18 Feminist Halloween Costumes — Because a Sexy Nurse Is so Last Century

by Ashley Austrew
Sep 22, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Whether tongue-in-cheek or totally serious, sexy costumes have become the norm for most of us women on Halloween.

And with every Halloween comes a big old internet debate on the topic — especially as more controversial sexy costumes, like Sexy Donald Trump, emerge. While plenty of people see a problem with the oversexualization of women on Halloween, others feel that it's our right to express our sexuality and gender identity in our costume choice.

No matter where you stand on the "sexy or not-so-sexy" Halloween costume argument, there's a feminist costume choice out there for you somewhere. Use this year's costume as a chance to use your creativity and brilliant mind to express your beliefs. Whether it be a fresh spin on a classic, a hilarious pun or just a bold stance on equality and reproductive freedom, we say go for it.

Originally published October 2015. Updated September 2017.

1 /18: Atomic Blonde

1/18 :Atomic Blonde

Have you seen Atomic Blonde yet? Charlize Theron is so badass, and all you need for this costume is a black trench, black sunglasses, some fishnets and a platinum wig.

2 /18: Hillary Clinton

2/18 :Hillary Clinton

She came damn close to being our first female president, and it doesn't get much more feminist than that. Coif your hair and put on that power suit, and you'll be looking like HRC in no time.

3 /18: Go bold or go home

3/18 :Go bold or go home

First up, an ode to the uterus. Republicans think it's a trick, but we feminists know it's really a treat.

Draw one on a paper bag for a cheap, easy DIY costume. You never know, you just might educate someone in the process.

4/18 :Cleopatra

Cleopatra is, quite literally, the OG Queen.

She reigned Egypt as a pharaoh back in the BC days, was bilingual, and even represented herself as the reincarnation of the Egyptian goddess Isis.

Thousands of years after her death, Cleopatra's powerful image still dominates modern arts and culture. It doesn't get much more feminist than that, so immortalizing her in a Halloween costume only seems fit.

5 /18: Imperator Furiosa

5/18 :Imperator Furiosa

Charlize Theron's character in Mad Max: Fury Road is feminist to the max (pun intended). 

The creator of the awesome costume pictured fashioned Furiosa's prosthesis using her own DIY skills. 

"The mech hand was made with craft store sheets of thin foam built over a wrist guard, accented with small metal hardware and acrylic paint," she tweeted.

6 /18: Who you gonna call?

6/18 :Who you gonna call?

The introduction of female Ghostbusters took the world by storm and had misogynists crying into their beef jerky.

Keep the male tears flowing with a badass Ghostbusters costume that is awesome, timely and shows them you ain't afraid of no ghosts.

7 /18: The fair and noble vagina

7/18 :The fair and noble vagina

Believe it or not, people still see vaginas as dirty and weird.

Prove them wrong with this Halloween costume that pays homage to the badassery of your anatomy. You can even customize it to look like yours. It's a beautiful thing, so wear it with pride.

8 /18: Just a couple of IUDs

8/18 :Just a couple of IUDs

Need a costume that's simple and won't let you down? Try an IUD. 

IUD costumes are easy to make and work for both feminists and allies alike. Who doesn't love contraception? You know, besides Congress. They never like anything cool.

9 /18: Feminist TV characters

9/18 :Feminist TV characters

The feminist bookstore owners from Portlandia are immediately recognizable, but there are also plenty of other TV greats to dress up as: Daria, Leslie Knope, Tina Belcher, Amy Schumer, Olivia Pope, Annalise Keating and a million other brilliant female icons.

Choose one of your favorites, and put together a costume that's both relevant and rad.

10 /18: Catcalling? Stop it right meow

10/18 :Catcalling? Stop it right meow

Everyone loves a good pun, and what's better than one that also makes a statement about street harassment?

Catcalling is a terrible idea, but it sure does make an awesome Halloween costume.

11 /18: Queen Bey

11/18 :Queen Bey

Beyoncé. Need we say more? OK, I guess we can say a little bit more.

Beyoncé is both beautiful and fierce, smart, talented, and she can rock a leotard like no one else. She runs the world, and you can too when you dress up like her.

12 /18: The female breadwinner

12/18 :The female breadwinner

It's 2015, and more women than ever are bringing home the bacon. Show off your dominant role in the household with this easy DIY breadwinner costume.

You can even make it using things you already have around the house; that way you can save both time and money. You're too busy running the world to spend hours searching for a costume!

13 /18: Grade A

13/18 :Grade A

Sexism ever got you feeling like a piece of meat? Make a play on that with a costume that will get heads turning.

Every time someone asks why you're dressed as a slab of meat, you'll get the chance to explain how you're actually so much more than that. Because you are, you amazing creature. You really are. (Amazon, $49.99)

14/18 :Giant tampon

This giant feminist tampon wants us to know that having your period is totally normal and nothing to be ashamed of. And we completely agree.

15 /18: Magic Mike

15/18 :Magic Mike

Dressing as male strippers — and most specifically, the hard-bodied Magic Mike — might be the ultimate feminist win.

Well-played, ladies.

16 /18: Frida Kahlo

16/18 :Frida Kahlo

To dress up as one of the most respected feminists and artists in history, all you need are a strong set of eyebrows and a braided updo. Let's do this.

17 /18: Gloria Steinem

17/18 :Gloria Steinem

Did you get chills seeing this rad chick dress up as her hero, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, for Halloween? Asking for a friend.

(The fact that she's wearing Steinem's actual 2004 embryonic stem cell Halloween costume makes this that much cooler.)

18 /18: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

18/18 :Ruth Bader Ginsburg

But seriously, though. What could be more feminist than dressing up as the notorious RBG? (And 10 points for bringing along her badass coloring book.)