How To Not Be Offensive At Coachella!

How not to be offensive at <a href=

It’s really not difficult at all to not be offensive at Coachella.

It’s a no-brainer. And yet some celebs and regular people still struggle with it.

Related: A Primer On Cultural Appropriation Before Coachella

Fear not, however, because we have created a guide for you that breaks down exactly what not to do during the music festival if you don’t want to be offensive.

1. Don’t Wear A Headdress

Headdresses are sacred to many Native Americans. They are not an accessory to wear to a music festival but rather an honor bestowed upon a high-ranking tribal member. They must also be earned by the wearer. Do not do like Alessandra Ambrosio (above), Khloé Kardashian, or Jessica Simpson and wear one just because you think it looks cool.

It may indeed look “cool,” but it’s not a fashion accessory, and treating it as such cheapens the true meaning and significance of a headdress.

2. Don’t Wear A Bindi

How not to be offensive at Coachella.

Bindis have spiritual meaning that is lost when they are worn simply as a type of accessory. Like wearing a headdress, wearing a bindi is also seen as taking something sacred and turning it into simply a fashionable item. When Vanessa Hudgens wears a bindi, which she has done more times than we can count, the sacred meaning is obscured and it becomes just something “cute” and “pretty” to wear on one’s face.

If you absolutely must put something on your face, try heart or star stickers around your eyes or something. There are other options out there.

3. Don’t Appropriate African-American Hairstyles

How not to be offensive at Coachella.

In recent years, more and more black people have spoken out about others, particularly white people, wearing dreadlocks, cornrows, and braids. They argue that white people, like Kylie Jenner, wear and flaunt these hairstyles without any consideration for black culture, and without ever speaking out on the racial injustices faced by black people such as police brutality and general racism.

As Amandla Stenberg explains in her video, “White musicians who partook in hip hop culture failed to speak on the racism that comes along with black identity…appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes where it originated, but is deemed as high-fashion, cool, or funny when the privileged take it for themselves.”

4. Don’t Wear Another Culture As A Costume

How not to be offensive at Coachella.

When you treat another culture’s garb as a costume you are mocking the culture and, more likely than not, not even representing the culture accurately. Wearing sombreros and fake mustaches to look “Mexican” is dehumanizing, perpetuates stereotypes, and treats Mexican people as though they are a monolith. The same goes for wearing saris, kimonos, cheongsams, et cetera. Moreover, when the dominant culture is appropriating the culture of a minority, power dynamics come into play.

Critics argue that dominant cultures are able to feel “exotic” for a brief moment when appropriating a minority culture’s clothes or hairstyles, but that they are also able to avoid the racism and discrimination that comes with actually being a member of a minority culture.

That’s actually only four steps you need to follow! If you can’t do that, then…you’re probably just racist.

[Image via Instagram/Vogue.]

Apr 10, 2017 8:53am PST

Related Posts

More Like This