The Pros And Cons Of Cultural Disrepresentation

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Cultural appropriation refers to picking and choosing elements of a culture by a member of another culture without permission. Cultural appropriation has been around for years but is becoming more evident to members of minority groups. While not important to some, it is imperative that this growing trend of cultural disrespect end. Ignorant of the history and tradition the cultural appropriation of minority groups leads to misrepresentation and further oppression. In recent years, the group most vocal about cultural appropriation has been Native Americans. One of the many criticisms include the use of traditional Native headdresses as fashion-accessories. From being sold at Urban Outfitters to being worn by Victoria’s Secret models, headdresses …show more content…
But recently many celebrities have performed wearing a bindi with no knowledge of what it represents. These celebrities include Gwen Stefani, Julia Roberts, Madonna, and specifically Selena Gomez at the MTV Movie Awards. Rajan Zed from Universal Society of Hinduism called for Gomez to apologize for wearing the cultural adornment during the performance. "The bindi on the forehead is an ancient tradition in Hinduism and has religious significance... It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory aiming at mercantile greed"(Sieczkowski, 2013, p. 1). The western world has also adopted the use of traditional Indian garment for women called saris. A sari is a drape that is up to nine yards and is typically wrapped around the waist. While many admire the intricate design, the purpose of the garment is not beauty. “The sari was originally intended to keep teenaged girls and women both comfortable in the heat and to look modest” (Ghosh, 2012, p. 2). So while beautiful the sari was originally meant to hide a woman’s figure and prevent unwanted attention. The women who wear a sari to seem exotic are disrespecting not only the history but the purpose of …show more content…
One essential part of appropriation is how the cultural aspect is a negative stereotype for the marginalized group and praised for the group taking it. The most popular example of this in recent times is the adoption of dreadlocks or locs by White people. After wearing dreadlocks to the 2015 Oscar ceremony, Black actress Zendaya Coleman received harsh criticism for the hair choice. Journalist Giuliana Rancic even insinuated that Zendaya probably smelled like "patchouli oil" or "weed"(Zeilinger, 2015, p. 1). Not only were Rancic comments reinforcing negative stereotypes surrounding African Americans and drug use but stand in sharp contrast to comments about white people sharing the hair style. While African American hair is criticized by Rancic, she describes Kylie Jenner hair also in locs as "edgy" and Jenner a 'trend setter '. Another problem with appropriation is that many of the people who participate in black culture or have taken blackness refused to speak on the racism that comes along with a black identity. To most of these people black hair or black culture is cool but black issues are not. They get lauded for stealing the beautiful parts of being black and never address, from their position of power,

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