Thank you for reading and your response. I would say there is a healthy, respectful way to appropriate another culture without being offensive — but there is also a fine line. For instance, Black women wear cornrows and hair braids for a variety of reasons. It’s cultural for us as well as a necessity. Furthermore, it’s a way for many American Black women to rebel/resist the forced beauty standards of Whiteness (hair straightening). When White women wear cornrows and braids because they love the look as regular citizens — that’s cool. So is deciding to put them in their little girl’s hair for school. Fine, who cares?
But when a White or passing White person does it on a run way to make money and to sell our culture without, the same culture that history has mocked for ages — that’s a problem. This happens a lot yet no one seems to have a problem with it.
It’s like walking around in Geisha attire without understanding anything about the culture, or White people wearing dreads and living as Rastafarians on the Mainland. Or how about Rachel Dolzeal pretending to be Black or desiring to be Black to wash away her Whiteness (not sure why anyone would want to do that, but I watched her story — life is complex).
I believe people must have a healthy knowledge of any culture that is not theirs to understand what is okay and what’s crossing the line. I personally would never adopt/appropriate another person’s culture unless I absolutely have to. For instance, I used to wear straight wigs to work to keep White people out of my hair or questioning me about my hair style choices and to keep HR out of my ass (yes, many employers and schools have policies that address Black hair).
It’s not how my hair grows out of my scalp, but the wig resembled Anglo/European styles that makes Whiteness happy. I appropriated a style — everyone was happy except me lol.
Making fun of people of color has been a past time for White people for ages. All the old westerns have White people laying Indians. All those Charlton Heston Christian movies used White people as Egyptians and god knows what else. The point is — Many White people find it very easy to pretend to be someone else. They have no issue with it.
The discussion was simply to ask people to think about how common it is for people of color to be mocked by White people and to ask White people to look within to inquire why they get such a thrill from it?
Why does playing other people give them such joy?