Moana Halloween Costumes - Already?

This is a citation from a previous post in this blog on Moana:

“Remember, also, Disney will settle on an outfit that's marketable and can be sold as a proprietary costume. Profit, after all, is the bottom line, and therefore Disney's main goal.”

Well, that main goal is here now.  The Moana Halloween costumes are out - ahead of the November premiere of the film.  And already they are mired in controversy again with some Poly’s protesting complaining about the Maui costume, which is a body suit (brown, of course) with tattoos, a necklace and skirt.  Some have vented their frustration based on the cultural aspects, saying that skin (brown) is culture not a costume.

Wow.  Really?  Welcome to the 21st century, not the Flintstones era, people!

The brown body suit costume is offensive?  What’s next? Standing at the beaches and at indoor tanning places protesting those who want to change the color of their skin to brown, albeit temporarily?  Oi kafefe (Oh what kerfuffle! .. hahaa my own translation) 

Why not complain about the price of the costumes?  Yes, they are in the $40-$50 dollar range (US), equivalent to $90 - $100 Samoan money, for example.  But that can be resolved and/or negotiated. See, the good thing is that us Poly's don’t have to pay the full price.  It maybe free after all.  Why and how?

Well, let’s look at it this way, if you are a Poly parent with real Poly kids (i.e with brown skin), then two thirds of the costume is already “bought” - and owned for life (unless of course you do the Michael Jackson thang, if ya know what I mean).  The necklace and skirt can actually be made at home, with the seashells and leaves from just outside/around your house.  If you live outside Samoa, you can use any leaves, or get them from any craft store and string 'em up. What’s left then is for you to go crazy with a body art marker and draw some tattoos on his “natural body suit”.  Oh, how about the muscles? Well start taking your sons to the gym, or better yet, take them to McDonald's - they'll get big there quicker.  LOL!!

As for those dressing up like Moana, just make an outfit like the one in the Disney picture. Your true brown Poly daughter will not have to paint herself brown.  And then during Halloween - which is growing/gaining popularity in Samoa - all the little girls will be Moana - and what an effective bonding activity for the girls that will be.

So stop being overly sensitive, culturally. Lighten up!  I'm sure there are a lot more pressing issues involving Polynesia than a mere Halloween costume.  It'll be quite a treat, not a trick.  Or maybe think about starting a Polynesian Media Association and file for the royalties from the sale of these and other Moana items. lol!!  Ia fai aku ai fo'i.


  1. One thing repeatedly overlooked by the "eternally offended" crowd:
    When Frozen came out, there was a surge in interest about Danish and other Northern European ("Viking") cultures.
    When Lion King was made, people became interested in the legends of Africa that birthed the tale.
    Aladdin awakened interest in Pre-Islamic Middle Eastern culture and history.

    Moana may not be very accurate. (we wont know until it comes out) But it will spark interest in Pacific Island cultures; their history and myths. It will open a window to places most have never seen or thought about, in a child-friendly way that encourages more exploration, both from kids and adults.

    I would think that anyone from these many cultures would be happy to show a different side to their homeland, rather than just a place for sports scouts to draft football players and pro wrestlers.

    1. David, thank you for your comment in which you have raised a valid point about Moana as a means and opportunity for educating others about Polynesia and its diverse geography and cultures. I'm not sure how many "Poly's" - or others - out there who are against the costumes, on the basis of cultural sensitivity, and/or if there's enough to justify the current headlines. There will always be opposition by those who feel that an intrusion or violation of their indigenous space has been committed by outsiders, and especially when done in the name of profits and commercialization. That I can understand though I don't totally agree. I'm usually open-minded about such things, including Moana's potential to be an ambassador for Polynesia, as you mentioned. Thanks again.