Suggestion Box

Reader Paola Eisner writes:

Hey! I heard about your site through reddit. In light of traffic spikes (yay Halloween :) would you like to start a blog post that would allow viewers to post additional ideas for powerful/interesting women? Your images are fantastic, and a few of them make me think of a few more to add! I’m sure I can’t be the only one :)

Excellent idea!

We’re constantly running a To Do list of costumes on the drawing board, and we are always excited to hear new ideas. We also like to know who people are most interested in seeing. We bumped Ada Lovelace to the top of our To Do list this year because so many people expressed interest, and we’re doing the same with Emma Goldman (costume in the works right now).

So, what other costumes would you like to see on Take Back Halloween?

P.S. We have super-caching turned on to help cope with the huge traffic to the server, so you may not see your comment right away.



23 Comments → “Suggestion Box”

  1. BethanyB


    Oh, thank you! Okay, I would love to see a costume for Eleanor of Aquitaine. I did see that you have a costume for Marie de France, which mentions Eleanor as her sister-in-law. But it would be really neat, I think, to have a costume for Eleanor in your Queens category.

    Thank you so much for this wonderful site.

  2. KatriaProf


    My suggestion: Rosalind Franklin. It wouldn’t be hard, just a 50s style dress and a lab coat.

  3. BeckyEff


    This is FANTASTIC. I love all of these costumes!!! I want to have a Halloween party with just all these amazing women and goddesses!

    Have you considered doing Queen Elizabeth I? I guess that would be pretty hard, though. I really don’t know where you find all that, like the ruff around the neck.

    Also, have you considered adding a category for fictional characters? Famous characters from books, movies, TV shows, anime? Because I would have a ton of ideas for those! :)

    But what you have here already is AWESOME. I spent an hour reading through the costumes and was just amazed.

  4. Jacquelyn


    I absolutely love this website! What a fantastic idea. Here are some suggestions:

    Julia Child
    Eleanor of Aquitaine
    Marie Curie
    Queen Christina of Sweden
    Amelia Earhart
    Katherine Hepburn
    Maria Callas

    I could go on and on!

  5. wintersweet


    LOVE the site! I’m sharing it with everyone that I know. Here are a few suggestions.

    Qiu Jin
    Easily done with a Chinese-style jacket (not a qipao with tight sleeves), a long pleated skirt, and a taiqi sword.

    Hua Mulan (Disney did not make her up!)

    A pair costume: the Trung sisters!

    Nyx, goddess of the night:

    Queen of the Fairies, as in or

    Tomoe Gozen

    Grace O’Malley

    Chand Bibi

    Sei Shonagon (same costume as Murasaki Shikibu — a great pair costume if they come up with a schtick!)
    I personally think it’s fine to embrace the dark side at Halloween ;)

    Keep up the great work!

  6. wintersweet


    Oh yes, I agree with Eleanor, a childhood hero of mine (as was Hatshepsut, who’s on the site already).

  7. JessHanff


    Salome, of course! Or Judith, in keeping with the theme.
    Cordelia of Britain
    Molly Pitcher
    Historical Mulan
    Empress Jing?

  8. Ford


    I’d really like to suggest creating a new catagory that is something allong the lines of amazing female characters from fiction. It’d be great to see costume breakdowns for some strong females in literature (e.g: Morgan le Fay, Nora Charles, Marquise de Merteuil, Scarlett O’Hara, Irene Adler, Elizabeth Bennet, Amelia Peabody, Jo March.)

    I also wouldn’t mind seeing some more modern ones from movies and TV, (e.g: M from the James Bond franchise, Sarah Connor, Buffy Summers, Ellen Ripley, Veronica Mars, Dana Scully, Audrey Horne.)

    I’d also like to see ones that are traditionally fetishised or sexied up but don’t need to be because they completely kick ass. (e.g: Princess Leia, Emma Peel, Diana Prince [Wonder Woman], Barbara Gordon [Batgirl], Selina Kyle [Catwoman])

    This turned into something way longer than I intended but I just get frustrated by a lot of the “slave Leia” costumes that I see and getting blank stares when I talk about how amazing Nora Charles is.

    I love what you guys do here, thanks so much for existing!

  9. Kaisha


  10. Annika


    This is an awesome website, but it’s too bad that I heard about it so close to Halloween! My suggestion would be for a costume of Hypatia! Fourth century Greek mathematician and philosopher of note in Alexandria.

  11. Mallory


    I am loving all of the ideas on your website!
    This year, I am going as Marie Curie–very easy with a dress, labcoat, and a yellow “radium” glowstick in my pocket!!

    Happy Halloween!

  12. Jenny Islander


    I would also like to see a category for fictional characters. I posted about some last year. More ideas:

    Eowyn of Rohan. Trapped for much of her life, she breaks free, kills an unkillable monster, then chooses to stay away from the place of her entrapment regardles of the coils of duty. Costume should be a woman in sensibly constructed mail or a facsimile thereof.

    Galadriel. Yes, very pretty. Also terrifying. She is mentally powerful in The Lord of the Rings, but her backstory shows her as a woman of battle as well and she can wield huge amounts of destructive magic. White gown, ring, spooky expression.

    Rapunzel from Tangled, after the hair that was keeping her prisoner is cut off. Pre-freedom Rapunzel is all over the place, but Disney isn’t merchandising grown-up Rapunzel that I can see. (Some friends who grew up in fundamentalist Christian homes taught me to read this movie as a narrative of their journeys to freedom, so cutting off the hair isn’t Rapunzel being rescued–it’s Rapunzel realizing that the rules that make her “special” while keeping her prisoner have no power outside the family system, that her specialness is intrinsic, and I could go on for a page so I’ll stop here.) A pink gown, a tiara, and a toy chameleon combined with a styled brunette wig.

