Let kids be happy, dress up how they want for Halloween

Jessica Stewart, Columnist

It’s that time of year again: the time where everyone gets offended over children dressing up as their favorite people for Halloween.

I’ll never understand why people get so bent out of shape about children dressing up as someone of a different race or a different gender.

I see so many Facebook articles with lists of “what not to let your child dress up as this year” and “how to not be racist this Halloween” and “my son wants to be Cinderella, is he gay?”

I’ll admit, some costumes take things a little too far (for example, anything with blackface). But if your child wants to dress up as Moana because it’s her favorite movie or if your son wants to be his favorite princess, just let them be happy.

The arguments I’ve seen regarding race focus mainly on Disney princesses.

The main point is that white children should not be allowed to dress up as Disney characters who are not white, for example Moana, Tiana, Jasmine, Mulan and Pocahontas.

I recently read an article about a woman who wouldn’t let her daughter dress up as Moana because she didn’t want to be racist.

How on Earth is it racist for your daughter to dress up as her favorite Disney character? She isn’t making fun of the character, race, or heritage. She is showing that she loves the character and aspires to be like her.

We shouldn’t tell children that they can’t dress up as someone of a different race because that only makes the racial divide stronger.

If we truly want equality, why can’t my white cousin dress up as Pocahontas, who symbolizes strength and standing up for what you believe in?

And why does no one ever tell a black child that they can’t dress up as Cinderella because that’s racist? Why is it only racist if it’s a white child?

We also tell kids that they have to dress up as their same gender. If a little boy wants to be a princess, his parents question his sexuality.

Shouldn’t parents want their sons to see women as strong, empowered individuals? My friend was Captain Jack Sparrow for Halloween when she was a little girl, and no one cared at all.

We tell kids that it’s okay for a girl to dress up as a boy, but it isn’t okay for a boy to dress up as a girl.

I think people worry about Halloween costumes too much. It isn’t offensive if a child wants to dress up as Moana.

It’s only offensive if they are trying to make fun of the culture behind the character, which most children don’t even understand.

The parents are the ones who make things racist and offensive. Everyone should just take a step back and let kids enjoy Halloween. Happy Spooky Season everyone.

Jessica Stewart is a sophomore English education major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].