The do’s and dont’s of cultural appropriation
These are my tips on how to look good, feel good, and make everyone comfortable!
Hey guys, so today we are going to have “the talk” with mom. I know this isn’t what you were expecting but I can guarantee this will be way better than the one you had when you were around 14. To start off with we are going to learn about fashion and how to look GREAT but not at the expense of peoples customs, beliefs, identities and feelings!
I just got finished reading a book called Adulthood for Beginners: All the Life Secrets Nobody Bothered to Tell You by Andy Boyle, ( which is a great book and pretty insightful to the “real world” and since I’m Mom right now i’d like to better you for the future ahead).There is a chapter called “The Asshole Test” and it discuses making mistakes in the form of inappropriate jokes or even cultural appropriation and getting corrected on them. The main factor he stresses is that everyone makes mistakes but once corrected/ educated then that is where the true test starts. Basically it comes down to if you are educated and corrected and still choose to live your life in a offensive and inappropriate way…..Guess what. You’re an asshole. ( and lets not be.)
- I will stick 3 quarters in the swear jar.
- Also if you would like to borrow the book, Cate knows where to find me 🙂
-HAVING FASHION SENSE AND COMMON SENSE-
This is where we get down to business and discuss what not to wear and I may even give you some very reasonable and helpful alternatives!
DONT. YOU. EVER. IN. YOUR. LIFE .PAINT. YOUR. FACE.RED IM NOT EVEN GOING TO GIVE YOU AN ALTERNATIVE. DONT.
This is just so wrong on all levels.
When shopping for accessories always make sure you are very diligent about finding pieces that are not stolen from another culture. This is a major problem in big retail chains that use similar or stolen ideas from Native Americans and mass produce cheap jewelry for their own profits and advancements. If you think a product is cute but realize its probably stolen DON’T BUY IT. Chances are you are 100% right and with some online research you can find an authentic native american piece, help tribal communities, and look great doing so! ( Im sure the quality is way better also and the prices are great for authentic things online).
This goes for all jewelry, rugs, art, utensils, you name it!
- Helpful Tip- It is Illegal under the Indian arts and crafts act of 1990 to sell non-native goods as authentic.
Be leary about website and always be a skeptic until you know for sure whether something is real or not.
HERE IS A LINK TO A COMPILED LIST OF AUTHENTIC NATIVE RETAILERS ONLINE…. (YOU’RE WELCOME)
We are now going to discuss some issues that have been called out as appropriation in the fashion industry.
In 2011, Urban Outfitters was in some pretty hot water for their decisions to sell items such as flasks, socks, and underwear tagged as Navajo. So to be clear they went and stole patterns from a native tribe, used their name and likeness and tried making a profit on some god awful $8 underwear that looks like they’re going to get reallllyyy personal with your less-than desirable areas. Have companies become so blind to right and wrong?
Here is the link to the agreement made in the case.
- If you want great underwear, I recommend Calvin Klein or even better for both Male and Female alike, Me Undies. You couples out there can get matching pairs! What a concept! (there is also cool glow in the dark halloween ones J.S)
Adidas thought it would also be a great idea to make a whole outfit to represent a real life totem pole for their own profitable gain. Don’t they already have enough money!? shouldn’t they be using it for better? Guess not.
- My recommendation: If you want a super cute workout outfit in hopes you see someone cute at the gym,(never understood that), you should not be wearing a totem pole. They will think you’re crazy and not only for the outfit but for the appropriation you are representing. Please just keep to your own culture.
- If you are honestly desperate for a cute outfit that won’t offend people, Target is a great place or Lululemon has very comfortable and lasting gear.
We are now at one of my main points of this subject .Headdresses.
- Unless you are a member of a native tribe and have the honor of wearing one such as being the elders and men of the tribe who have been chosen, you should never in my opinion put one on. This is , I feel, one of the highest disrespects against the native american community. The spirituality and the meaning of these peoples cultures are being thrown out the window by people who have no right to wear them. One of the biggest Headdress scandals happened when a Victoria’s Secret model came down the runway in their annual fashion show in her Bra and underwear but was accessorized by native american jewelry and a large floor length headdress. The outrage of the Native American community got the segment stripped off of television and the company shamed on all media outlets. VS should be ashamed.
- Another problem with the disrespect is from people thinking its ok to “be different”, “look crazy” and “get wild” at music festivals. All for what!? To honor the culture? NO, but to get wasted, stoned and be careless while trying to be cool!
- If you want to be cool at a festival refer to the life of Vanessa Hudgens. She is the goddess of festivals. At least I think so.
- We already talked about giant retail stores and their huge markets. Don’t tell me “you couldn’t find anything else”, cause’ guess what- you can.
- Dont tell me you wear it to get “closer to nature” (WHAT!?).. If you want to get closer to nature, be like me and spend a week of your summer in the Bahamas just to go to Hawaii to spend an addition 3 weeks there. Let me tell you. Life changing and as close to nature as you can get. Don’t think I offended one person
- If you can’t afford a trip and want to get closer to nature, do a juice cleanse while camping for all i care.
- No excuses.
Final buisness we need to discuss before we finish since October is upon us.
Im just letting you all know that Halloween is my favorite holiday and you WILL NOT ruin it for me or anyone else. This includes what you say, and also WHAT YOU WEAR.
Now I understand all of you. From the go-getter who has a costume a year in advance to the last minute shopper. I get it! The fact is you want to look good and be something semi-unique. We get it, we all have been there. There is a question you have to ask yourself tho. Is what I wear for one night worth the possibility of hurting someone and scarring your reputation all because you wanted to look good? What I am getting at is there are costumes out there that are severely offensive to native americans. These are generalized and stereotyped and again companies trying to profit against cultures that are not theirs. There are so many ideas in the world in regards to costumes that I can’t fathom why anyone would want to pick costumes that are offensive. I know you all can use the internet so be whatever your heart desires with the exception of hurting the cultures and feelings of others.
Now ladies this is particularly to you. 2 words. Sexy and Halloween. This is the night where you can put on some skimpy, cute outfit on and feel free from judgement. The whole worlds your oyster but do not pick out the sexy “tribal temptress” outfit. That is bad form and come on we all know the classic cop is the way to go.
- If you need costume ideas- Pinterest!
- Couples costume? Cosmo and Wanda! Fireman and Dalmatian. Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy! I mean this is just too easy!
* *I hope you guys all took something away from my thoughts and ideas. Please comment and discuss any other forms of cultural appropriation you have noticed or just keep this topic going! Thanks guys -Mom.