    Amelia Peabody. Rational dress, long hair or a wig piled high, and a dangerously sharp parasol form the basis of this costume, but her utility belt–I mean, her chatelaine–is an important element that will need advance preparation.

    Countess Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan. She could be portrayed in her sensible jumpsuit with sideam as a Betan Survey captain, or in her Barrayaran getup, preferably with Vordarian’s head in a tote bag with a mocked-up store logo on the side. (“Where have you been?” “Shopping! Want to see what I bought?”)

  13. daniela


  14. Niely Morgan


    May I suggest Hedy Lamarr? To quote wikipedia “Hedy Lamarr ( /?h?di/; November 9, 1913 – January 19, 2000) was an Austrian-American actress who was a major contract star of MGM’s “Golden Age”.Lamarr also co-invented – with composer George Antheil – an early technique for spread spectrum communications and frequency hopping, necessary to wireless communication from the pre-computer age to the present day.”

    She was famous, beautiful, and most importantly, brilliant. I think she would make an awesome addition to your list. BTW this site is fantastic! I’m posting this on my facebook page right now.

  15. Katie Zenke


    Some ideas:

    Matilda Joslyn Gage – Women’s rights activist who was too radical for Susan B. Anthony, but helped write the documents that founded the women’s suffrage movement. She fought for and wrote about true equal rights for women in the home, government and even religion.

    Belva Lockwood – Woman who never saw women get the right to vote, yet ran a serious campaign for president twice and was one of the first women lawyers in the United States. She won the case that granted the Cherokee nation a 5 million dollar settlement from the government for their displacement from their land.

    Effa Manley – Owner of the Newark Eagles, a Negro League Baseball team, and the only women to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame to this point.

    Louisa May Alcott – Equal rights activist and writer of stories and books, she argued eloquently throughout all of her stories and in her life for rights for women, all races and even children. Her most celebrated accomplishment is the book “Little Women”, which was based on herself and her sisters and their somewhat unorthodox childhood.

    Sarah Emma Edmonds – A Canadian woman who disguised herself as a man and joined the Union army during the Civil war, only to become an army spy specializing in disguises, gathering intelligence from the enemy dressed as a black slave man, an Irish laundress, a black peddler woman, and who knows what else!

    Vera Brittain – British nurse during World War I whose brother and fiance were both killed in the war, yet who kept nursing and writing about how the war changed her entire generation forever. She became an outspoken advocate for peace.

    Maggie Walker – The first woman to charter a bank in the United States and the first black woman bank president. She was an incredibly successful and brilliant businesswoman as well as a devoted and loyal community leader who worked to improve daily life for women and African Americans in general.

  16. Suzanne Scoggins


    I would also like to see a category for fictional characters. I posted about some last year.

    Hi Jenny — I remember your suggestions from last year! We didn’t forget; we added Eva Wei and Sarah Jane Smith to our list. We just still haven’t developed a Fictional Characters category. But quite a few people have requested such a thing (here and in email), so maybe we’ll do that by next year. Our constant constraint is always just time.

    Thanks, everybody, for these great suggestions and feedback! We’ll keep this thread open for people to keep posting ideas if they like.

  17. Nelly


    Love the site!

    Christina, Queen of Sweden:
    Mary Wollstonecraft:

  18. Electric Landlady


    Love this site! So many great costume suggestions in this thread already, but I see nobody has suggested Emmy Noether yet:

    Dora Jordan, perhaps the greatest comic actress of the 18th-century stage (it didn’t end terribly well, but…):

    Other women who won or significantly contributed to Nobel prizes in science:
    Gerty Cori
    Irene Joliot-Curie
    Barbara McClintock
    Maria Goeppert Mayer
    Rita Levi-Montalcini
    Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
    Chien-Shiung Wu
    Gertrude Elion
    Rosalind Franklin (as someone else has already mentioned)
    Rosalyn Yalow
    (with thanks to Nobel Prize Women in Science by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne)

    No Nobel, but still noteworthy: Maria Mitchell

  19. Jane


    This is awesome! I only wish I’d found it sooner.

    I would love to see a Helen Keller costume under notable women. Victorian dress and a Braille slate, maybe? Or a card with pictures of sign language?

    Also, is there any chance that you might branch out into children’s costumes next year?

  20. Yuliya


    All of the women suggested above are awesome! But I have a suggestion that’s slightly unrelated, and I wasn’t sure where to put it. I think it would be fun for people to submit photos of themselves creating one of the costumes that you post about. That way you would have sample photos to attach to the idea pages (if people are interested in doing this, of course).

  21. Gabrielle


    JANE GOODALL!!!!!!
    and maybe Margaret Meade but seriously Jane Goodall

  22. Robyn Russell


    Some great ideas here. Under the category of Female Pirates, I’d like to suggest Madame Chang (Chinese pirate, commanded her own fleet) and Mary Read. Under Goddesses: Mother Hulda (Frau Holle), Germanic Earth goddess who also controlled the weather. When it snows on Earth, Mother Hulda is shaking her pillows. Under Heroines: Sacajawea. Would Lewis and Clark have found anything without her as their guide?

  23. Amanda S


    I absolutely adore this site. You have so many woman I admire on here, it’s amazing. Thank you for having a suggestion box!
    Okay, one woman I’ve always found amazing was Queen Christina. Also Lady Arbella Stuart is an interesting figure. And what about Shakespeare heroine’s/villianesses such as Ophelia, Beatrice, and Lady Macbeth?
    Also I would love love love to see more Hindu goddesses, like Saraswati? Or how about the lesser known goddesses, such as, Gerde from Norse mythology?
    And finally, how about the lovely and forever excentric Luisa Casati?