Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Cultural appropriation?

Let me start off by saying I agree wholeheartedly that it is so unfair that sometimes, white women are praised for the things that black women are torn down for. I think that's heartbreaking, and a disgusting reflection of how far society still has to go. But I don't think it's wrong for white girls to wear their hair in dreadlocks.

I just don't. I don't for one minute believe that when a white girl puts her hair in dreadlocks she is actively thinking "I am doing this because I'm white and that means I am supreme; that means I will be worshipped for my stylish hair choice, and I will simultaneously ridicule black girls for having their hair like this." - the white girls who dreadlock/cornrow their hair are not the problem. They're simply taking a fashion choice, similarly to me waking up in the morning and deciding to put skinny jeans on.

The problem is the people who, in 2015, think that a black girl wearing her hair in dreadlocks is in any way different to a white girl wearing her hair in dreadlocks - the black girls did it first, and for the most part look a damn sight better (sorry, ladies, but you've gotta have a certain type of hair for it look amazin'). But you know, a lot of people wore skinny jeans before I did and a lot of people look a hell of a lot better in those thigh-hugging denims than I do. If the first person to wear skinny jeans was of a different race to me, or a different gender, or of a different religion - does that mean I'm appropriating their culture? I don't think it does.

I don't think it's right that white girls, or girls of any ethnicity, should be shamed out of making a choice as to what they do with their own hair. I don't think it's right that black girls such as my beloved Zendaya are ridiculed and told their dreadlocks probably "smell of patchouli" whilst white chicks like the gorgeous Kylie Jenner are praised for their's: I think both gals should be told their hair looks bangin'.

You know who the first people to wear make up were? The ancient Egyptians. They were Afrocentric, yet I don't see anyone telling me not to slap concealer under my eyes and not to don a smoky eye on a Saturday night. I don't see anyone telling us white chicks, and anyone else who isn't Egyptian that we can't take what those amazing, cultured men and women did back then, and do it now. I don't see anyone saying that no, we shouldn't learn from/expand on/aspire to their beauty.

And I think it's the same with dreadlocks. Black women look beautiful with their hair in dreads, and I happen to think a lot of white women do too, when it's done well. I think it's amazing that white women, and women from other races, are adapting a style that originates with black women and putting their own twist on it.

The strive for equality should not mean that white women are excluded from wearing dreadlocks: the strive for equality should mean that women of all races can freely wear their hair however they choose without being sneered at, told they smell of weed, ridiculed or told it's unprofessional. The problem lies with the media, the employers, the racist view-holders who time and time again smear the names of black women for their choice in hair style while simultaneously praising white women for the same.

In my opinion, the problem does not lie with white women: instead, it lies with those who continue to portray white women as superior to black women. The fight for equality continues, and you may disagree with me - I would really love to know your thoughts and I'm always open to education as long as you're respectful. Thank you for reading! Also please please tell me if this comes across as horribly offensive, as I will take it down immediately because the last thing I wanna do is offend anyone :(((

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1 comment:

  1. I aggggggreeeeee with everything! The hair thing is what annoys me the most and no matter how much I try I just can't see the sense of it! But I know how seriously people take these things, and I understand most things from tumblr but everything is SO sensitive there, AND it's so difficult to be white and say 'guys it's fine', as thats just beefin' up the stereotype that we say whats okay and what isnt....BUT I'm glad someone has said it :) Absolutely no one should not be able to wear a certain hairstyle, especially when its a fit one! Thank you xxxx

    Jesska - Opal Soul