It’s all fun and fly until its time to speak about real issues…
Its easy to want to be Black but its even easier to take off that mask and rejoin the dominant culture when real issues are afoot. Although I wanted to write this as a formal essay I won’t but hear me out…
Far too often, we witness double standards in the descriptions of individuals of different races. We have all noticed the negative adjectives used towards a black girl with blue hair and gold teeth. Ratchet, trashy and unkempt are the first to come to mind while a white girl with the same is seen as edgy and intriguing. I can go on and on with these examples. (* rolls eyes*) The term “ratchet” is one that I have grown to dislike as of lately. The qualities one who is seen as “ratchet” are in fact those of someone who is actually carefree. But we [Black people and people of color] aren’t carefree in the eyes of many because what we do is so obscene and out of the ordinary. Yet it’s so out of the ordinary, a lot of these vultures are trying their hardest to be like us and they’re doing a horrible job. Sorry, not sorry.
We see this with white models on the runway with baby hairs and braids basically taped to their foreheads and little black/ brown girls are being looked down upon for having them naturally.
I’ve always been the girl with the gold heart on her tooth and was always questioned about why I chose to get it at 10 years old (because its dope that’s why). I wore afro puffs and braids all my life while being teased for them. Some of the young women that teased me about my braids are wearing singles and weaves down their backs and yes these girls are not black.
Now I’m seeing that these non-black women and non-women of color are doing what they think is cool, hip and “hood” and frankly it’s upsetting. They’re wearing gold hoops and name chains with grills and are “trend setters” when my mom and all her home girls used to be called ghetto for this same thing. Heck me too! Not to mention, I was told to throw my grill away and hide my chain because its “tacky” less than 3 years ago and now it’s popping, I don’t understand.
Furthermore, a lot of these trends that are popular with the youth, started back in the day with our parents. Now everybody (*coughs* Culture Vultures*) wants to be the “Around The Way Girls” and its weird. We have companies like Urban Outfitters capitalizing on these trends, quadrupling the prices because they know vultures are going to pay big bucks for stuff that should really only cost a few bucks.
There are possibly many reasons why culture appropriation is so prevalent today. Many say its always been there but people of color are finally speaking out. Some also say when it comes to copying the style of Black women and their controversial body shapes, women of the dominant culture are trying to gain and keep the attention of Black men. I’m not saying any of these are correct but they may make you scratch your chin a few times.
I know not everyone is upset by culture appropriation but for those of us who are, what do we need to do to end this? It’s not just the Black culture that is victim to this. From Elvis Presley stealing from Chuck Berry, this is nothing new to the Black culture. For years, Native Americans have had to see their traditional headpieces and terms they use such as “spirit animal” being poorly used out of context. Asians and Indians have had to see their traditions used as well.
If you have Twitter, its quite possible that you’ve heard about the snaffoo with the Kardashian sisters stealing designs from Black designers even after leaving emails asking for pieces and months later selling the designs on their platforms. This happens ALL the time in so many ways! How can we stop this? What would the WORLD be if they loved Black people (and people of color) as much as they loved our cultures!?