Okay, so this might strike a problem with some people. I might not totally understand the problem, because I’m a white female in America, but I’m really fired up at the moment.
Recently a friend on the Facebook posted this article titled Why You Shouldn’t Dress Your Child Up as Moana for Halloween. . .and there’s a lot more like it on the internet.
Although, I like what this person said which is where I’m about to go with my response.
I read the article and it goes in to talking about cultural appropriation and how dressing up as these characters perpetuates it. The person who posted this article on Facebook was also fighting this same exact point. Here’s where I have a problem.
I get it. I understand that for most people of color there aren’t a lot of characters or in this case Disney Princesses of color. At least there wasn’t when I was growing up. I understand how important these figures are to have. I understand even though I’m a white woman how important it is to have someone who looks like you to look up to. I get those arguments.
However, most little girls are looking up to these characters because of their personalities or the music in their story. Let them have that!
When I think Disney and Disney Princesses I think about the fact that when I was a little girl I looked up to these characters. Currently I’m watching my niece look up to these princesses as well. Specifically Moana. My niece is 3. . .and if she wants to dress up as Moana I’m going to go out a buy her the costume, because she’s 3 and we don’t need to start poisoning kids brains.
I get that certain cultures don’t get the recognition the deserve and that Moana is a special princess, because she’s the first Polynesian Princess there is, and Disney for once did their research when look into her culture. The movie depicts everything pretty accurately minus the pirate coconuts, which I still don’t really understand. . .
Back to my orignal point though. We don’t tell little African-American girls or Hispanic girls “Oh, I’m sorry sweaty you can’t be Belle, Cinderella, or Aerial because she’s white and you’re not…” Instead we buy the costumes and tell them they look beautiful! As we should be doing with little white girls who want to dress up as Moana.
If we dress up our white girls as say Cinderella instead than we are continuing “White Privelage” but we’re saying “Hey, Moana special character, but because she’s a different race than you she’s not for you”….
I don’t think this appropriation of a culture. I have a huge problem with people who allow their children to dress up in the typical Native American Garb from the Halloween stores as that perpetuates a racists stereotype. Same thing with the Geisha costumes I’ve seen. Those costumes to me I can see and understand why we should steer our children towards something different. But when a child says they want to be a certain character for Halloween it’s because they love that character.
Children don’t give a fuck skin color or culture. They’re taught that and by telling your child “No, you can’t be Moana because that might be perceived as racist. . .” is showing them this. But also you tell a 3-year-old “No you’re not going to be Moana” and see how well that goes over.
Let me make sure I say this: The world is a fucked up place! I know. I’ve seen and witnessed it. But if you’re truly offended by kids dressing up as there favorite Disney character then there’s something wrong with you. I see no problem with girls dressing up as Pocahontas as long as it’s literally the Disney costume. . . because guess what that child isn’t oh I want to be a Native American. They’re thinking I want to be Pocahontas and paint with the colors of the wind. Just like these little girls are saying “Oh, I want to be a Polynesian.. ” They just want to be their favorite character, which is a costume. . .
So stop telling parents and people that they’re racist or making them feel bad about shit like this. It’s exhausting being politically correct all the time for the sake of someones feelings. News flash we live in a world where anything and everything offends someone.
Halloween is suppose to be fun for kids. They look forward to dressing up and trick or treating. It’s the one night a year they get to be their favorite idol and get free candy for it. Why are we ruining their fun with our political agendas.
So unless you’re putting your kid in black face or a stereotypical racist costume I personally and most of the world don’t give a flying fuck! Let’s celebrate everyone and the diversity in this world instead of saying no. . .