On current social media platforms, the term “cultural appropriation” has been a hot topic. I am discussing it mainly because a client asked me if I thought dreadlocks on other races was cultural appropriation. Being caucasian, she had also seen the growth in the incidents of online trolling on the topic. What is amusing is that the trolls also come from her race as well.
For the ones who say only people of african descent should wear dreads, have you considered how dreads are formed? If anyone, be it white, indian, native american, oriental, left their hair uncombed for a long period of time, the hair would lock. Locking is a natural process that will happen regardless, so can you stop someone from not combing their hair? No! As I pointed out to a frenemy of mine they had to bleach/lighten their hair to go blonde just as I did, so believing that only white folks should be blonde was dumb. Peroxide, lemon juice or sea water with the sun are never influenced by race.
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As a matter of fact, if we are to take to task this matter of cultural appropriation, why don’t we just throw in the things that have been culturally appropriated over the centuries that we now have to add to the list, e.g.:
poncho; kimonos; tapestries; moccasins; mohawks; tattoos; piercings; various types of music e.g rap, indie; jeans, henna and the list goes on…..
What I am saying is, before we get tied up in the details of who started what, let us remember that at some point in our fashion forward life, we were probably culturally inappropriate. I see things in other cultures that I would rock in the name of fashion too and I think nothing of it at the time. If someone does something that you feel is damaging to a culture, it is alright to feel upset but it not alright to make it worse by being demeaning. As personality test results point out people are doing to do what seems right to them and therefore it is right for them.
By Paula Barker, Silkielocks.com
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