This Is Why Cultural Appropriation Is Offensive

Question: Why do women of color get offended when white women appropriate Afro-cultural hairstyles? To some, our (Blacks Americans) intolerance towards cultural appropriation may come off as racist, but it is not. Here is why we take offense.

Women of color across the globe were indoctrinated by western beauty standards that deem everything afrocentrentric as ugly, unprofessional, unacceptable, messy, criminal, and millitant (during the days of the Black panther movement). In the modern world Blacks still have to live under these standards, and unfortunately the effects of these standards can be seen in some Black women, mainly those who have altered their hair through the perm creme or cannot live without weave. And deep down some of these women believe their natural hair is not beautiful. If not, they would not be hiding it under weave and perms.

This is why cultural appropriation is offensive to Blacks. It is wrong to embrace a cultural trend that has been stigmatized when it is embraced by people of color, but when it is on whites nobody has a problem. That is basically saying everything looks better on whites but on Blacks it is not good or okay. And then white people steal the cultural trend they are appropriating instead of give recognition to the origin. A good example? Kim Kardashian.

When pictures of Kim Kardashian wearing cornrows went viral, western society literally glorified her as a "trend setter." How is she a trend setter when cornrows is of Black/African origin, and have been worned by people of color for centuries? And then when women of color wear cornrows we are profiled ghetto. In some instances: get rid of it or loose our job because it is unprofessional. And then when Black men wear it, they are profiled as thugs. This is why many school policies were established to ban afrocentric hair in hopes of preparing students for the "real world" in where afrocentric hair is deemed unprofessional.

I can admit. Some White people in western society are evolving. But when a Black woman with cornrows become the face of magazines or can wear am afro or cornrows as she anchors the 5 o'clock news on CNN, that is when cultural appropriation will not be offensive. When a Black man can walk into a fortune 500 company with cornrows or dred locs without being told to cut it because he looks like a thug, that is when culture appropriation of Black culture will not be offensive. Until then, white people have no business appropriating a culture they have stigmatized and still stigmatize today. I have no problem when others embrace our African/Black culture. But cultural appropriation becomes wrong when one culture embraces a culture they have stigmatized to the point the people of that culture wants nothing to do with it.

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