It’s time to police Halloween costumes.
On Monday evening, Cosmopolitan ran a piece arguing that parents should stop dressing their young daughters as the Disney heroine Moana. Why? Beause Moana is Hawaiian. And if you dress your daughter in Hawaiian garb, this is cultural appropriation. See, it would be just terrible for your white daughter to admire an ethnically diverse heroine. We’ve got to nip that sort of thing in the bud. Because Trump, or something:
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 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. So what does this have to do with a seemingly innocent princess costume? Pretty much everything. It’s important to align with, and stand up for, people of color and minorities, and a key part of that is showing respect for their cultures.
Yes, a human with a brain actually wrote this.
So, here are the basic rules, according to the Left. If you are white and dress up as a hero who happens to be white, you are ethnocentric. This is racist. If you are male and you dress up as a female, this is sexist (unless you actually believe you are a female, in which case you are a female). If you are white and dress up as a hero or villain who happens not to be white, you are culturally appropriating. This is also racist. This leaves white people with just one costume choice this year: all white people must dress up as white villains. But wait: if you wear a costume that mocks a villain, you might be taking villainy too frivolously, and making light of the suffering of their victims. That could be racist or sexist.
If you think this is an exaggeration, ask Nicholas and Erika Christakis of Yale, former faculty-in-residence at Silliman College. Erika had the temerity to defend a plethora of Halloween costumes, urging students to lighten the hell up. This led to her husband being screamed at by idiot students, and the couple’s eventual resignation from Silliman College. Yes, Halloween can be a dangerous business.
So, what’s left? The University of Texas at Austin released some recommendations last year, but these seem equally problematic: “decade/time period (90’s, 60’s, early 2000’s); comic book heroes and villains; high school heroes/re-live your glory days; sporty and rep your favorite team; Catalina yacht mixer or ‘preppy’; alphabet theme (dress as a certain letter you select); when I grow up; Rubix cube or Memory Match game.”
I mean, what if you pick the 1950s, but your costume doesn’t take into account sexism and racism? What if your favorite comic book hero is from a different planet and represents cultural appropriation? What if dressing up as a high school quarterback neglects the inculcation of toxic masculinity? What if you pick a letter that offends someone (W offends lots of people, as does T)? What if dressing “preppy” makes light of white privilege? What if you wanted to grow up to be someone who didn’t give a crap about Halloween costumes?
I guess we’re pretty much down to the Rubix cube, a genderless box of colors.
So have fun at your Rubix cube party, people.