Mary Mallon aka Typhoid Mary Costume
Mary Mallon aka Typhoid Mary
|Costume type:||Costumes for Girls|
This homemade costume for girls entered our 2020 Halloween Costume Contest.
A word from Anastasia, the 'Mary Mallon aka Typhoid Mary' costume creator:
One day as my 6 year old daughter, Thalia, was flipping through my files she found a Victorian ad depicting Mary Mallon, warning us of the spread of Typhoid fever. She inquired and I told her the story of how Mallon, an Irish immigrant cook, was hardworking and well like for her food. Her specialty was peaches and vanilla ice cream, a dessert that would not have the benefit of high temperatures to cook away dangerous bacteria. She was the first asymptomatic carrier of Typhoid in the US and claimed she was always in too much of a hurry to wash her hands. She infected 53 people and was eventually quarantined for two years where she died. Thalia was exclaimed “mama I have to do this costume! I need to tell everyone how important washing your hands is for the Coronavirus!”
I found a vintage white dress at the thrift store for 49¢ that I dyed and altered. She had a beautiful white sundress she had outgrown, so I deconstructed most of it and created a Victorian inspired apron, even her maids hat was from the sundress. We love reusing and upcycling. After her costume was done, we shot at the historic Mordecai house which would’ve been extremely close in time periods to Mary Mallon’s time as a cook. The kitchen garden was the perfect backdrop and Thalia really fell into character. I even sculpted vanilla ice cream with a skull peeking through, the peaches are shaped and painted foam I made with tiny skulls hiding where the peach pit would be. We started calling it “peaches-n-scream”. Not many new who she was but she delighted in telling them Typhoid Mary was a very important person in history to help us learn more to protect ourselves from epidemics.
The pandemic has affected us all greatly. It impacted my daughter far more than I imagined. A week before Halloween, costume was almost complete and my daughter was visibly distraught. She had been depressed all week. She missed her school friends. Family we’re unable to see. She told me she wanted to kill herself because “there’s no Coronavirus in heaven”. Finishing this costume together, doing this photo shoot (I’m a photographer and model) may seem like not much to some but for her it was that fun she needed in this crazy world. She couldn’t trick or treat so I promised to enter any Halloween costume contest I could. Doing this costume felt important to her, because of its relevance to our current situation, it helped her identify what Mary Mallon might’ve endured during a time where they were not as well informed and lacked technical advancements such as those in basic communication we rely on today.
This is my daughter Thalia Scarlett Tempest wearing the dress. I (her mom) made it all and I shot all the photos. Thanks for giving us this opportunity to showcase this costume.