Cultural Appropiation


#1

What are you thoughts about it in Episode & in general?
Lots of people thing CA is stupid. I disagree.

My Thoughts: CA is when someone wears a signature style or cultural reference and takes complete credit for creating, stating it as a trend, or refusing to talk about the history and blatantly wearing it because it’s “cool”.

I’m also very interested in your thoughts on it in being in Episode. E.G, someone who is not an Indian wears a Saree or non-POC imitating natural hair (styles).

I honestly tried to think of other topics but cba, lol


#2

I might get some flak for this…

I do not think it is always wrong for someone to wear clothing or hairstyles from another culture.
It would be wrong and dishonest to actively pretend to have created the fashion, but in many cases of ‘cultural appropriation’, the wearer makes no such claims.
If everyone must use only items originating from their own cultures, many elements of traditional cultures will die out or become far less common due to a decline in interest.

It is a different case for items of religious significance. I often see people wearing jewelry or decorating their homes with symbols of different (usually Eastern) religions.
That comes across as very ignorant, and I can see why someone could be offended by that.

In short, ‘cultural appropriation’ is not as big of a deal as some people make if it.
There will always be idiots wearing clothes in a distespectful manner, but complaining about tourist attractions and museums allowing visitors to wear say, a kimono is going too far.
Religious appropriation, on the other hand, is disrespectful and ignorant.


#3

Cultural appropriation is only stupid to those who don’t understand it. It is important to understand cultral appropriation, and the effects it has on various cultures whether they want to accept it, or not because I’ve seen so many people cultural appropriate another cultures hairstyle, and it’s seen as a trend while the ones who actually embrace the same exact hairstyles from their own culture, are often times dehumanized, or degraded just for rocking, or embracing the same exact hairstyle. For instance, sometimes people of color are often times suspended, or suffer some type of disciplinary action for wearing fros, or braids in their hair. It could be their own hair yet, they’re suspended, fired, and even degraded for embracing thier own hairstyles. Meanwhile, if other cultures rock the same hairstyles, they’re accepted, or embraced. This is problematic!! Also, some cultures rock these same the hairstyle, and use it as a tactic to dehumanize those who are trying to be accepted for wearing the same hairstyles. Wearing braids, fros, or even dreads, is not a trend. We have been rocking our hair like that for years so we should be able to wear these hairstyles without, being degraded, or dehumanized. I have no problem with those who rock these hairstyles. My problem is with the ones who do it to mock us, or make it seem like it’s a “trend.” My problem is also, with the others who say our hair styles are “unprofessional” yet, accept, and embrace other cultures who wear the same type of hairstyles.


#4

What is written below is what I have seen written on this topic discussed elsewhere online before (another platform) and thought it might be useful to this topic :+1:t3: I can’t remember the exact place it was written but this is what I can remember it being about.

Cultural appropriation can be difficult to define. For example, most people associate dreads and braids with POC but those hairstyles date back thousands of years to country’s like Greece and Egypt. How far back in time do you go before you decide who it appropriates?


#5

Aren’t there also, people of color in Egypt? Many of which who also, have worn braids, dreads locks etc? I’m a little thrown off by this person’s response. It’s like they’re trying to make it seem like people of color aren’t the ones who originally wore these hairstyles when it’s been proven scientifically, and genetically that they have been wearing these hairstyles for quite some time. Go to Africa, they will see that there are various people of color, who have worn these type of haitstyles for decades.


#6

What I had written was not my opinion. I have seen this very same discussion elsewhere and thought some of what I remembered may be interesting to this topic because what I had stated had divided opinion between people but both sides had agreed on certain details regarding origins.
I’m a little offended that you hadn’t read the beginning of my comment properly and are quick to assume that I am disagreeing with what you have written.

Like everyone, I am entitled to my opinion but I haven’t stated mine.


#7

Okay well let me rephrase this, the person who said that statement seems to be trying to discredit the fact that people of color originally wore the hairstyles. While you are allowed to voice your opinion on the matter, others are also, able to disagree with someone’s opinion as well. Not everyone will agree with what this person said, just like not everyone will agree with what you said. That’s life! People are allowed to voice their own opinion whether they agree, or not. If you didn’t say this, then okay I will rephrase what I said.


#8

I think, that if you participate in the culture respectively, it’s alright. Though I suppose then it wouldn’t be called ‘cultural appropriation.’

For example, I don’t see something wrong with a white person participating in The Day of the Dead, as long as it’s not insulting to the culture.
I think it’s wonderful seeing people participate in other cultures. What kind of people would we be if we hoarded all of our culture to ourselves and didn’t let anyone else participate in it?
My ancestry comes from lots of European countries, but, let’s use the Norwegian part of me for this example. If some non-Norwegian person was going to Norwegian festival, trying to recreate foods, learning dances and the language… I’d be honored! Someone’s so interested in my heritage’s culture that they bothered to do all those things? That would seem pretty cool to me.

