Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe

Why I Don’t Regret Dressing Up as Monica Lewinsky for Halloween

In her latest column for Vanity Fair, Monica Lewinsky writes about .

“Thankfully, I have never gone to a Halloween party where I’ve bumped up against, well, myself,” she writes. “I did, however, get an idea of what that might be like when, several years ago, I went to see the movie Made of Honor, starring Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan. It opens with a scene in which Dempsey, dressed as Bill Clinton, mingles at a Halloween party—with three Monica Lewinskys—all clad in blue dresses and berets, holding cigars. (Cringe Factor: 10.)”

I have a confession: I have dressed up as Monica Lewinsky.

I was 22 going on 23 — the same age Monica was when she had an affair with former president Bill Clinton. As a Jewish girl with lofty ambitions, brown hair and an affinity for berets, I identified with her.

The theme was the 90s. While my friends dressed up as “Pulp Fiction’s” Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace, I chose Monica. My aim was not to slut shame her, but rather to pay tribute to a young woman who made a impulsive, youthful decision and was shamed for it. I, under different circumstances, could have been her. We all could be Monica.

In her piece, Lewinsky argues that there’s a “darker side of the Halloween costume as social commentary.” That’s undeniably true. As she points out, one just has to remember Kelly Osborne’s poorly chosen Rachel Dolezal costume.

But to dress up as Monica Lewinsky in 2015 — or in 2012 in my case — is different than say, dressing up as Cecil the Lion. Monica Lewinsky in 2015 is no longer just a victim. She is a woman who has taken an unfortunate set of circumstances and reinvented herself. She has empowered other women to speak out and to be proud of who they are. She is a survivor. And her struggle deserves to be remembered, even if it’s one night a year, in between sugar highs.

So, sorry Monica, but not sorry. You deserve a Halloween costume. Enjoy it.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.