Costume Suggestions

Who will you be this Menstrual Monday? Below are some suggestions -- but feel free to come up with your own! Send us photos of you and your friends in costume to, and we'll put you on our site!

Costume Suggestions

Be your mother, grandmother, great-grandmother...
Try dressing up as your mother, grandmother, or even great-grandmother, as they were as young women. Seems like whenever someone says, "I'm turning into my mother!," it's like that's supposed to be a bad thing. Here's a chance to explore your foremothers' lives; if still alive, why not talk with them about who they were at 17 or 18; their early menstrual cycles; the world situation back then; and the kinds of lives they saw ahead of them. If not alive, do some research, and then write a letter to them.

Why not be that "friend come to visit?"
Aunt Penny; Madame Ovary; Sister Menses; Princess Fallopia; Aunt Fallo (as in FALLO-pian tubes, but pronounced "flow" -- yes, you'll probably be explaining it to everyone all day long); Aunt Ruby. Dress her up (or down) however you wish. Try writing up a brief bio for the "friend" you are portraying. What are her ambitions, her hobbies, her opinions, her likes and dislikes, her frustrations, her dreams? What is she doing when she's not visiting you?

Juan Colorado
Juan Colorado is a male euphemism for menstruation; read In Search of Menarche: An Interview with Molly Strange for more information. There were male celebrants of Menstrual Monday last year; maybe this year they could try dressing up as Juan Colorado!

Oral Contraceptive Pill Dispenser/Hormone Replacement Therapy Dispenser
Kind of reminds me of the costumes I made for Halloween as a kid (or is this "FALLOween?" See above). Get two big pieces of cardboard and cut a big circle out of each. Paint the color of an OCP dispenser or HRT dispenser. On one circle, draw the slots where the pills are (Hint: Cut out pieces of aluminum foil to glue where the slots are, for a more realistic OCP dispenser -- Kaya Casper). Use rope or twine to connect the two big circles, sandwich board-style (so you can wear one circle in front and one in back). On the back you can write about how you feel about OCP or HRT: Love it, hate it, mixed feelings; list statistics about health benefits/risks of OCP/HRT use. If you decide to be an "OCP," maybe a friend of yours could be an "HRT."

The Duchess of Chocolate/Popeye the Sailor Woman
Seems like in the United States at least, chocolate is the substance of choice for those premenstrual cravings -- in part because it contains magnesium. Dark green leafy vegetables provide magnesium as well, without the caffiene, sugar, and fat. Which brings us to Popeye the Sailor Woman, who eats spinach prepared in many different ways (Recipes), the week or so before her period. If you'd like to be Popeye, perhaps a friend of yours could be the Duchess of Chocolate, or vice versa; but be forewarned, the Duchess and Popeye don't always get along that well! The Duchess thinks Popeye is terribly rude and loud -- and Popeye finds the Duchess self-indulgent and a bit of a snob! Oh dear!

PMS -- That stands for "Pretty Marvelous Siblings"
For this costume, you and your friend (or friends) all dress alike, to heighten the "family resemblance." Spend some time creating a family story for yourselves, incorporating parts of everyone's childhood and adolesence. Yes, it's okay if you only use the "good parts," but maybe throw in some of the bad things for the sake of realism.

NOTE TO JUDGES: In judging contestants, please use the letters, bios, stories, and statistics generated by contestants (if applicable) in determining winners. Or create two categories, one for costume itself, and another for written materials.

NOTE TO ENTRANTS: It's not necessary to have a full-blown contest; if you just want to get dressed up and have some fun, that's fine too!

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