Cultural Appropriation of “Black” Hairstyles Creating a Buzz [Video]
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The adoption of what is considered to be a black women’s hairstyle by white women is a big topic of conversation on the Internet.
White women, most notably celebrities, have been sporting cornrows and box braids over the last few years and the trend is not limited to the entertainment industry. The very act is referred to as cultural appropriation: The adaptation of some part of a cultural element or norm associated with people of color.
I am going to take the position of “devil’s advocate” and pose the following:
- Is the fact that white women are donning hairstyles traditionally associated with black women really that big of a deal?
- As the saying goes, isn’t imitation a form of flattery?
- Shouldn’t we all have the choice of wearing our hair in any way that we choose? Many black women have taken the position that how we wear our hair is a styling choice which has no greater meaning. That includes whether we choose to wear our hair natural, relaxed, locked, or braided. Can’t the same concept be true for women of other cultures who “appropriate” hairstyles from the black community?
- If this is an issue for some women of color, why is it an issue?
There is an interesting video featuring Amandla Stenberg, (who played Rue in the Hunger Games). Amandla shares her perspective on cultural appropriation as it relates to hair and other aspects of black culture:
What do you think?
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