Media Tells Parents Not to Let Their Kids Dress Up as Moana for Halloween, Because It's Racist

ashley.rae | October 24, 2017
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If you don’t want your children to grow up to be a raging racist, you better not let them wear costumes from their favorite Disney films.

The anti-“Moana” saga began when the New York Post picked up an article from the website raceconscious.org, which bills itself as being a “resource for talking about race with young children.” On raceconscious.org, author Sachi Feris wrote about how her daughter wanted to dress up as Elsa from “Frozen” and the titular character from “Moana.”

According to Feris, dressing up as Elsa was fine -- because while she admits the character is white and perpetuates “privilege,” it is not appropriating a real culture, such as the generic Polynesian culture portrayed in “Moana.”

Instead of dressing up as Moana herself, Feris suggested her daughter dress up as Che Guevara (who is known for hundreds of deaths, helping bring communism to Cuba, and hating blacks):

There is one thing I don’t like about the character of Elsa. I feel like because Elsa is a White princess, and we see so many White princesses, her character sends the message that you have to be a certain way to be “beautiful” or to be a “princess”…that you have to have White skin, long, blonde hair, and blue eyes. And I don’t like that message.

[…]

“Anyway,” I added, “I don’t like the idea of dressing up using the same traditional clothing that someone from Moana’s culture may have worn because that feels like we are laughing at her culture by making it a costume. A child whose family is Polynesian could dress up using that type of traditional clothing but Moana’s culture is not our culture. If you want you could dress up as someone from one of your cultures, you could be a tango dancer from Argentina…(or as Che Guevara!). Otherwise, maybe you could be a modern-day Moana and dress up in the clothing you think Moana might wear today."

The anti-“Moana” crusade continued when the same argument—and original source—were picked up by Redbook and reposted in full by Cosmopolitan.

The piece by the Redbook editors instructs people who may have dressed up as characters such as Jasmine from “Aladdin” during their childhood to “move forward.” After all, it’s 2017, and your child’s offensive costume (that only certain parents may be offended by) makes you look bad:

At this point, you might be saying something like: "But, I dressed up as Jasmine as a child, and I'm not a racist!", or, "It's just a Halloween costume, please chill the f*ck out." But one of the best things about time is that it moves forward. You should too. You can (and should) strive to be better than you were 10, 20, or 30 years ago. If you missed the mark when you were younger, maybe think about using this Halloween as an opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of cultural sensitivity. If your child's dream costume feels questionable, don't just throw up your hands and hand over your credit card. You're the parent here, and the onus of what your child wears falls on you. If your kid wears a racist costume … you're kind of wearing it too.

The editors also claim that Moana is a special character, simply because of her culture, that somehow translates to only people of that culture being allowed to enjoy a girl who goes on a heroic journey to save her people:

Recognize this: Moana is a really special character to young girls of Polynesian descent who have never seen a Disney Princess who looks like them, just like how Tiana from The Princess and the Frog likely resonated with young Black women who had waited decades to see themselves represented. White girls have plenty of princesses to choose from — there's Belle, Ariel, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty … you get the idea. If your Caucasian son or daughter doesn't get to be exactly what they wanted for Halloween, encourage them to take a step back and realize that they're awash in privileges that the real Moanas and Tianas of the world will likely never see, because the world is full of racist assholes.

And, of course, Trump is the reason why Moana is so special — but only to certain people — right now:

And those assholes are becoming even more empowered. Our President is a hate group apologist who tries to ban refugees from seeking asylum in our country, simply because of their faith. Meanwhile, Black Americans continue to be killed by police, and antisemitic voices feel louder and more powerful than they have in decades.

At the end of the piece, the Redbook editors note that it’s up to tell you to teach your children about culture sensitivity by dampening their fun:

A Halloween costume is a small, easy way to introduce these issues in a way that a child's yet-to-be-fully-brain can process. This isn't about putting a damper on your kid's creativity; it's about exercising sensitivity towards anyone who doesn't get to choose how the world at large sizes them up. Whether or not your kids get that is up to you.

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