They’re at it again. Third-wave feminists are verbally wagging fingers telling us how to live in and interact with culture. This Halloween it’s imperative to realize little, white girls shouldn’t dress up as certain Disney princesses, like Moana or Tiana. In fact, parents are admonished to be good gatekeepers and teach their children to not be racially insensitive.
No kidding – Redbook recently released over 900 words on the topic. The magazine’s editors believe it necessary to share this opinion: “Maybe Don’t Dress Your Kid Up As Moana This Halloween? It’s on you to teach your kid not to be racially insensitive.”
Evidently, the spark behind the Redbook article is a blog that recently appeared on raceconscious.org penned by a mother faced with challenge of making sure her white, five-year-old daughter would be wearing the most politically correct Disney princess costume this year. Basically, the little girl loves Moana and wanted to dress up like her for Halloween. This dilemma forced a feverish web search on a cellphone and this mother’s response to her daughter:
“I’m trying to find more information about if a (White) person can dress up as another person’s culture in a way that honors the culture, without making fun of the culture or using the culture in a way that uses stereotypes or makes people who identify with that culture feel uncomfortable.”
In the quest to be more open-minded and culturally sensitive, the opposite reaction occurs, leading to close-minded, stereotypical behavior. Actually, it’s just another case of a nutty adult shoving her baggage onto a child, not realizing that the little girls who want to be Moana this year, regardless of race, are paying tribute to a hero who they perceive to be a strong, female icon.
After all, that’s the message Disney wanted. Moana, the Polynesian princess, dares to do the one thing her father, the chief, won’t allow. Following the tradition of skilled sea voyagers, she navigates the ocean in search of a fabled island and a demigod she believes can help reverse her people’s misfortune. No doubt she is the heroine of her island and stronger than the demigod she seeks.
What little girl wouldn’t admire such a role model? But, according to Redbook, that’s simply not the point. The editors acknowledge that some might think this topic is ridiculous:
“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.”*
Nope. My kid is wearing a Skull Commando costume this year. It wasn’t my favorite but better than the zombie hunter and more appropriate for his age (7). Be clear. This Halloween he will be wearing it – not me. His choice says my mom didn’t want me to look too gross but I’m still cool anyway.
Girls have it tough when making decisions and are judged way more than they should be in regard to what they admire in culture, especially little, white girls. Society sneers at their white privilege for wanting to dress like Elsa but demands they can’t be any princess that doesn’t racially look like them. And, to add insult to injury, this lecturing appears to be racist as well. Note the fact that there are no articles trending that are shaming little brown girls who want to dress as Elsa this year. Very telling indeed.