Now, here’s the other side of the coin.
I don’t condone people doing things and disrespecting cultures. Wearing dreadlocks or braids (which is fine on its own), then claiming it’s your own and you started a trend, now, that’s not true.
And there’s all those costumes - now, that’s pretty crappy. The shoddily made Native American, Mexican, etc. costumes are pretty culturally insensitive. Another example of that that people don’t usually talk about is Viking costumes… like boi what the hell is that why would a viking woman wear a mini skirt, not only is that IMPRACTICAL for battle, you’re going to be freezing, vikings come from the cold land of scandinavia you dingus. But, uh, most of that stuff can also be applied to the other culturally insensitive costumes.
On the topic of costumes, too, I don’t think that white kids wearing a Moana costume or any other POC Disney/Pixar character costume is racist. It’s not racist when POC kids dress up as Rapunzel or any other white princess, so why is it the other way around? And no, that comparison is not false equivalence.

I went off on a little rant there, but uh, yeah. Those are my opinions.
Respectfully participating in someone’s culture? Yeah, feel free. Don’t be an ass, though (coughs, Jake Paul, coughs).
Stealing something from someone’s culture, disrespecting it, claiming something as your own, etc. That’s a didgeri-don’t.


#9

For fashion reason yes it is wrong but it won’t stop unfortunately.
With the clothing and hair to much grey area as there are people who are mixed raced that want to embrace their culture.
I explain one of my friends is mixed race but looks wise looks more white blonde hair blue eyes yet her hair is like her dads side she has a natural afro is she racist because her hair is naturally that way.

Another reasoning is my step -niece is mixed race Indian and Māori looks more Maori and wears a Saree sometimes mostly formal events on her mums side.

Then there me my dad is naturally dark from the aboriginal side of the family and he is very dark my sister is dark too but I’m a throwback I take after Mum I’m white with blonde hair blue eyes does mean because I don’t have the same skin colour as my sister and my dad I shouldn’t embrace my culture as well.

Everyone is quick to judge unless you know the intent behind it so many are so quick to judge.
With the fashion wise or celebrities starting a trend because they think it’s cool is wrong on so many levels.


#10

I’m not saying you can’t disagree, I was simply trying to add a little depth to a conversation by adding some opinions I have regularly seen elsewhere and had made some people look at certain things a little differently. As I said, I haven’t stated my opinion for anyone to disagree with :woman_shrugging:t3:
If anything, I agree with @thesoulpunk but I also have my opinion slightly warped by my best friend who is a Zimbabwe native with what can only be described as ‘very dark skin’ and an afro which regularly features at least 3 combs. He’s a bit of a hippy and thinks if we all learned about one another a little more then we might live in a happier world (respectfully of course not for fashion).


#11

In my opinion, it’s not cultural appropriation if you understand and appreciate the culture that you’re taking aspects from. Cultural appropriation is disrespectfully portraying these cultures without a clue about their history.

There’s a difference between for example, a saree as a Halloween costume in your story and having your non Indian/Pakistani character wear a saree gifted to them by a Indian/Pakistani friend who informed them about it’s history and relevance.


#12

Agreed! There’s a difference between cutlural appreciation and culture appropriation


#13

I think there’s a very fine line between appropriation and appreciation, which a lot of people slip between. That’s why, in my opinion, people become so dismissive of the topic of appropriation. I have a white friend who absolutely LOVES saris and Indian attire. At first, people claimed she was appropriating Indian culture, but she’s an Indian historian in training! She never takes credit for the clothes she wears, but rather fangirls a little over the Bollywood stars she was influenced by when choosing her outfit. She could tell you all about the different styles of bollywood throughout the past century! I think there’s nothing wrong with that! I actually think it’s great, as someone who is part Indian! So do my Indian family! However, without even thinking or listening to her, random outsiders will make unfair assumptions.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it all depends on intention. People need to make it clear what appropriation actually is, rather than accusing people all over the place - then, and only then, will it be taken seriously.


#14

I think in these matters, it’s important to listen to POCs. And even though not all of us have the same view as to what is CA and what it isn’t, if the majority is offended then perhaps non POCs should back off. I can’t tell anyone what to wear or how to style their hair, but I think if non POCs would take the time to listen instead of become immediately defensive, then they would be met with more understanding.
And what needs to be understood about POCs, is that there are deep and painful roots in the past that stretch out to the present. And what POCs find upsetting, isn’t the fact that others use the look, it’s the fact that when we use the look it’s “ghetto” or “inappropriate for work/school”. But then when non POCs wear the look, it becomes part of pop culture.
And I’m not blaming every non POC. What I’m saying is: it’s deeper than just hair and just clothing.
Appreciation from you is great, but please take heed if a POC says they’re offended. Maybe you’ll learn something.


