There’s a lot of “Don’t dress like _____ for Halloween if you aren’t from that culture!” and “Don’t do Dia de los Muertos facepaint if you’re a white girl!” comments going around the tumblr-sphere.
This is ridiculous. Seriously. Halloween is all about dressing up,…
Cultures can be respected and learnt about in other ways….E.g. reading about them, watching documentaries, TALKING TO people of colour (PoC) etc…
But dressing up in a cultural attire that is not yours is disrespectful as you ARE wearing it as a COSTUME. You are only wearing it for a self-serving purpose/fashion/to be cool. You wear it for a day, but do not carry the burden/oppression/ordeals the culture you are “imitating” have faced and continue to face as a minority in a white society.
In brief, when PoC request you not to wear their cultural/religious items (e.g. day of the dead attire, Native head dresses, bindi’s etc) there is a reason, and their requests should be respected.
It is also our duty, as EDUCATED/aware and MINDFUL people to propagate and educate others on CULTURAL APPROPRIATION. It does exist. It is a thing. Although, you said it is with harmless or innocent intentions…the implications are still harmful as members of the culture you are attempting to appropriate continue to struggle to fit in and meet the white societal “norm” and continue to be otherised when THEY wear their own traditional garments whereas you are seen as cool/trendy. So as you can see its a bit of an unequal exchange, whereby the privileged take from the oppressed/exploited, further exacerbating the issue by wearing and appropriating… which I feel further oppresses the group in question.
I think this post explains what I am saying….with Bindis as an example and the thoughts by Indian Hindu wom*n on non-Indian/Hindu’s appropriating them! Similarly, you should be able to learn from this and apply their discomfort/worries to other cultures you are considering to take from and disrespect!
“What makes the non-South Asian person’s use of the bindi problematic is the fact that a pop star like Selena Gomez wearing one is guaranteed to be better received than I would if I were to step out of the house rocking a dot on my forehead. On her, it’s a bold new look; on me, it’s a symbol of my failure to assimilate. On her, it’s unquestionably cool; on me, it’s yet another marker of my Otherness, another thing that makes me different from other American girls. If the use of the bindi by mainstream pop stars made it easier for South Asian women to wear it, I’d be all for its proliferation — but it doesn’t. They lend the bindi an aura of cool that a desi woman simply can’t compete with, often with the privilege of automatic acceptance in a society when many non-white women must fight for it.”
— Jaya Bedi, Beyond Bindis: Why Cultural Appropriation Matters
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“THEY WERE JUST TEENAGERS” idk man I was a crazy, stupid, reckless, and unstable teenager but not once did I ever get the urge to kidnap, drug, and rape someone
People have offered many potential explanations for this discrepancy, but this ad highlights the importance of the social cues that push girls away from math and science in their earliest childhood years.
We should be helping girls achieve their true dreams, not their stereotypes. Encourage people to do what they want in life, regardless of what connotations it might create =)
Be happy, Be you!!
Friendzone ideology isn’t attacked because “nice guys” are comical or because fedoras make a funny meme, it’s because this logic is literally dangerous. This logic of “gentleman = deserving sex” breeds hatred of women, and brutal violence against women, and if a 22 year old self-proclaimed “supreme gentleman” murdering 7 in a campus shooting spree because of sexual rejection doesn’t drive that home, I don’t know what else would.