How Important is Clothing in Appropriating Culture

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Is it okay for a child to dress up in a racial discriminating costume for Halloween? I think people worry too much about whether it matters what Halloween costume you or a child wears. A costume is something a child wears to express themselves or a character that they like too much.

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It’s not racist. Racist is when you talk bad about other skin toned humans such as black or the belief that someone is better than another because of the color of their skin. In some cases it could be against cultural appropriation. A black man could dress as a football player and nobody would say anything about it but if they dressed up as a Native American it’s different. The costume is misusing ceremonial gear, it also generalizes Native Americans as costume wearing figures of the past. I consider this stereotyping in a way that is passable because of the society we live in.

In the year 2016 the company, Disney released a costume portraying a Pacific Islander in the movie Moana. The costume sparked conflict between the company and people. The costume is of Maui, a character from the movie. Maui is based on a famous person in Polynesian history. He is important to many Pacific Islanders. These people are from, or their ancestors are from, the islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The Maui costume has a long-sleeve brown shirt and long pants. It had a necklace with wit’s shark teeth on it, a green leaf skirt, and the pants and shirt have tattoos all over them. People from the Pacific Islands were upset because they said it seemed like Disney was making fun of their culture.

Disney later then apologized for the costume and said they had meant to respect the people of the Pacific Islands. Even though Disney said sorry it didn’t change what they had done and the only reason why they stopped selling it was that Disney complained.

Having a cultural costume nowadays is to belittle the traditions behind it in a manner of the way that could be considered racism when it’s actually not. Halloween costumes are not that big of a deal. Things can be taken from other cultures and seen negatively.

Cultural appropriation is as real as it’s ever been, but it has only recently gained more attention to the topic because of mainstream media and social media. Even when someone mocks and/or acquires elements from a culture without understanding the significance or meaning behind it people aren’t discriminating against you because of your culture and it still doesn’t lead to the culture being erased or exploited for someone else’s benefit. It also doesn’t lead to people using the mockery of your culture against you, or as an excuse to justify crimes committed against people who are like you.

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How important is clothing in appropriating culture. (2021, Oct 07). Retrieved February 7, 2023 , from

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