What isn’t cultural appropration:
• Trying/eating/making a culture’s food
• Listening to that culture’s music
• Watching that culture’s movies
• Reading that culture’s books
• Appreciating that culture’s art
• Wearing that culture’s clothing IF in a setting where that culture is prevalent and IF people are okay with it and/or it is necessary to fit in and not stand out weirdly (i.e. If you visit Pakistan, you can wear a shalwar kameez so you don’t stand out as an American tourist. Or if you visit a specific temple or religious setting, you may need to/want to adhere to specific dress forms. Or if you’re invited to a wedding and they allow/invite you to wear their cultural dress to participate in the festivities).
• Using that culture’s dance/physical traditions in specific settings (i.e. taking belly-dancing classes, or going to an Indian wedding and trying to dance with them).
What is cultural appropriation:
• Wearing specific items of clothing that may (and probably do) have deeper meaning as a costume. Like on Halloween.
• Wearing specific items of clothing to be trendy or fashionable.
• Trying to imitate their natural beauty standards and possible makeup/markings (i.e dreadlocks and bindis and mehndi/henna).
• Taking their rituals, old-as-hell traditions, and dances and turning them into cheap, tacky everyday garbage for you to have “fun” with (i.e. smoking sheesha. Y’all turned it into this janky nonsense that looks so trashy and stupid).
• Taking spiritual/religious ideas and traditions and subscribing to them to be trendy or unique
• Trying to act like you’re an expert in their food, music, or art, and that you can do it BETTER than them
• Basically trying to WEAR that culture’s skin, clothing, & beauty traditions as a costume/trend and turn old traditions into cheap garbage
And WHY is this wrong? Because, in our society, white people or non-POC can get away with wearing another culture’s clothes and identities and it will be “cute”, “indie”, “bohemian”, “trendy”, and “exotic.” BUT when a POC who actually belongs to that culture wears their own culture’s clothing, styles of beauty, or does things that are specific to their culture, they’re looked down upon, made fun of, sneered at, told to “Go home, get out of this country, we don’t do that here,” and laughed at. The few times I wore a shalwar kameez in public—and I’m Pakistani—people gave me weird looks, like I had a disease. And yet if a white person (or, heck, even a different POC, because POC don’t have the right to appropriate other cultures either) wears a shalwar kameez, people will call her exotic and cute. Seriously? Do you see a problem? I do. Want some proof? When Selena Gomez and Katy Perry use other cultures as costumes in their music videos and stuff, they were thought to be creative and fun. But when an Indian American woman with brown skin won Miss America, there was a huge racist backlash and people said, “We don’t look like that here, we don’t need a curry muncher here, get out of this country.” So I guess Indian culture is only okay if Selena Gomez is stealing it, right? But not if an actual Indian woman is displaying it? Another example: white people with dreadlocks are seen as “soft grunge” and “hippie”, but black people with dreadlocks are looked down upon and seen as dirty and lazy for having them, even though they know how to take care of their dreadlocks way better.
Respect the fact that we are different. You don’t need to be culturally BLIND because that is just as ignorant. Trying to ignore cultures means you’re trying to erase peoples’ identities. You can appreciate/like/admire other cultures without trying to steal them, use them, cheapen them, and wear them as costumes. You weren’t born into it, so know your limits. And YES. There will ALWAYS be those people who say, “But my Chinese friends don’t care if ____!” and “I’m Mexican and I don’t care if people ____,” but they do not speak for all people of that culture and just because THEY don’t mind doesn’t mean other people don’t. Plenty of POC get harassed/taunted/degraded/fetishized over their own cultures WHILE people not of that culture are called “free-spirited”, “bohemian”, “quirky” and “trendy” for imitating the SAME culture—so yes, the people who oppose cultural appropriation do it based on actual microaggressions and bigotry they may have faced and it is NOT your job to try and convince then that they don’t have a right to their own culture or that the oppression against them should mean nothing.
Think about this. There are some women okay with sexism. Some POC okay with racist jokes. Some Jewish people don’t care about anti-Semitic jokes. And your friend might be one of these people. But suddenly that makes it okay for you to behave foolishly, immaturely, and ignorantly?
Wise up. It’s 2014. There is no excuse to be ignorant.
And if you ever need to explain to someone what cultural appropriation is, show them this post (credit me if you post it elsewhere). It’s a good starter and I think it encompasses the basics of what cultural appropriation is and isn’t.
stop with the messages asking if this specific little thing is cultural appropriation or not
I started to be much happier in my relationships when I realized that I can only control myself. That way, you don’t worry about people and don’t waste your time thinking, ‘What if he cheats on me?’
- clean bathroom tips
- organize your closet
- how to fix a leaky faucet
- how to keep a clean kitchen
- removing stains from your carpet
- how to coupon
- what to do when you can’t pay your bills
- see if you’re paying too much for your cell phone bill
- how to save money
- How to Balance a Check Book
- How to do Your Own Taxes
- how to take care of yourself when you’re sick
- things to bring to a doctor’s appointment
- what to expect from your first gynecologist appointment
- how to make a doctor’s appointment
- how to pick a health insurance plan
- a list of stress relievers
- how to get free therapy
- what to do if you get pulled over by a cop
- a list of hotlines in a crisis
- things to keep in your car in case of an emergency
- recipes that take 30 minutes or less
- Yummy apple thing
- Brownie in a cup
- Cookie in a cup
- French bread pizza
- Egg tacos
- panera mac n cheese recipe
- different salad recipes
- harry potter recipes
- healthy recipes
- various cookie recipes
- chocolate cupcakes w/ eggless cookie dough topping
- s’mores pie
- nutella hot chocolate
- peanut butter nutella swirl cookies
- cookie in a mug
- starbucks holiday drinks
- fruit leathers
- brownie in a mug
- how to make ramen 1000x better
- eggless cookie dough (not to bake, just to eat)
- make recipes using things you already have
- how to put together a very fancy cheese plate
- make different flavored lemonades
- various desert recipes
- make tiny chocolate chip cookies
- 20 dishes every cook should know
- learn how to make your own tea
- Macaroni and cheese in a mug
- Study snacks (2)
- 40 on-the-go breakfast recipes
- what the hell is a mortgage?
- first apartment essentials checklist
- how to care for cacti and succulents
- the care and keeping of plants
- Getting an apartment
- time management
- create a resume
- find the right career
- how to pick a major
- how to interview for a job
- How to write cover letters
- ULTIMATE PACKING LIST
- Traveling for Cheap
- Travel Accessories
- The Best Way to Pack a Suitcase
- How To Read A Map
- How to Apply For A Passport
- How to Make A Travel Budget
I need this
the whole concept of flirting is just lost on me most of the time really. whenever someone is like “oh they were flirting with you” i’m just like. what. whenever someone is like “were you flirting with them?” i’m just like. what. whenever someone is like “oh you totally were flirting with them!” i’m just like. what. what is flirting. what is going on. what. i have no idea what’s going on. what
today is the second time my boss makes me cry
I don’t know if it’s me, or her, or because I’m PMSing, or I don’t know. I feel lonely today
(not so)tiny crush on Anna Faris’s husband, Chris Pratt (x)
How did I not know she was married to Chris Pratt?
How did I not know Evans and Pratt were buddies? THAT IS A DREAM TEAM OF DRINKING BUDDIES. Oh my gosh I just wanna have beers and play games with them.
…. and again listening to the roommates having sex
Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.