Girls Can Be Anything, Even At Halloween

[From the archives.]

Tom Burns and his daughter pair up for Halloween costumes every year. As he wrote on his blog, this year she was unsure if her choice was all right so she asked her dad, “Do you think I could be Han Solo?”

Her hesitation? Han Solo is not a woman or girl, like all the other characters she’s dressed up as in previous years.

I love Burns’ response: “Yeah, why, of course, you could. That would be amazing. Why couldn’t you be Han Solo?”

Then she dropped the big one, telling him he should dress up as Princess Leia. Here’s the result.

Han and Leia ready to take on the Empire (The Good Men Project)

If I’m going to tell my daughter that she can do almost anything a man can do (excepting some very specific biological acts), then I also need to show her that a man can do almost anything a woman can do too… especially when it’s something awesome like dressing up as a character from one of the best movies ever.

Burns is right. Star Wars is one of the best movies ever. (You can disagree with me in the comments, but you’ll never convince me to think otherwise!) Plus, Han and Leia are the two best characters from the entire set of Star Wars movies, and while they each have their flaws they also have admirable traits that make for good dress-up fun.

The other thing that comes to mind is Galatians 3:28.

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Burns knew that being a little girl was no reason not to wear a Han Solo costume, and likewise being a grown man was no reason not to pair up with his daughter by coming up with a Princess Leia costume.

Fighting the Fallacies of Men’s and Women’s Roles in Society

Some people in the church insist that there are things men and women can and can’t do: women need to get married and stay home to raise a family, men have to work and can’t stay home to raise a family, girls can’t play football, boys can’t play with dolls. The lists people come up with seem endless.

None of that is in the Bible, though, and it’s all a load of hooey. They’re just somebody’s idea of laws and rules they want you to follow because they can’t handle the freedom that comes from belonging to Jesus.

Here’s something that is in the Bible, though.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2.)


It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Ephesians 5:1.)

So enjoy your freedom from rules and condemnation.

  • Do you want to celebrate Halloween? Go ahead.
  • Do you want to wear costumes – for Halloween or any other time of the year – even though someone might say you can’t wear them just because you’re male or female? Go ahead.
  • Do you want to make some kid really happy by saying yes to something the Bible doesn’t anywhere at all ever prohibit? GO AHEAD!

And if, like our family, you choose not to celebrate Halloween, please go right ahead and do that as well.* Let no one condemn you for it, because if God isn’t condemning your choice why should you listen to anyone else about it?

So despite how much I love the movie, rather than employ the standard Star Wars benediction “May the Force be with you” I will let you in on something infinitely better: Jesus is with you now and forever, and he approves of you.


*I bet you didn’t see that coming. We do celebrate the candy sales the day after Halloween, though!


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12 Responses to Girls Can Be Anything, Even At Halloween

  1. saved2trek says:

    Her wanting to be Han Solo is fine. If he wanted to be Leía fine. But, why wouldn’t she want to be Leia herself. Leia is a smart, tough, gun shooting, leader. Girl power at it’s ultimate.

    • Tim says:

      If she wanted to be Leia, no one is saying that would be bad. The point is she is dressed as the character she chooses, not the one society would choose for her.

      • Tim, that is the ultimate girl power! She WANTED to be Han. Moreover, her dad validated her choice in both his support of her costume AND his choice to be Leia. (who is certainly an awesome character in her own right, of course)

        Also, why squeeze into society’s little boxes? This awesome girl is too expansive for a teeny-tiny society box/role.

  2. Yay for freedom, Tim! I was struck by Paul’s words: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” Sounds like a circular argument — but to me the point is that freedom needs no justification. It is its own reward.

  3. Pastor Bob says:

    The idea is correct -period.

    For Halloween the best idea is absent.

    — Could we say present in the spirit?

  4. txbyrd says:

    Thank God for men like you, and for the freedom of the lessons your daughter is learning through you. It makes me so sad for my own loss, for the grief of being put down and kept down because of my gender, yet at the same time so glad that maybe a new generation of girls won’t ever have to know what that was like.

  5. Nancy2 says:

    One year (back in 1970 something) I went as Tonto (my version is a blonde haired green eyed girl) I didn’t need a Lone Ranger. I was a tomboy farm girl. I see no probs with a girl going as a warrior!
    This, this Tonto outfit is the only costume I truly remember. I feel sorry for the kids as well as adults who are limited by gender to wear certain “costumes”.

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