Recently, a new Twitter friend of mine, Sam Maggs, posted an article that I think deserves some extra promotion about Halloween and what nerd girls can do to embrace their passions while avoiding really bad sexist stereotypes (and bad costumes).
I’ve always had a problem with Halloween because so many girls dress up as skimpy nurses and sexy cops/cowgirls. Maybe it’s because I like seeing effort and energy put into costumes, but probably it’s because I don’t like being around girls who dress and act that way.
Even in the nerd world these ideas are promoted in things like comic books and horror films. I don’t want to seem like I’m ranting, and I most adamantly want to avoid putting my foot in my mouth, but Halloween has become, in my mind, too easy a venue for women to fall into the cookie-cutter, stereotypical, overly sexualized victims of modern society’s misogynistic costume expectations. Guys, don’t think we’re off the hook, we’re one of the main reason these pressures exist and we can do a lot to encourage change as well.
Ok, thus ends the big words about sociological topics. And, again, I hope I haven’t put my foot in it or misrepresented Miss Maggs, who might take a different stance or have different reasons, in any way. I am a guy after all, and while I try my best to understand aspects of feminism, I know I never will completely.
Sam’s point in her article “10 Hallowe’en Costume Ideas for Every Nerd-Girl” is that female fans of nerdy things need not fear their geekness or their spandex because plenty of nerdy costume alternatives are out there. This is such a great point, and so well presented, because the costumes in this list are amazing! They are all-encompassing for any female shape, they encourage uniqueness and creativity, and they bring confidence to fanboys and girls everywhere who may not think dressing up as their favourite character is acceptable or understood.
I was surprised how big Rule 63-ing has become. Sadly, we don’t get too many fan conventions out here in Victoria, so I’m not exposed to the communerdy like Sam is. These costumes are fantastic ways for girls to take possession of the male figures that have dominated the genres through most of their history, while still bringing their own twist.
If there’s one thing Joss Whedon (#5 on the list, but why no Firefly examples?) has taught us, it’s that it is ok to be a nerd. Nerds will take over the world, we know it, so embrace it ladies! Plus, most of these get-ups are ridiculously good-looking, so if that’s your main goal for Halloween then you’re covered (in both senses of the term).
I’d like to thank Sam Maggs for posting this article. It was both entertaining and very educational. I almost wish I was a girl this Halloween so I could try some of these costumes out! I see this as the beginning of a great friendship, and you should probably follow her on Twitter or check back with TdotComics, especially because Sam is a Whovian. That was my costume last year (Ten of course), and I spent the evening getting to know a female number Eleven. This year my two good Halloween friends went as a Khaleesi and a Pict; I’m glad these nerdy ideas are taking off!