#15

I’m a very mixed person with brown skin. I don’t find much offensive. Sure it’s not great when people mock a culture but many who like to wear clothes or hairstyles from other cultures are not doing so to offend. They genuinely love the culture. I don’t get mad just because a non-Japanese person is obsessed with anime and wears kimono for example, even as a ‘costume’ on Halloween, (Or Pacific Island or South and Central Asian attire.) Every culture has taken from others over time and has given to others. The whole ‘who wore it first’ argument is a moot point. Vikings and Mongolians also wore ‘dread’locks btw. Did they wear it first? I dunno. Did they see people from Africa wear their hair that way and decide to copy? I dunno. It’s more likely that they didn’t often comb their hair and their hair started naturally locking. I get natural locks when I don’t comb my hair for a month. My daughter gets them overnight as she sleeps.

Any way, you can’t get mad at someone for ‘appropriating’ either based on their skin color. You may not know their actual background. For example, as I said, I have brown skin, but I also have Eastern European in me. I was the only brown girl in my Polish dancing class in full Polish dress. My son is half me but is super white (blond blue eyes light skin). If he wore stuff from my various Asian cultures, people would ‘ass’ume that he was appropriating. I have a friend who married a Japanese girl and their kids look black, barely Asian, but someone could assume they were appropriating Japanese culture when they wear their traditional clothing.

As for perceived appropriating on Episode, you may be doing the same thing you do in real life: assuming people’s race/culture based solely on their skin tone, especially since the amount of melanin in ones skin is not determined by race. Unless a character says “I’m a white person and I’m wearing this blonde Afro because it’s stylish.” You can’t really assume that. Could be the author decided to write about a mixed character who happens to have light skin and blonde natural hair. Maybe they didn’t feel the need to explain their character’s background just to make the story appear more diverse.

Culture is meant to be shared. The whole “mine not yours!” Thing is childish and unenlightened. Cultural appropriation is mostly an American construct as race is a social one. If you go to other countries, they happily share their culture and don’t care what you look like.


#16

Cultural appreciation is cool. I had my wedding photos done in both a traditional European style wedding dress and in a kimono, because it’s what my husband and my parents in law wanted (they’re Japanese). Japan is my home now, and it’d be ruder of me to reject the culture than it is to participate in it.

People wearing natural and protective black hairstyles, like @RudeInception said, is totally different. White people, probably some of my own ancestors even, tried to keep black people down, erase their culture and now some of us are trying to steal it and make it our own without even acknowledging where it comes from or the struggles black people faces in the past.

tl;dr, if you’re immersed in the culture and invited to participate, it’s cultural appreciation. If you’re the minority culture surrounded by a majority culture and have to participate, it’s cultural adaption. If you’re the majority culture doing it for a laugh or just because you think it’s cool without any knowledge on the topic, then it’s cultural appropriation


#17

Also the theme of this topic means I can finally post something I’ve been keeping inside for a long time - one time I was playing a game with an MC who was clearly not a POC by skin tone or ethnicity (100% Caucasian American) and the game asked me if I wanted to change her hair for a school dance she was attending and I was like, yeah.

Anyway, I immediately accidentally pressed “Braided Cornrows” and then right after that my finger slid over the “Done” button… so my white-ass MC ended up attending prom with super blonde cornrows and I felt so uncomfortable the entire time. I was so ashamed😣


#18

Saying that, though: I have a white Rastafarian friend who has dreadlocks. He completely embraces the culture that comes with it in a respectful way, and I don’t think that African hairstyles and african culture in general should be barred from people!

I definitely agree that it’s offensive to appropriate things about other cultures to appear “cool” or “different” and then take credit for it, but the most important thing for me is that they respect the culture they’re taking from!

People used to call me a “Weeaboo” because I study Japanese and like to watch some anime, but I am quick to remind them that the weeaboo stereotype comes from people who are so crazed about Japanese culture that they end up being offensive! I’m trying not to do that by actually learning the language :see_no_evil: (and by not pretending/convincing myself that being able to understand anime means I’m practically Japanese now :joy:)


#19

I guess it depends what people who are ethnically African think about it. I can’t say what’s not okay and what’s okay, because I’m white. :joy: Although, since black people aren’t a hive mind, people’s boundaries probably fall in a lot of different places.

Oh man, you wouldn’t believe the number of people on the internet (usually men, because… well, mansplaining is a legit thing) who try to “Well, actually…” explain Japanese culture to me, thinking they’re experts because they’ve watched a lot of anime. It’s like, dude, I’ve lived here for nearly 7 years and my husband is Japanese, so if you think you know better than both of us combined, I can’t help you here.

Not that most Japanese people born and living in Japan care about (or understand the idea of) cultural appropriation, because they didn’t grow up oppressed or experiencing racism. It’s the nikkei people overseas who people hurt with their weird behavior and stereotypes.


#20

Personally I just believe that we can’t have true equality among different races if we’re setting different appropriation standards for different minorities!

Oh goodness believe me I know! :joy: It happened to me at work today. Okay, fair enough people think I’m Brazilian rather than mixed with Indian and black, but this guy tried to mansplain Panjabi MC to me. :joy: