Be­fore you wear that cos­tume ask your­self…

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IS THE COS­TUME SUP­POSED TO BE REP­RE­SENT­ING AN EN­TIRE CUL­TURE? Cul­tures aren’t cos­tumes. Ever.

DOES THE COS­TUME PER­PET­U­ATE HARM­FUL STEREO­TYPES?

That Poc­a­hon­tas out­fit you wore as a lit­tle cutie? It’s con­sid­ered of­fen­sive to the Na­tive Amer­i­cans who felt the movie mis­rep­re­sented their history. A char­ac­ter like Moana, on the other hand, is largely con­sid­ered a pos­i­tive rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Poly­ne­sian peo­ple, so dress­ing up as her is far less likely to of­fend.

DOES THE COS­TUME IN­VOLVE CHANG­ING YOUR SKIN COLOUR?

‘Black­face’ is a racist tra­di­tion in which white peo­ple paint their faces darker to re­sem­ble the skin of an­other race or cul­ture. If you choose to paint your skin, the hurt you cause will be real. Wanna dress as Moana? Choose char­ac­ter­is­tics that aren’t re­lated to skin colour, be­cause skin colour is never a cos­tume.

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