Cosmopolitan, the magazine most famous for giving bizarre sex tips that are more creepy than romantic, is desperate to reclaim the social justice territory it lost to such intellectual publications as Teen Vogue, and now wants its readers to know that it’s no longer acceptable to dress your children up as multicultural cartoon characters.
According to REDBOOK Editors, dressing your daughter as the young female character from Disney’s Polynesian tale, Moana, is both “racially insensitive” and an example of “cultural appropriation,” because your child is most likely white, and Moana is a Pacific Islander.
Never mind that Moana herself is not real, or that you, yourself, might have dressed as your favorite non-white heroine of cartoon eras past, when you were just an unwoke child, stealing from other cultures, even via a multinational corporation who traffics in fairy tales, is now completely unacceptable.
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.
That’s right, Moana is a “racist” costume and you, my fair friend, are now “racist” for allowing your kid to don that actually-pretty-expensive outfit from the Disney Store to trick or treat in your neighborhood — or so says a magazine that, at the same time, published an article that is entirely shirtless men holding koalas.
Anyway, if we want to get technical, this is quite the mixed message from the radical feminists demonstrating their wokeness in the pages and pixels of Cosmpolitan. After all, Moana is a rare Disney heroine in that she has no romantic interest in her film, and actually saves the day (mostly) on her own, with just the help of a demi-god named Maui. She is perhaps, the wokest of all Disney heroines, by far — and don’t feminists want young girls to emulate a primcess who braves the unknown to save her people, only to become a powerful female leader within her tribe?
Saying girls can watch Moana but can’t emulate her sends the message that some young girls are somehow less important than others, solely because of the color of their skin — a decidedly “unwoke” idea.
Of course, when you take all of the leftist, Disney-related Halloween costume regulations in toto, you may as well dress up as nothing at all. Dressing as a princess like Cinderella is sexist. Dressing as a heroine of color is racist. Dressing as a Disney villian endorses bad behavior, and shames the villain’s victims. Looking like a sexy Disney heroine is both body-shaming and misogynistic. Heck, you probably can’t even dress as one of Moana’s animal sidekicks, lest you anger PETA over the obvious cartoon oppression of what is clearly a very differently-abled chicken.
But Cosmo doesn’t merely stop at Disney-shaming. They go further, noting that if you dress your child in a costume emulating a character of color, you’re actually aligning yourself with President Donald Trump and other “hate group apologists” who seek to subjugate people of color, and you’re encouraging your children’s “white priviege.”
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.
Here’s the thing — it’s not immediately clear that the REDBOOK Editors are people of color, just presuming to speak for people of color, and in particular, Pacific Islanders. All we know about these “editors,” really, is that they seem to know what’s best for everyone, based entirely on leftist ideals they probably picked up while getting their $40,000-per-year undergraduate degree in Gender Studies.
It just so happens that your fair reporter is actually married to a Pacific Islander — the exact type of person of color Cosmo claims would be horrified (at least by proxy) by white children dressing like a character from their long and storied history.
So, in the interest of journalism, I asked my husband whether he would be offended by young girls dressing up as Moana and trick-or-treating in his culture’s costume.
His response…”uhhh, no.”
As for whether he felt more oppressed now, as a result of Disney’s cultural appropriation?
“Why are you still reading that garbage magazine?”
I think we’re done here.