Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Halloween 2012: Rosie the Riveter

My Halloween costume this year was Rosie the Riveter, specifically the iconic poster above. The poster was used during World War II when women worked in factories while the men were at war. It was a significant moment in feminist history, when women proved themselves capable of doing what was traditionally a man's job. Rosie represents the thousands of women who worked assembly lines, getting their hands dirty and supporting the war effort.

The poster has endured, even though Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post cover pre-dates it. 

In actuality, these images were used as propaganda, to entice women into the workforce and when the war ended, they were expected to go back to more traditional female roles. 

Still, Rosie the Riveter endures as a feminist icon and she is a popular Halloween costume. 

Here's my interpretation:

Self-portrait (that's my iPhone with it's Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock case tucked behind my arm)

I wore jeans, boots, a dark blue denim button-up shirt and a red handkerchief for my hair. I styled my hair in a bit of a pompadour, which is more 1950s than 1940s, admittedly, but some tutorials you can find online show a pomp and it's easier than trying to create curls in my hair.

Obviously, as a factory worker, Rosie wouldn't be wearing a lot of makeup, but women did wear some makeup even in doing hard labour. And in the poster, Rosie is clearly wearing eye makeup and lipstick. In the 1940s, eyeshadow colours tended to be neutral although an army green was popular. Women would wear red lipstick for evening and softer pink-red or orange-red for daytime. The focus was on the eyes and lips. 

For my look, I kept it simple. Natural skin, a bit of olive shadow in the crease, a thin liquid eyeliner line, mascara, slight contour in the cheeks and berry-red lips.

What I used:

To give me a perfect, natural complexion:
Garnier BB cream buffed into my skin with a foundation brush.
MAC Studio Fix Concealer in applied to undereye area in on any blemishes.
MAC powder in NC15 to set.

On my eyes:
Urban Decay eye primer.
MAC Vanilla eyeshadow on my eyelid and on my browbone.
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack in a very thin line along my upper lashline, flicked out slightly at the end.
mascara on my upper lashes.
Laura Mercier Scheherazade eyeshadow (golden green) swept very lightly through my crease.  

For my elegant 1940s eyebrows: 
Using MAC Sketch eyeshadow I lightly filled in my eyebrows where there are gaps and extended the brow slightly. 

For a subtle flush:
MAC Stunner blush very lightly on the apples of my cheeks.

On my lips:
Lipstick Queen by Poppy lipstick in Saint Eden (watermelon pink).

Rosie the Riveter is a fairly simple and fun costume. It's not skimpy, it's sexy and badass. I felt tough and got to give little history lessons to everyone who asked who I was dressed as (No, I'm not a TV character.)

What was your Halloween costume?

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