Cultural Appropriation

Updated: Sep 10, 2019


The topic may not be new to most people, but it's something that should be talked about and made aware for people to understand, especially in this generation. Cultural appropriation, often called cultural misappropriation, is the inappropriate usage of someone’s culture’s ideas or practices by another culture. It can also be defined as the “cherry picking” or selecting of certain aspects of a culture, and ignoring their original significance for the purpose of belittling it as a trend.

Today, many people often find themselves subjected to one belief, meaning that other people find it hard to see others imitate their culture. We see a wide range of dispersed customs all around the world, so when others misuse or don’t understand the meaning behind the culture’s practices and don’t give credit, people get offended.

Cultural appropriation happens everywhere, including at our school. Students from different ethnic backgrounds were asked about their insight on the subject.

“I believe that we should be able to share different cultures with others, without feeling discriminated. We should be able to embrace others cultures and give credit to those who follow by it,” said Destynie Jones.

For example, Kim Kardashian faced backlash when she had fulani braids.

“Kim Kardashian West made headlines when she stepped onto the MTV Movie & TV Awards red carpet in fulani braids on Saturday, just months after she faced criticism for styling her then-blonde hair in cornrows that she dubbed "Bo Derek braids." Like so much on the Internet these days, the braids inspired a cycle: social-media outcry, followed by an apology or reversal, then backlash against the backlash in which defenders weigh in,” explained Allure.

This indicates how sensitive the media is these days and how quick people are to point out the negatives of each situation.

“I actually didn't see backlash. I did that look because North said she wanted braids and asked if I would do them with her. So we braided her hair and then we braided my hair," said Kim Kardashian.

Later on, she explains that credit was given to the culture and that she had a good understanding of the culture’s ideas. She was respectful of the origin the braids came from.

On the other hand, some people misuse other cultures’ practices and beliefs in a negative way. An example of this is a woman known for stealing or adapting aspects that are intrinsic to African-American culture. Her name was Rachel Dolezal, many knew her to be a African American woman, mainly because she bonded over the struggles that most African-Americans women face. When people found out that she was completely white, they freaked.

Especially, considering that she talked about and wore the hair styles that black people wear. This belittles the significance of protective hairstyles uniting generations of black people to pioneer new standards of beauty and social value.

But now it's time we appreciate the diverse cultures that are based all around the world by honoring and respecting other cultures and their practices. This is a good way to gain knowledge and understanding. This would bring the world to a better perception and bring meaning to other customs.

#soniyastokes #KoiLindstrom #feature

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