The Use of Cultural Appropriation in Fashion
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Oh, yay! I love it that this conversation got started!
Cultural appropriation in fashion is something that's been on my mind for the last few months, and I've been reading a lot of articles written by angry ladies talking mostly about the Native American appropriation that is so used and abused by the fashion world. With Native American imagery, I can understand why it's considered disrespectful: with all the headdresses, totem objects, warpaint, jewelry, etc., we're talking about sacred garments that have a strong spiritual connotation and were meant for symbolic or ceremonial purposes that are intrinsically bound to Native American culture. You can argue that some people are overly sensitive, but honestly when you see a blue-eyed blonde wearing a high street headdress and lipstick-as-warpaint at Coachella, and you consider the past (and present) oppression of Natives by the white man, you can understand where the bitterness stems from. It's the kind of thing that tells you, no, people are not interested in the meaning behind the garment, they're thinking about what the garment makes them look like: "wise", "in touch with their spiritual side", "solemn"...thus perpetuating the whole "stoic indian" cliché without thinking or knowing the first thing about these people's culture.
However, I also think
makes an interesting point about how for him it's a true achievement for women to be wearing the keffiyeh scarves, traditionally reserved for men only. In the end, I think it all boils down to the background and the current state of the culture in question.
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