In 2014 at my kid’s school, so many girls dressed up as Elsa from Frozen that a group photo was taken of all 20 or so of them — including lots of black girls, Asian girls and Latinas, all of them thrilled to play the whitest character in the history of the movies, a supernatural Nordic princess who lives in an ice palace and whose hair is not just blonde but white.
But as Jane Ridley of the New York Post reports, “Moms are freaking out that Moana costume is cultural appropriation.” Ridley’s tart-tongued, disbelieving piece led to a followup published on the Cosmopolitan platforms (though its byline reads ”by Redbook editors”) that advised readers: No, really, you shouldn’t allow your girl to dress as Moana. Instead you should give her a lecture on race sensitivity and ”white privilege.” White people, it appears, aren’t allowed to dress as empowered Polynesian princesses. Because this will supposedly offend all your Polynesian neighbors. It seems more likely that almost no one will be offended, and if anyone is, it’ll be the kinds of people who are offended by everything, all of the time.
First, when did Redbook adopt the language of humorless campus social-justice police? Isn’t Redbook supposed to be about brownie recipes and decorating tips, not whom-have-you-unintentionally-oppressed-today? Second, if Halloween doesn’t mean kids get to pretend to be from other cultures, what is the point of it? Is Emily supposed to dress as Emily this year, and every other? Is a black kid not allowed to pretend to be a Scandinavian? Do you have to be of Transylvanian heritage to dress up as Dracula? Do you have to be Egyptian to be the Mummy? Do you have to be dead to play a ghost?
The Left used to insist on seeing people as individuals, not as members of groups. The goal used to be that kids of different races would play together oblivious to one another’s superficial differences. This was commendable, and many a race barrier has fallen. Now the Left is determined to put those barriers back up, to teach kids to obsess over race. It is adamant that pigmentation has to be of overriding concern to you, and if it isn’t to your children, your children must be indoctrinated to divide people based on skin color, to calculate varying levels of “sensitvity” and “privilege” based on melanin. It’s not only ludicrous, it’s alarming. Don’t let this diseased mindset take hold. Go ahead and dress your kid as Moana this Halloween.