The concept of cultural appropriation still has some people scratching their heads and saying, "I don't get it. What's the big deal?"
Let us educate you, Perezcious readers, and we hope you'll keep an open mind.
Photos: Cultural Appropriation In Fashion & Style
The most basic definition is adopting aspects of a culture, like clothing or hairstyles, that are not a part of your own culture. For example, wearing a sari or kimono when you're not Indian or Japanese.
It's not always inappropriate or offensive, because it does really depend on context and the power dynamic between dominant and minority cultures. However, if you're wearing these items of clothing as a costume to a Halloween party, it can definitely be offensive to members of that culture who do not see their traditional clothes as costumes to be worn just for fun, or to be mocked.
Moreover, sacred aspects of a culture, such as Native American headdresses, are considered offensive when worn by non-Natives because they are traditionally earned by the men of a particular tribe, and not meant to add a "cool" factor to your Coachella outfit. The same goes for bindis, which have sacred religious meaning for Hindu women in particular.
Certain hairstyles can also be seen as offensive cultural appropriation. Amandla Stenberg, who called out Kylie Jenner for sporting cornrows but never speaking out about the injustices faced by black people, explains it perfectly HERE.
Many black people feel that white people, who are still the dominant culture in American society and inarguably the world at large, love to adopt black hairstyles, slang, and fashion, but then rarely, if ever, speak out about the racism that still affects black men and women on a daily basis.
When marginalized people see their culture being usurped by people in power who don't use that power to help them or be good allies, it makes them feel even more disenfranchised.
We hope you'll keep all this in mind if you're going to Coachella this month, or planning a Halloween costume, and also just in general as an educated citizen of the world.
Also, you can CLICK HERE for a fashion guide to Coachella that isn't offensive!
Have fun in the desert; just don't be a d*ck!
[Image via Khloe Kardashian/Instagram]
Tags: amandla stenberg, coachella, cultural appropriation, educational, fashion smashion, kylie jenner