Bless their hearts, some people are just born to suck the fun out of everything. I don’t know if God didn’t give them a sense of humor, or if they feel so guilty about something they’ve done in the past that they left their sense of humor behind, but oh goodness. These people are like black holes of emotion, sucking in everything innocent, happy, and joyous.
Like this poor dear, Sachi Feris, who wrote a piece about why her five year old daughter can’t be Moana. (spoiler alert, it’s because the little girl is white.). It’s on the blog “Raising Race Conscious Children”. I tend to hate things like this, because they ultimately boil down to overly complicating race issues for children, shoving the horribleness of the world down their throats way too young, and/or possibly teaching little white children to be ashamed of their skin. Bravo, you joyless harpies.
If your child says “I want to be a Disney Princess”, and you tell him or her they can’t because of their race, you are the problem. You are a broken, sad, possibly confused person who has utterly lost the plot. Your crappy opinion makes the world a worse place for children.
You’re also – inadvertently or not – teaching your children that there are limits on what they can do, and enjoy, because of their race. You’re literally teaching them to put people in boxes based on race. Shame on you.
In the same way that Evangelical Purity Culture teaches women their value is in sex as much as Cosmo and Hollywood do, this particular brand of “Racial Awareness” teaches racism.
I understand that “race consciousness” is your gig, but your child is innocent, and her mother, of all people, should respect that. She’s a baby. She gets one Halloween to be 5 (or 6, since she wanted to be Moana next year) and you’re just teaching her she can’t, because of her skin color and your personal online branding. She doesn’t need to have her head filled with this crap. Are you going to tell her to go up to non white Rapunzel and complain about cultural appropriation of Germanic Fairy Tales? No, because that’s awful. Are you going to tell the mother of that non white child to consider not having her be Rapunzel? No, because that makes you a twat.
Why on earth would you do it to your own child then? You’re her mother. You’re her natural “safe space”, her defender and protector, and you’re talking down to her, limiting her, telling her to dream smaller, because of her race?
You probably give out Dental Floss on Halloween, too.
Let me pause here to say I read the author’s entire post. I read a few of her other posts. I completely understand where she’s coming from, to the point that in a conversation with my Republican Husband I can argue her point of view.
I just think she’s wrong, unintentionally (?) mean spirited, and laying her daughter’s happiness at the alter of progressive political correctness. But the more I look through her posts, the less surprised I am by that.
If you read the article she wanted her kid to be Moana’s sister, which makes no kind of sense when you break it down, because Moana’s sister would still be…wait for it.. Polynesian. The poor girl who wanted to be Moana isn’t even completely white, her dad is from Argentina. Oiy.
She also wrote a blog post with this title: Telling My White Four Year Old About Alton Sterling and Philando Castil (“But they (the police) don’t hurt White people,” my daughter digested and confirmed.” Statistics argue otherwise, but what are facts in the land of feels?) Other posts about how she dragged her children to anti Trump protests (I don’t believe in using children as a political prop, which is why my kid won’t go to political outings with me until she has an opinion of her own), and teaching her child about dissent on the 4th of July, instead of, you know, teaching her about how kickass this country is and how awesome it’s various cultures are, regardless of who’s president.
SHE’S FOUR. Why are you telling her about murder? Why on Earth?! My kid is almost three and I won’t let her watch the movie where Ariel’s mom doesn’t come back because she’ll have nightmares. Have you no respect for childhood? Good Grief. Sweet Baby Jesus, what is wrong with you? Are your children people, or props for your branding and tools to achieve your version of social justice?
YES these things matter. YES raising aware children and having the conversations with them to help them processes these big, awful things, matters. But at four? Really? The line is like ten feet behind you, lady.
Since the child’s father is from Argentina, she suggested her being Che Guevara. This Che Guevara:
Alright, being honest here, I probably wouldn’t let my kid be Che Guevara.
Guys, there’s a line. We can have conversations about culture costumes (and yes, there are two sides to that conversation. One of them has a sense of humor), but there’s a hard line that most sane, kind, reasonable human beings from all political parties agree on, and that line is Disney.
There will be Black Elsas and Annas this year. There will be Asian Belles. There will be White Tianas and Moanas, and somewhere, a little boy is probably going to be Cinderella. I know of at least one adult Hispanic Marry Poppins happening this year and she’s gonna be cute as anything (I’m so excited to see her costume) Disney characters are all about being brave enough to be who you really are, working for what you really want, making your dreams happen. Wearing an awesome dress.
Even if you’re _________.
My little white kid wanted to be Princess Tiana. Because Tiana “makes doughnuts and soup and does her chores and sings”. Quite frankly, these are amazing qualities to emulate, and good reasons reason to be Princess Tiana.
Your flipping five year old is not trying to “appropriate” Polynesian culture or assert the “power of her Whiteness”. She’s a little girl, who thinks Moana is cool. LET HER BE INNOCENT WHILE SHE CAN. Let her not blink at whatever race being whatever Disney character. There are some things that our children don’t need to be aware of RIGHT NOW. I would go so far as to argue that it’s our job as parents to protect them from some of the ugliness of the world until they’re mature enough to process it. Racism is one of the biggest uglies in the world. Telling your child “You can’t do X because of your race” is a wholly inappropriate way to go about helping them process the ugliness in the world.
A conversation of “You can’t do this because your skin is X and your culture is Y” is not an innocent conversation to have with a child that just wants to be her favorite flipping princess. Limits because of race are not okay. Limiting a child’s imagination and super important pretend play because of their race is just wrong.
The world would be an awful place if we all stayed within our own culture. How much art would we miss out on without appropriation, how much beauty? How much personal growth would we lose if we didn’t poke our nose into other people’s ways of doing things, and let it teach us?
Let kids be innocent. Black Elsa isn’t “Black Elsa” on Halloween, she’s just…ELSA. Let it go, guys. Let it go.