Halloween Costume Ideas!

I think we can all agree that Halloween isn’t just about candy and kids dressing up and pagan feasts of the dead: it’s also about creating intellectually superior costumes, thus shaming all those cheap Sexy Witch moms who put their kids in vulgar, peripheral-vision-obscuring plastic masks.

Halloween TrioSure, you could settle for buying a flammable chain-store costume for your kid while you wear a push-up bra under your usual stained hoodie and tell everyone you’re “Me, Only Better,” but why not try a little this year? Why not put some effort into creating costumes that will engage and inspire? Isn’t that a better use of your time than eating fistfuls of candy corn every time your kid leaves the room?

Here are some costume ideas to get you started. We’ve included ideas for your child as well, in case he or she wants to join in on the fun. And really, what child wouldn’t?

Carrie Nation

Who? Charismatic, frightening member of the Temperance Movement

Costume needs: Gray wig; rimless glasses; black dress; grim, humorless expression

Say this: “I’m a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn’t like!”

Do this: Vandalize, lecture, tsk-tsk

Your child can be: Her hatchet

Maya Angelou

Who? Poet, autobiographer, mellow-voiced public figure

Costume needs: Something jewel-toned and floaty; a regal demeanor; a deep inner knowledge of why the caged bird sings

Say this: “You may trod me in the very dirt/But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

Do this: recite; gaze into the distance with a radiance borne of triumph over years of struggle; accept honorary degrees

Your child can be: the glory of her written word.

Golda Meir

Who? The fourth prime minister of Israel

Costume needs: boxy, ill-fitting skirt suit; gray-bunned wig; Groucho Marx eyebrows

Say this: “In our war with the Arabs we had a secret weapon — no alternative.”

Do this: Look firm and decisive; get elected prime minister of Israel

Your child can be: David Ben-Gurion, obviously.

Margaret Hamburg

Who? The most recently appointed commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration

Costume needs: Shoulder-length, wavy brown wig; pleasant demeanor

Say this: “Only all of us acting together, with wise policies and sound judgments, can make our world safer.”

Do this: Tell everyone to call you Peggy

Your child can be: The food pyramid.

Shirley Chisholm

Who? The first black woman elected to Congress

Costume needs: Oversized glasses; jaunty wig; warm smile

Say this: “Rhetoric never won a revolution yet.”

Do this: Get a bill passed; be full of moxie and verve

Your child can be: Her proud legacy

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