I came across this meme on my timeline and of course I had to laugh at the creator’s attempt to accuse black women of some sort of reverse cultural appropriation. I need people to understand the definition of things before they attempt to use them, especially as an insult.
Cultural Appropriation is grown up words for “other races be biting like sh*t and taking credit”.
That’s the gist anyway.
From music, to fashion, hair, and even our “horrific” Ebonics jargon, many of our cultural offerings are co-opted or outright stolen by other races. There is often a small change or variation made to said stolen idea or item, in an attempt to erase it’s origins. Cornrows, plaits made close to the head, have been apart of African culture for centuries, but many of you know them as French Braids.
Our gripe is not some ego trip just wanting credit for creating something. It’s rooted in economics and oppression. Europeans have profited from the creations of people of color for centuries. This has created generational wealth for many white families and afforded them access to opportunities some of us can only dream of. And it’s not just our creations and inventions; some of the most prominent families in america, institutions of higher education, and private businesses today, benefited from slavery. We won’t get into all of that here, but I just want to make sure you understand the real life impact this appropriation has.
Now let’s address this meme. #Blankstare Blonde and straight hair is not synonymous with Europeans. People of color have both. Sure there are some black people out there who don’t love themselves. Some people literally bleach their skin to be lighter because they do not like they’re black or brown skin, but we’re not talking about them. For the average black woman weaves, braids, and wigs are simply about style and variety. A good blonde looks great on some brown skin!
The issue is not that white girls wear weaves and braid their hair. The issue is that when a black woman does it, it’s called ghetto, unprofessional, and unattractive. But when a white woman does it, all of a sudden it’s chic or high fashion. Everything about us is dissected and shamed by the media, but when those attributes are placed on a white woman, they are celebrated. THIS.IS.NOT.OKAY. This is a problem. One of the main themes people have been trying to get across when writing about cultural appropriation is this double standard.
Tanned skin, big butts, big lips, etc…these can’t be cool for the Kardashians to buy off the assembly line and off limits for sisters who have these things naturally. If they want to spend the money, that’s their business and I don’t have a problem with it. Actually, I’m flattered. Get your weave, braid your hair. Just make sure you high-five a sista when you see her rocking hers.