On the spookiest day of the year, it’s likely you’ll have plenty of trick-or-treaters knocking on your door dressed as witches and ghosts.
There will most likely be some Disney princesses around too, for those who – like me – prefer to get glammed up and avoid the scary side of things.
But you perhaps won’t be seeing many Moana’s around because some parents are calling on others not to let their children dress up as the Polynesian Disney character.
In the post, Feris described her concern when her daughter suggested the idea of dressing up as Elsa from Frozen last year and Moana this year.
I had some reservations regarding both costume choices…about cultural appropriation and the power/privilege carried by Whiteness, and about Whiteness and standards of beauty.
In an attempt to work around the issue, Feris described how she carried out some research into the Polynesian culture to find a way in which her daughter could dress up as Moana in a respectful way.
She talked about how she attempted to find Polynesian artists who made traditional clothing and could therefore teach her daughter important lessons about the culture.
However, when this failed she tried to talk her daughter into dressing up as ‘Moana’s sister’ so as not to be problematic, but her daughter remained adamant that she wanted to be the ‘real Moana’.
Long story short, Feris managed to persuade her daughter to dress up as Elsa, but even then she struggled to come to terms with the message it might send to young girls.
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.
She told her daughter that she could dress up as the Disney princess with her own, short, brown hair but her daughter would not be convinced, stating ‘I want you to make be a long, blonde braid like Elsa’s’.
Eventually, Feris allowed her daughter to dress as Elsa last year and managed to avoid the Moana debate coming to a head because her daughter ultimately decided to go as Mickey Mouse.
Feris said this was a ‘great solution’ because Mickey is a pretend mouse and so they didn’t have to worry about making fun of people by dressing up as a different culture.
And it isn’t just fancy dress costumes that parents are taking umbrage with – some celebrity parents have come out and said that some Disney storylines are now problematic for children growing up.
Kristen Bell recently spoke out about why she believes the story of Snow White sends the wrong message to young children.
To give you a recap of the storyline, Snow gets poisoned by the evil queen and falls into a deep sleep, in which she can only be awoken by a kiss from her one true love.
The film ends happily ever after when Prince Charming kisses Snow and wakes her up from her slumber, but it is this part of the story which Bell thinks is wrong.
She spoke to Parents about how she makes her children understand the prince should have had asked for consent from Snow White.
She states that she asks five-year-old Lincoln and three-year-old Delta:
Don’t you think that it’s weird that the prince kisses Snow White without her permission? Because you can not kiss someone if they’re sleeping.
Others have however pointed out the prince’s kiss was a form of CPR and you can’t ask an unconscious person for consent when trying to save their life.
Whatever your views, it’s clear that these topics are being spoken about more and more often and at least it opens a platform for debate!
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