Cultural Appropriation

Stealing a culture one day at a time

Yuri Cain, Editor In Chief

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Recently there has been a lot of discussion about cultural appropriation, but most people don’t even know what it is, rather who is doing it. Cultural appropriation is when one culture “steals” or makes fun of another culture. By stealing this can mean using a piece of the culture and claiming it as theirs or not paying credit to the original origin. It has been committed by famous celebrities and can even be going on in your surroundings. Cultural appropriation has been going on for years much less just 2017.

Make sure to not get confused with cultural appreciation in which a person can pay credit and practise a culture while still being civil about it. These past few years celebrities have been called out for participating in cultural appropriation. Some of the biggest perpetrators of appropriation are Kylie Jenner, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus. As much as she is praised and loved it hurts people to know that Kylie is in fact one of the biggest celebrity appropriators. She uses most of her style and looks from black girls who are usually made fun of for it. She got her full lips from lip injections which are adored by many of her fans, her “thick” body which makes all the guys go crazy over her, and her style choice of wigs which are seen as creative and daring. Not once has Kylie thought to appreciate these features that she got from the black community. Girls are made fun of because of their full pout and thick thighs. They are slandered against because of their wigs and weaves and even called dirty sometimes. No one will truly understand what a black girl has to go through besides other black girls because we’ve all been there. We have suffered the taunting and ridicule for our culture and lifestyle only for celebrities or other cultures to come and name it as theirs. What is the worst part? They get loved and seen as creative while using our ideas and culture as their own.

Katy Perry is an international pop star with what seems to be a heart of gold. There is one little problem about her music videos and style choices though. Katy has used black girl style as her own during her music videos and even performed on stage using the asian culture. It is one thing to pay your respects to a certain culture but it is a totally different thing to use them as props or style. Our cultures are not something you can just put on or use for fun. They are our way of life, stereotypical or not. A culture is a lifestyle and using that lifestyle at your own advantage is just wrong. It is an abuse of power because they know that they will get only a pat on the back for what they have done. Meanwhile other people who really look and live a certain way are taunted by trolls and seen as less superior.

Miley Cyrus has also been added to the list of celebrities that outwardly committed cultural appropriation. It is not just because she twerked on live TV but because she used black dancers as her props almost seeming to humiliate them. The showing of African Americans has been going on since slavery first became a thing in America. They use to call African Americans freaks and disgusting, showing them off to the public for a laugh. This degraded the average male and female’s self esteem to know they are only thought of as objects for the “superior” race. Miley brought that back at her award show performance and in some of her music videos that contained predominantly white actors.

There are plenty of other celebrities that have done some of the same things but it is not only about celebrities. Cultures are being ripped from their original people and branded as something cool and new. Our everyday surroundings can be hurtful to some people especially with the new fashion trends going on. Be careful about what you say, do, or wear because there might be history behind it. Stealing a culture is not something the average teenager thinks of but it sets up those stereotyped people for a low self esteem. Knowing they have been branded on a low category while their culture is shown off on another race as beautiful can be hurtful.

Stop thinking that everything is okay. It’s not, POC (people of color) have feelings too and we are not going to take a stand for it any longer. This is a new age and we will no longer be held down to what society wants us to be. We are our own people with our own cultures and we intend to keep it that way.

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