Posts tagged cultural appropriation
Posts tagged cultural appropriation
“Yoga is the greatest gift of these spiritual, magical people.”
“We’re Indians, not elves.”
OH MY GOD
LMFAO how I be feeling when white people trying to categorize African dance.
“It’s so ~*TRIBAL*~ and ~*MYSTERIOUS*~!!!111”
WHAT IS THIS FROM OMG.
Or like Chinese medicine, swear to god, you can convince a white person to eat ANYTHING as long as you preface it with “ancient chinese medicine cure for…”
A lot of attention has been drawn to the native fashion trend in the past year or so. From violations of the Navajo trademark, to No Doubt and Victoria’s Secret experiencing a long-overdue backlash to the all-too common misuse of Plains warbonnets; the issues surrounding ‘native inspired’ fashion are being talked about on a wider scale.
What a lot of people are asking is, “If we love native fashion, where can we get it without engaging in cultural appropriation?”
Jessica Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) has been answering that question for quite some time on her blog, Beyond Buckskin. Even more awesome, she launched the Beyond Buckskin Boutique which gives you instant access to legitimate native fashion, from haute couture to streetwear, modern and traditional.
In a recent article, Jessica Metcalfe was asked how launching a ‘native fashion’ boutique is any different than what Urban Outfitters and so many other companies are doing. I think her response is well worth quoting here:
- I work with Native American artists – folks who are active members of Native communities.
- These artists are exceptionally talented.
- They are also very knowledgeable and smart about their cultures and cultural values and know which items (ie sacred items) are off-limits and shouldn’t be sold.
- They know how to translate the artistic traditions of their Native communities to be shared by people from ALL backgrounds.
- They don’t resort to stereotypes, and they present a new vision and a new version of ‘the Native’ in fashion.
- They are incredibly respectful of Native people.
- Profits from the Beyond Buckskin Boutique go directly to these artists and support small businesses, many of which are in Native communities and represent economic development strategies. I could go on.
This is pretty much as good as it gets, in my opinion. There is a difference between appropriation and appreciation, and Metcalfe pretty clearly lays out what they are above. Beyond Buckskin has a page devoted to a variety of native-run stores you can browse this holiday season for some kickass presents for you or others. Take a look at some of what is available out there, for natives and non-natives alike!
So whether you’re looking for someone awesome to spend your money on and treasure for always, or if you’re just sick of people asking you, “Are we allowed to wear ANYTHING AT ALL!?” you can use this resource as resounding, “YES PLEASE!”
Needed this on my blog.
Social Justice issues that are extremely important
- Human Trafficking
- Human Rights Violations
Social Justice issues that tumblr users think are extremely important
- White Privilege
- Cultural Appropriation
- Gender Pronouns
In order for a society to commit genocide against a people or treat human beings as objects or unworthy of compassion and support, they must first be systematically dehumanized, ridiculed, demonized, and generally rendered “Other”. Take a few guesses as to how that’s accomplished.
what bollywood make-up actually looks like:
What white people think it looks like:
Westerners Appropriate the Shit Out of Everything
This might come as news to you, but religion isn’t that cool anymore, and people trust their elected representatives about as much as razorblade toilet seats. Society’s traditional keepers of mutual respect are UNCOOL, possibly more uncool than they’ve ever been before. So we strut around our chaotic cities disrespecting whomever and whatever the hell we want. Because you know what is cool? Disrespecting someone by wearing their cherished, centuries-old culture as a fashion accessory.
With that in mind, here are a few more ways in which Western culture has made a complete ass of itself by re-appropriating cultures and religions it doesn’t even care enough about to want to understand.
OK, feathered headdresses aren’t exactly massive this season, but they definitely had their day. Kate Mossdid it, creepy child model Thylane Blondeau did it, and every university-age girl in Surrey has at some point in her life been photographed in one while high at one of the shittier music festivals.
Originally, though, they weren’t designed for models or sold at Forever 21—only those Native Americans who had earned them through battle, or by finding the biggest Yucca, or by eating the most paw paws were allowed to wear them. They were also made from things like buffalo horns and porcupine quills, and the natives reckoned these materials carried the powers of the animals from which they came. It might be useful to fatally gore anyone who gets in your way on Oxford Street on a Saturday afternoon, but it’s not considered good etiquette.
It’s not only the headdresses that have made their way into the wardrobes of fashionistas. It’s a ton of “Navajo-print” stuff in general:
Actual Navajos got hella mad when the “Navajo hipster panty” went on sale at Urban Outfitters, wafting a number of irate smoke signals aimlessly into the air. And don’t even get me started on the “Navajo hip flask.” That’s about as culturally sensitive as Henry Ford at a Bar Mitzvah.
The bindi was born as a Hindu sacrament, but it still got pretty trendy amongst Islamics and South Asians long before No Doubt were even a twinkle in Gwen Stefani’s curiously doll-like eyes. The bindi sits on the Kundalini-channelling spiritual hotspot between the eyes to make everything A-OK. Gwen, that pariah of cultural appropriation, did wonders for the bindi’s image among tweens, a little before popularizing harems of subservient Japanese girls dressed as cartoon characters. Oh, Gwen!
Putting Slinkys round the neck is a tradition of the Kayan people of Burma. They start when the girls are 2 so their necks are long enough for flirting by the time they are in their teens. Apparently, it doesn’t actually stretch the neck so much as push the body down, but to me that sounds pretty similar. But the latest trend can be observed among suburban housewives, who stretch their necks in order to look “as cute as Asian women.”
Instead of messing about with metal spirals, this American device makes stretching your neck as convenient as possible. Contrary to common knowledge, it was actually one of these devices that allowed Prince to suck his own penis.
[sorta] fixed that for ya….
Justin is awesome. LOVE! I remember last year Colorblinding absolutely destroyed the costume on the right and wrote some really good stuff about racism and cultural appropriation. Colorblinding, I miss you! Come back to Tumblr!
plaster my eastern delight over your pasty bosom, darling
your curdled cream complexion could use a little アズキ.
I’ll lotus blossom your face if you’ll let me
(don’t worry, it’s an ancient ninja-geisha-sutra technique;
any pain is purely incidental)
and bend you back til you scream AI-YAH
in your own language. how transgressive!
what’s new now? boudoir blossoms!
sweet scents and silky fabrics!
and some satin
that’s supposed to be a kimono, I guess
but whatever honey, let me rip it off you!
don’t sweat the lacy little details.
everyone knows you look best dressed in racism—so edgy!
it gets me going too!
wear that to bed again and I’ll steer your slow boat to china
right off a waterfall! ah-AH!
yeah, you don’t date asian girls; appropriated patterns are just for playtime.
but next time you have your cosmo-inspired sex in upside-down obi position
let your imagination go east and think of me
and know that I have ruined you for every consecutive white boy,
my darling cherry blossom 外人 girl.
always your ticket to an exotic adventure.