As Halloween draws nearer, more and more people are thinking about their costumes. But as we ponder the best outfit, it’s important to be aware of a serious Halloween issue: cultural appropriation. And one mom tackled the issue head on when her (white) daughter wanted to go as Moana for Halloween.
An astonishing number of costumes come rife with elements of appropriation (taking elements of a marginalized culture and using them for yourself when you are in a position of privilege). While many of us are mindful of this issue, the problem can be more complicated when it comes to characters our kids love and want to emulate, but who are also of traditionally marginalized races and ethnicities. This mom blogger is speaking out on the topic,
Sachi Feris is a blogger who identifies as white for the site Raising Race Conscious Kids, and often writes of how vital it is to start a dialogue about race at an early age. However, even she had some problems navigating her daughter’s desire to dress up as either Elsa from Frozen or Moana for Halloween. Aware that Moana is a character based on a real culture, she felt she had to tread carefully.
The post generated a ton of online discussion. Some parents thought it best to stay clear of any costume that involves a white person dressing up as a person of color, as it invokes a history of offensive practices like black face.
Another commenter had an entirely different perspective:
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that mean-spirited, disrespectful, or insensitive cultural appropriation has no place in a Halloween costume.