September 20, 2016

The Disney Halloween costume that got the "Brown skin is not a costume" criticism.



It's the "Maui Costume featuring the demigod's signature tattoos, rope necklace and island-style skirt. Plus, padded arms and legs for mighty stature!"

Here's a WaPo article about the criticism: "Brown skin is not a costume': Disney takes heat for ‘Moana’ Halloween costume." ("Moana" is the name of the new movie. "Maui" is a character in the movie.)
“As a Poly I support our folk involved in #MOANA. But this? NO. Our Brown Skin/Ink’s NOT a costume,” one user tweeted. “Many people are Rightfully upset about this new piece of #Moana merch. Cultures are NOT costumes,” tweeted another. “Hey heads up, I’ve seen that Moana costume, and I seriously don’t want to see it again. It sickens me, please don’t ask me to talk about it,” tweeted a third. “This might be the creepiest thing Disney has ever done. ‘Wear another culture’s skin!’ ” yet another person tweeted.

One user compared the costume to the suit made from literal human skin in “Silence of the Lambs.”
Yes, it would be wrong actually to wear someone else's skin. But there's also a standard metaphor about understanding another person's perspective: How would it feel to be in his skin? Do we think of murder or do with think of empathy?

And yet, given the American cultural taboo on darkening your skin to pretend to be someone of another race, how can it be okay to use a layer of latex to achieve the same effect? Some answers to that question include: 1. You're racist to assume that the child who wears the costume will be white, 2. The character Maui isn't even a person, but a "demigod," and 3. The latex really provides real distancing from the experience of skin.

On point #3, look at all the "naked" costumes that are on the market and that people who wouldn't go out naked apparently feel okay about wearing. This one jumped out at me, and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it's for sale at Walmart:

31 comments:

Rob said...

Anything Poly is automatically suspect. It's cotton or nothing.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I'm the least PC person on the face of the planet but this would creep me out too, if I was a head hunter.

EDH said...

Yes, it would be wrong actually to wear someone else's skin.

"PUT THE FUCKIN' LOTION IN THE BASKET!"

MadisonMan said...

It probably is made in China too.

First world problems: Complaining about a Halloween costume. Sheesh.

mccullough said...

Literal human skin in a novel or movie is fiction, hence not literal

JAORE said...

I must be from a culture where the skin we wear is much, much thicker.

MadisonMan said...

Prediction: that "Let's Get Physical" costume will be in the 95% off bin eventually.

Big Mike said...

So which is worse? Dressing up in black face for Halloween or getting boots, plantation hat, and bullwhip so I can portray Simon Legree? Ah, the problems of white privilege.

LYNNDH said...

You go to WalMart?

Freeman Hunt said...

The costume only has skin because of the tattoos and muscles. It could not be a costume of that character without those. Everything is hysterical and stupid now.

tim in vermont said...

It's respectful and even shows admiration, I think. But what do I know? It's not like a minstrel show act. Those are behind us. Why can't we live in the now for a better future? Oh, because people want power for themselves, that's why.

tim in vermont said...

Anything Poly is automatically suspect. It's cotton or nothing.

You obviously don't live in a climate where wool is so perfect for many conditions that it seems like it must have been dreamed up by preternaturally brilliant genetic engineers.

Bob said...

I thought it was a Queequeg costume.

I guess I'm out of touch.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Re: that last costume, I could really do without the nasty overwhelming pubic hair. Ew.

YoungHegelian said...

If you're Mexican, it's okay to wear the Polynesian skin suit. Just pretend that you're channeling the spirit of your Aztec ancestors.

EMD said...

You'd think they'd be happy people would be willing to pretend they're Polynesian for at least one day.

ddh said...

The only politically correct costume is no costume--just come as you are. And International Talk Like a Pirate Day is cultural appropriation if you are not a pirate.

EMD said...

And International Talk Like a Pirate Day is cultural appropriation if you are not a pirate.

Talk Like A Pittsburgh Pirate Day

ddh said...

The Pittsburgh Pirates make up for the Steelers and the Penguins. We all know, however, that none of the Steelers ever worked in a steel mill, whereas the hockey players, like their namesakes, don't have front teeth.

Bad Lieutenant said...

The costume isn't the skin, it's the tattoos. Some people are just looking for an argument.

MayBee said...

This is why companies need to learn to tune people out. Just because people are upset, it doesn't give them any moral authority.

I'm imaging a parallel universe where people are upset there were no Mouna costumes for Halloween and people accused Disney of being raciest for ignoring brown characters.

Clyde said...

I object to their cultural appropriation of our English language!

Gretchen said...

It must be depressing to run around looking for things to be offended by. The left is no fun.

Real American said...

They bitch and moan if something is white because it's not "inclusive" enough. Ok, whiny bitches, here's your fucking inclusive costume. Now shut the fuck up! Better yet, just do us all a favor and fucking kill yourself.

jaed said...

Ah, it must be fall, the time-honored season of the joyous "Festival of SJWs Screeching About Halloween Costumes".

These people ruin absolutely everything, children's holidays included.

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Lost My Cookies said...

Wal-mart sells a wal-mart shopper costume? How meta

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"Our full body tattoos, which costume our bodies, shouldn't be copied in a costume, that's racist!"

Ah, 2016.

Char Char Binks said...

If I get a tan, is that racist?

jeff said...

What about those Incredible Hulk costumes? Isnt that just the same thing as wearing the Hulks skin? What about the sleeves that make you look like a biker with tats all down your arm? Isnt that the same as skinning a biker and wearing it? What if a guy shows up at a Halloween party in a Wonder Woman costume? Just like wearing a real woman's boobs, right? A white guy in a Obama mask? Totally racist, right? Glad we solved all the real problems so we can finally address these pressing matters.

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