How Should I Handle This Situation With My Friend?

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"I need advice, my friend is very Disney oriented and she was talking to me about Halloween costumes for our kids this year. Well since they do Disney themed family costumes they have a new costume every year. Well this year she wants to do a play on lion king and use African patterned clothing. I think it’s a beautiful idea, but when I told her to make sure she’s respectful and ask someone of African culture to help her so she doesn’t accidentally use something that could offend someone, she got frustrated and said “it’s just a patterned outfit!” I’m torn because while I think it’s a gorgeous idea, I don’t want my friend to inadvertently be disrespectful… what should I do?"

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The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.

"No, you are in the right. It can and will be taken. Offensively. I commend you. All those saying chill don’t understand culture."

"I’m noticing how it’s all white people who are saying it ok. Do you research to make sure your respectful but if she doesn’t that’s fully on her"

"Isn’t the lion king all animals? Just dress up in furry clothes and be done with it. There were no people in the movie."

"African culture isn’t a costume so you’re right."

"yikes I didnt know this group didnt care about other cultures. If she was going to dress everyone up as a animals then THATS FINE. but she is talking about getting patterned clothing. and she refused to even care about the fact that it might offend someone. I am white so I have no room to speak on what is or isn’t offensive to other cultures. however! If even one person from that culture says its a bad idea. then ITS A BAD IDEA. I dont know how you can change her mind. but just send her information about how some items in the African culture are sacred. similar to a headdress in Native american culture - its overall a bad vibe and super racist."

"Way to go for making sure it’s culturally appropriate. I think all you can do at this point is 1) make sure your children are culturally appropriate 2) find a different costume. I applaud your awareness on the subject."

"There’s a ton of other things to use other than “African” patterns if I’m not mistaken there are no people in that movie…maybe can just dress up as animal characters?"

"Wow, Some of these comments are showing themselves. I’m glad you didn’t mind your business, as a lot of these comments are saying. Y’all should be ashamed. Also, the ones saying you’re tired of not being able to do things without it being “appropriation” or “racists” are showing your true colors. You want to do whatever you want without having accountability. Imagine how the people you’re appropriating feel! If you feel offended by this comment then it’s for you."

"I agree with you, it’s cultural appropriation! the best thing you can do is try to educate her on why… if she responds like most of the people in this group then she’s ignorant af."

"You’re right, but that’s a her problem. You can try to educate, or disassociate. If you don’t like it, don’t join in. Imo, no one is entitled to misrepresent a culture because it’s a holiday, obviously a lot of people here disagree, but it’s just not for me and mine. Just stick to dressing like animals, wtf? There’s lots of other people in the world to be friends with."

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