At what age can you say it changes from "just a child dressing up" to "cultural appropriation". Like to example a 3 year old dressing up like a American Indian, or shouldn't they be allowed to do that? Thank you for your answer!
If you aren’t sure of the tribal affiliation of a Native person, I believe it is more respectful to refer to them as Natives or Native Americans, rather than Indian/American Indian—the history of using “Indian” to refer to Natives stems primarily from Columbus thinking he was in India, and is frequently considered offensive.
Those costumes are still appropriative and racist whether the person is 3 or 30. The only difference is who you can hold accountable for it. A 3-year old has no understanding of race or racism, but their parents can be held accountable for putting them in an outfit like that because it is racist and appropriative, and that person should know better than to allow it.
You can think of it in terms of physical objects: if a 3-year old steals gum from a store because it was near the register and within reach, the item is still stolen and stealing is still wrong, even though the child isn’t aware of that. Their parents would be responsible for it because they are responsible for their child’s actions.
Similarly, if a 30-year old steals something from a store, the item is still stolen and stealing is still wrong. They would be held accountable of their own accord because they are responsible for their own actions at that point in their adulthood.
I hope that made sense!