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Cultural appropriation and the age of outrage; why a Moana costume is perfectly fine

via Twitter screengrab

Tuesday is Halloween. The American version of this holiday was once merely an excuse for kids (and college students) to dress up in fun costumes and eat tons of free candy. Now, it’s become one of the most controversial and divisive holidays. Why? Because leftists feel they must make everything about white privilege, race, and cultural appropriation – even when kids are deciding which fictional character to dress up as and play make-believe.

This year, liberal outrage is focused on the cartoon Moana, Disney’s Pacific Island princess. According to The New York Post, which highlighted an article from, dressing your child as Moana is “probably not a good choice if your kid is white.” After all, “moms are freaking out” over the cultural appropriation of a fake Disney princess who befriends a discouraged demigod.

Though Disney character Moana isn’t real, this story sadly is. People are actually advocating for cartoon costumes to come with a warning: Watch out! Your child could be culturally appropriating fiction!

What makes this latest virtue signaling most ridiculous is that Hollywood has long pushed for diversity among comic book heroes and princesses, complaining that children of color only have white heroes to look up to. “Give us more diversity and females!” they have cried. Yet when white children want to imitate or dress up as these diverse heroines, apparently they can’t because that’s equally as offensive as not having diverse characters at all.

It seems the left has missed the true point of diversity: to look beyond one’s race and gender in favor of equality.

In Redbook, the left lauds the courage of a mother who “discusses how her white daughter was torn between dressing as Elsa, from Frozen, or the titular character from Moana. [The mother] expresses concern that while an Elsa costume might reinforce notions of white privilege, dressing up as Moana is essentially cultural appropriation…”

This mother, Sachi Feris, writes in her original article, “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.”

The Redbook article even suggested that 90s kids “missed the mark” by dressing up as fictional Arabian Disney princess Jasmine. You’ll recall Jasmine is the one with an actual tiger as a pet, a blue genie as a friend, and a magic carpet for taking joyrides all around Agrabah. For the record: Agrabah is fake too. But please forgive us all for culturally appropriating her definitely realistic harem costume when we were eight years old.

The bottom line here is that the progressive left won’t ever be satisfied with any amount of “sensitivity” from white children. Dress up as Moana or Jasmine and you’re insensitively culturally appropriating. Dress up as Elsa or Anna and you’re reaffirming insensitive notions of white beauty.

So what is a kid to do when faced with such a horrendous choice of evils? Some liberals suggest to “maybe think about using this Halloween as an opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of cultural sensitivity.”

Here’s a better idea.

Why don’t you let your kids (regardless of their race) dress up in whatever manner of fanciful, fun characters they want and teach them the importance of values, teamwork, and virtue? Let’s teach our children why these characters are deemed heroes and heroines—that heroism has absolutely nothing to do with color, but everything to do with genuine character.

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