A parent blogger and activist has spoken out against children dressing in Moana costumes this Halloween, saying that the outfits could be considered ‘cultural appropriation’ or ‘making fun of culture’.
Parent blogger Sachi Feris took to her popular blog, Raising Race Conscious Children, to urge parents not to dress their children up as characters from backgrounds different to their own, because doing so is promoting ‘cultural appropriation’.
The mum-of-two recalled in her blog the discussions she had with her five-year-old daughter, explaining how Moana is based on real history and a real group of people.
‘If we are going to dress up as a real person, we have to make sure we are doing it in a way that is respectful,’ she wrote.
‘Otherwise, it is like we are making fun of someone else’s culture.’
Disney characters Moana and Maui
Although many would see the strong-minded Moana character as a perfect role model for their child, Feris said that the costumes could be interpreted as racially insensitive and risk parodying Polynesian culture.
Moana wasn’t the only Disney character that Feris addressed, as she added: ‘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”‘.
The mum, from New York, concluded that following the open chat with her daughter, she decided to go as Minnie Mouse.
Since being posted the blog has attracted over 120,000 shares on social media and garnered many comments under the post.
One posted: ‘I admire your perseverance in interacting with your daughter. I realize talking about race and culture is an ongoing deeply important conversation.’
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Another agreed: ‘Very helpful article. I do think there is a way to dress-up as favorite characters that are from another culture that is resepectful,’ while this follower wrote: ‘My standard has been that it is ok to dress up as a character but not as a culture. So you could dress up as pocahontas, or tiger lily, but not as a Native American.’
What do you think? Would you think twice about dressing your child up as Moana? Let us know in the comments box below.