With all of the news about celebrities getting flamed for using different cultures to skyrocket to edginess, it is safe to say we need to discuss this. Now we are not saying you can’t appreciate other cultures and gain knowledge about them, I’m saying you can’t skin them and use it to your advantage. It’s time to address the difference between appreciating a culture versus appropriating one.
We are not props! Using a prop would be a giant lollipop, a car, and an inflatable palm tree. Women from that culture are not allowed to be used as props. Now, it is infuriating seeing twerking, dabbing, and everything else being used as an advantage to seem down. But, there are some ways to go about it. Going to Hip Hop classes, Salsa classes, Bollywood style dance classes. Appreciate the style and take a real interest in it.
Yes, hair styles are a touchy subject. Hair is very big in the Black community and it sacred. There is still a time where if we walk in a corporate office or in public with cornrows and it is deemed ethnic. However, other women (ex. Kylie Jenner) walk in and it makes them seem like they were able to afford a vacation to Jamaica. How do you know we didn’t take a quick vacay? Anyways, don’t get cornrows or faux-locks to prove your earthy wisdom. You can do that just fine without getting a hair tutorial from YouTube.
No matter how “fashion savvy” it seems or what the trends are for the festival season. You have to show respect. There is a lot of wrong with wearing traditional Native American headpieces for costumes. It is offensive and very insensitive! To all cultures actually. No ONE is off limits. No, we can’t wear traditional kimonos and act like it’s fashion. No, we can’t wear Indian inspired head pieces and body chains and still have yet to learn the purpose of wearing it. It just means we have to be aware and be educated on why it is a problem to wear it for festival season and treat it as a trend.
Now, there is more to discuss but this should be an eye opener on why we stress all of this when we see “iconic” celebs and performers try to appropriate the culture. When it comes to bringing it into the light, we are seen as sensitive. Uh no, nothing is sensitive about being offended and being discredited for these “new trends”. So, take it all into consideration and remind yourself are you really queening when you are skinning someone else’s culture? Be educated and be amazing!