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Empowering Costume Ideas for Girls and Tweens

Updated on August 21, 2014

Empowering Costumes for Tweens and Young Girls

As the mother of two tween age girls I encourage them to choose costumes for Halloween and for parties that are empowering girls costumes, ones that will make them feel better about themselves and maybe even inspire a future career.

Unfortunately in the past few years there has been a movement away from classical and career costumes for girls and towards costumes that portray them as being sexy or as sexualized characters - the sexy police officer, the bratty army officer, sexy crime fighter, super hero or nurse.

In looking for girls' costumes to add to this page, I was not able to find a girl's version of a Swat Team costume, a CSI investigator costume, An Astronaut, a scientist or a pilot. Okay, there may have been sort of one for a pilot, but it was a sexy top gun costume dress, which doesn't count.

To paraphrase an old Justin Timberlake song, "We're taking not being sexy back" for girls and their Halloween Costumes encouraging them to wear non-sexualized, empowering and enjoyable Halloween costumes.

In doing this we will be making it all right for girls to be girls, to not have to be defined by sexualized Halloween costume, to choose to be whatever they want to be, to shine in her own spotlight and be a character that is defined by her brain and abilities instead of how sexy she looks in a costume.

Image from ba1969

Halloween Costumes for Girls

Find out what happens with Miss Representation's Intern Leah D. goes inside a Halloween chain store to explore the costume choices for little girls from MissRepresentation2

Girls Can Be Anything

Super Hero Costume for Girls

Let your girls dress like their favorite superheroes.

Rubie's Super DC Heroes Wonder Woman Child's Costume, Medium (8-10)
Rubie's Super DC Heroes Wonder Woman Child's Costume, Medium (8-10)
The Wonder Woman Costume for girls is age appropriate (no plunging neckline) and very empowering.

Vote on Girls Costume Ideas

I thought I would use some of the lines from popular songs to let you vote on what should be done about girls' costumes.

What should be done about girls' costumes?

See results

Debate Halloween Costumes for Girls

What do you think about the Halloween Costumes for Girls and Tweens?

Empowering Costume Ideas for Girls and Tweens

Some of the classic costume choices for girls to remind them they can be grow up to be anything include:

  1. Medical Professional - Doctor or Nurse
  2. Veterinarian
  3. Scientist
  4. Astronaut / Argonaut
  5. Teacher
  6. Police Officer
  7. President
  8. Lawyer
  9. Firefighter
  10. Armed Forces
  11. Artist
  12. Dancer
  13. Career Mom - SuperMom

Who would you add to the list of good costume ideas for girls or tweens?

Dress as a Character

Dressing in Character - Stella Ehrhart

Stella Ehrhart is setting a new model for young girls. This third grader has been coming to school dressed up as a different historical figure or character for more than a year. She started dressing in character the second day of second grade.

She uses her book 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century for inspiration. Some of her characters include:

  • Helen Keller
  • Billie Holiday
  • Jane Goodall
  • Laua Ingalls Wilder
  • Jane Adams
  • Rosa Parks
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Mary Todd Lincoln
  • Michelle Obama
  • Aung San Suu Kyi
  • Virginia Apgar
  • Katherine Switzer
  • Emily Dickinson
  • Joan Baez
  • Jan Brady
  • Sandra Day O'Connor
  • Queen Elizabeth
  • Princess Grace

Books on Inspiring Women

Stella's book of inspiration, 100 Most Important Women of the 20th Century was published in 1998 and is in limited supplies. I found several other books on inspiring women to inspire your costume selections.

Famous Women to Choose for Costume Ideas

These lenses feature many famous women in history, science and medicine that would make great Halloween or party costumes.

Books for Girls on Famous Women in History, Science and Medicine
My tween-age daughters were wondering why they weren't learning about famous women in history in their classes at school. Since I couldn't come up with a re...

Famous Women in History, Science and Medicine
What do you do when your young daughter asks "Why don't we learn about women in school?" If you are like me, you go looking for answers. What you w...

Classic and Historical Costumes for Girls

Forum Novelties Child's Costume Doctor's Lab Coat
Forum Novelties Child's Costume Doctor's Lab Coat
Could be used as a scientist costume.

Historical Costumes for Girls

There are many historical figures to choose from, but fewer official costumes for girls.

More Classic Halloween Character Costumes

More ideas for classic Halloween costumes and some quick and easy last minute costumes for girls

Once Upon a Time Costume Ideas for Storybrooke Characters
Dressing up as a favorite character from Storybrooke, the fictional real life town where the show occurs, is a fun way for fans of Once Upon a Time (OUAT) to...

Princess Merida Costume from Brave
Without a doubt Princess Merida Costume will be one of the most popular Halloween costumes for girls, tweens, teens and women for 2012. Fortunately there is...

How to Be a Fancy Nancy Explorer Extraordinaire
I picked up the latest Fancy Nancy book at the store this weekend, Fancy Nancy Explorers Extraordinaire and realized it may be an answer to this summer's dil...

Alice in Wonderland Costumes
Since Tim Burton re-imagined Alice in Wonderland in 2010 and created the new world of Underland, Alice in Wonderland and her friends have continued to be pop...

Angelica Pirate Costume & More
Penelope Cruz is the new Pirate Angelica in Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides. Her character Angelica Malon was one of the hot female costumes for 2...

Snow White, the Huntsman and Ravenna Costumes
With costumes created by Academy Award Winner, Colleen Atwood, the amazing costumes for Snow White and the Huntsman make inspired Gothic, Medieval or Hallowe...

Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters Costumes
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is scheduled to be released in January 2013, but that isn't stopping the rockin' retro steam-punk costume from making an app...

Puss in Boots Costume Ideas
DreamWork's Puss in Boots is a fun costume character for Halloween. The Puss in Boots costume is a combination of a dashing, swashbuckling pirate, an unmaske...

Easy Halloween Costumes
With a bit of imagination and a little time, you can create a variety of easy Halloween costumes. Many of these ideas include using just a few items, items y...

Fancy Nancy Costumes & Costume Ideas
Fancy Nancy is a little girl who loves to dress up for every day, for tea parties and especially for costume parties. She's been a ballerina, a butterfly, a ...

13 Ways to Cloak Your Identity for Halloween
One easy way to create a fast, fun, simple and unique Halloween costume is to start with a mask, cloak, cape or robe to hide your true identity. Hallow...

Creative Last Minute Halloween Costume
In this lens you will discover a collection of quick and easy, creative Halloween costumes helpful for those waiting until the last minute, or the week befor...

Nanny McPhee
Nanny McPhee is the mysterious, amusing and a bit scary Nanny character created by Emma Thompson from Christianna Brand's Nurse Matilda. Emma Thompson wrote...

Take Back Halloween!

Take Back Halloween Online

Take Back Halloween is a resource guide for Halloween costumes that allows girls and women to portray a specific person or character.

Girls Don't Have to Wear Sexy Costumes

Things You Can Be On Halloween Besides Naked!!!

A humorous and a PG look from Emotistyle with suggestions for dressing up for Halloween without just dressing in your underpants. More appropriate for Tweens than young girls.

Articles on the Sexism in Halloween

More articles to support the fact that Halloween, particularly for women and young girls is focusing on the sexy aspect of the costumes.

Any other thoughts you want to share on providing girls with empowering costume ideas?


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