via Wikimedia Commons
Cultural appropriation has been noticed a lot more recently since social media gives people a way to express how they feel over a certain person dressing in another culture that isn’t theirs in a disrespectful way. Cultural appropriation is using clothes and objects for purposes where it does not respect the original culture. Many high-end fashion companies have been called out for cultural appropriation recently. Some of these companies include Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Victoria’s Secret, which are just naming a few. Cultural appropriation is somewhat like plagiarizing from another culture in an offensive way. Many designers have also been called out for having white models use dreadlocks. This was taken offensively by a lot of people thinking they were mocking their culture.
Another example of cultural appropriation is people using Native American headdresses while they are clearly not Native American. Many Native Americans find this offensive since many of the headdresses are supposed to be earned in difficult ways and not just worn to look like “fashion.” The headdresses consist of feathers and patterns made to show their place in society and their power. They are used as a symbol of their status and should only be worn when leaders of a tribe allow them to. Fashion brands are not the ones using this. However, it’s primarily white people that think it is okay to wear a headdress. Another controversy arose when a white woman wore a dress with Chinese designs. Many people came to her defense and said she was just appreciating the culture, and other people were complaining about how she was just wearing it for the “aesthetic.”
People say there is a line between appreciation and appropriation. Recently that line has been very thin, what with people expressing how they feel on social media towards people or brands appropriating culture. Cultural appropriation has been seen around the world since a lot of the time, it goes viral, and people get angry over people not doing an apology. Other times, people get offended when people get accused of cultural appropriation when most people think nothing has been done wrong. It can be very confusing to get someone to find out about their mistake if there are many mixed opinions on whether it’s bad or not. People from different cultures all agree that cultural appropriation is in a lot of places, and sometimes it’s worse than other times.