What I've learned from all the times I've dressed as Beyoncé for Halloween
For as long as I can remember, Halloween has been my favorite holiday. And it’s not just because my birthday falls two days beforehand (okay, that’s probably exactly why, #ScorpioSeason). To paraphrase Mean Girls, Halloween is the one night a year when you can be anyone you want, and no one else can say anything about it.
Which is most likely the reason why I’ve gone as Her Royal Highness Queen Bey more times than I care to admit (*cough* five and counting *cough cough*). Whether it’s “Survivor” or “Single Ladies,” there’s a lesson to be learned from every Beyoncé era.
The first time I dressed up as Beyoncé for Halloween was in eighth grade. The year was 2001. The song — and the accompanying visuals and matching camouflage outfits — resonated with me. I’d endured my fair share of bullying in middle school.
Having skipped a grade, I wasn’t too popular with my some of my classmates who teased me for being a “teacher’s pet” and “talking white.” The opening lyrics: “Now that you’re out of my life, I’m so much better. You thought that I’d be weak without you, but I’m stronger” continue to give me strength to this day.
“Foxxy Cleopatra” Beyoncé
“I’m Foxxy Cleopatra, and I’m a whole lotta woman!” This catchphrase from Goldmember, the third Austin Powers movie, still rings clearly in my ears. Beyoncé’s blonde afro and psychedelic wardrobe gave me so much life.
When I dressed up as Foxxy Cleopatra, it marked the first time I’d donned a more risqué Halloween costume, wearing my mom’s fuchsia velvet halter top (pretty sure it was from the actual ‘70s) and khaki-print Mudd hiphuggers (remember those?). With “Bootylicious” still in heavy rotation at the time, this costume helped me embrace my curves in all their glory. Plus, my friend dressed up as Austin Powers. We were a match made in Halloween heaven.
“Single Ladies” Beyoncé
“All my single ladies, all my single ladies …” As she’d done with the aforementioned track, “Bootylicious,” Beyoncé gave another subset of women a much needed anthem with the release of “Single Ladies.” Because the song was released in October 2008, it wasn’t until a full year later that I threw on a black leotard and bedazzled my biking glove.
This costume certainly required a lot of confidence, since my derriere was practically exposed to the world for the entire evening. But I thought, if Beyoncé can do this, then so can I. Let the “Single Ladies” choreography commence…
“On The Run” Beyoncé
I took a break from being Bey for a few years, but when Halloween fell on the eve of my wedding day, I knew I had to go big or go home. Luckily, JAY-Z and Beyoncé’s “On the Run” tour had taken place earlier that summer, giving birth to quite possibly the greatest couples’ costume of all time (Kanye voice).
I fancy my then-fiance (now-husband) and me to be a power couple, so it made sense that we’d want to channel our inner Hov and Bey before our big day. While we definitely won’t be committing any crimes, it was fun to bring the epic duo known as “Bonnie & Clyde ‘03” to life in 2014.
Is there literally a more #flawless Beyoncé? In need of a last-minute costume for a friend’s Halloween party, I threw together this ensemble in about five minutes. Red flannel shirt? Check! Gold chain and denim booty shorts? Double check!
If there was any doubt that Yoncé is a full-fledged feminist, this song — which takes an excerpt from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We Should All Be Feminists” TED talk — cemented the fact. “***Flawless” is more than a song; it’s a declaration — a feminist manifesto, if you will. And, I have to admit, dressing as a grungy Beyoncé helped me feel more like a badass feminist.
May we all find our inner Beyoncé this Halloween.