical leaders to aspire towards this Halloween. You can quickly create some iconic looks using your own closet (or retrofitted goodies!) for an economically and socially sound Halloween.
*Note: This is a very, very brief list that is not representative of all identities! We invite you to share with us your Halloween costumes inspired by the incredible men, women, and genderqueer activists of color who are doing work in different movements.
Dolores Huerta: Labor leader and civil rights activist co-founded the National Farmworkers Association (now United Farm Workers) alongside César Chávez.
What you need: High-waisted jeans, an old pull over sweater, button down shirt to tie at the waist, combat boots
Shirley Chisholm: Politician, educator, author, and Congresswoman representing New York’s 12th Congressional District for seven terms!!
What you need: Patterned button down blouse, big framed glasses, business skirt, big chunky earrings
Amelia Earhart: First person to fly across the Atlantic solo!
What you need: leather jacket, white scarf (or patterned silk scarf tied in a bow around your neck), jeans or a romper, aviator sunglasses
Ida B. Wells: 19th century anti-lynching activist, journalist, teacher, women’s rights activist, and co-founder of the NAACP.
What you need: maxi skirt, blouse with frilly collar, a brooch, large over-the-top hat, and a newspaper
Frida Kahlo: Mexican painter best known for her self-portraits. Her work has been “celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.”
What you need: floral hair accessories, red shawl, white lacy top, big and colorful jewelry, black eyeliner
Have a safe and fun Halloween! Eat lots of candy (and we know you are, because our MSC candy bowl is running low today 🙂
Written and compiled with the help of Barbara Gonzalez, MSC Greek Affairs Specialist Intern