Modern Feminism: a car for women and Moana mistakes


By Sunflower Rangel, Commentary Editor

Welcome to a new year of Clarion publications and Modern Feminism! There are so many things that have already happened in these first few weeks that we’ve been in school, it was really hard to keep this to only two topics. Yet somehow I managed. Please enjoy!

Cosmopolitan’s Car For Women?

Earlier this month, Cosmopolitan magazine and Spanish automobile manufacturer, Seat, teamed up to create a car designed for women. Finally! A place to put my purse where it won’t topple over and I can still access everything! Sun visors with mirrors that are half magnified and create good lighting! Secret tampon stash compartments! Pedals that make it easier to drive in heels! Oh wait … the Seat Mii by Cosmopolitan has none of those things? No no no, it actually features a purple exterior, side view mirrors that are champagne colored, “eyeliner shaped” headlights, “jeweled wheels,” whatever that means, and features an ease of parking. Because women need so much help parking? We’re just so helpless, we can’t even turn a wheel and look at a couple mirrors! Honestly, what was Cosmo thinking? They’re trying to create this feminist image but this is a serious setback for the magazine. This might be even worse than Bic’s “Pens for Her.”  

Does Disney Promote Brownface?

Many are excited for Disney’s newest animated movie, Moana. I work at a movie theater, and believe me when I say, the promotion for this movie is through the roof. But Disney’s promotional “experts” may have taken it a little too far when they decided to create, market, and sell a costume of Maui (the legendary demigod who joins Moana on her adventure), voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The costume features the garb of Maui, including “authentic all-over body screen art, island-style skirt, photorealistic teeth art appliqués, and padded arms and legs for mighty stature.” This costume and pajama set of similar design immediately became an issue of cultural appropriation. One Twitter user voiced her opinion, “As a Poly I support our folk involved with #MOANA. But this? NO.Our Brown Skin/Ink’s NOT a costume.” Here’s the thing, Disney could have done without the costume and pajama set and still had toys, books, t-shirts, games, and all the other hoards of merchandise to make a profit off of. Not to mention actual ticket sale and DVD profits once the movie actually comes out. In the image they used to promote the costume, a little boy with darker skin is wearing the costume, but it’s not right to be teaching children that it’s ok to wear someone else’s culture without understanding the culture and their struggles. One woman’s tweet reads, “This might be the creepiest thing Disney has ever done. ‘Wear another culture’s skin!’” Disney has since realized its mistake and pulled the Maui costume and pajama set, followed by this statement, “The team behind ‘Moana’ has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some.” On a lighter note, it is true that they’ve tried to respect Pacific Islander culture. Almost the entire main cast is of Polynesian or Melanesian descent. Auli’i Cravahlo is a native Hawaiian, born and raised in Mililani, Hawaii. Dwayne Johnson is Samoan. Temuera Morrison, Rachel House, and Jemaine Clement are all of Maori descent and Nicole Scherzinger was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and her mother is a native Hawaiian. It is hoped this marketing faux pas doesn’t deter anyone from still seeing the movie. Disney has also learned a valuable lesson. Moana splashes into theaters Nov. 23.