I had to make this post because, as a Samoan, it made me so happy that there was going to be a Disney Princess reflecting my culture (and others amongst Polynesia) that not many people knew about, was forgotten, or even knew existed, but what DIDN’T make me happy was that people (who necessarily aren’t Polynesian) were being put on blast for cosplaying her. ATTACKING PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY AREN’T POLYNESIAN OR “DARK ENOUGH”, ISN’T OKAY. AND IF DONE SO RESPECTIVELY, COSPLAYING MOANA ISN’T CULTURAL APPROPRIATION. Anyone can cosplay her; white, brown, black, blue, or fucking green.
Polynesians have so little representation that even people cosplaying characters from Moana means a lot(to me, at least) because it means that our culture is finally getting some traction and people who may not have known anything about our culture before have started to be more interested, engaging and learning more! (Literally, the only representation we have in the mainstream media is The Rock. WE NEED THIS) And if that traction comes in the form of anyone cosplaying Moana or Maui or etc and it’s being done so RESPECTIVELY, it is very much WELCOME!
And I find that the majority of people doing the attacking aren’t even Polynesian. I get that you’re trying to be careful and not offended a culture not many people know about, and is often forgotten, but it stops being okay when you police people on what they can and can’t cosplay.
IF YOU’RE NOT POLYNESIAN AND YOU WANT TO KNOW IF YOU CAN COSPLAY MOANA CHARACTERS, YOU CAN! I’m not the supreme Polynesian authority on tumblr (duh) but if it makes you feel better that a pacific islander says it’s okay, take it lol