Appreciate Don’t Appropriate

Kylie Jenner's photo shows her doing blackface.

Courtesy of Kylie Jenner's Instagram

Kylie Jenner’s photo shows her doing blackface.

Jennifer Corrioan, Staff Writer

In today’s society, culture is often appropriated and not appreciated.

What is appropriation exactly? Cultural appropriation is using another culture in an offensive way.  People often pick and choose which part of a culture they want to represent, which is often seen in the ever-changing American culture. Because of many different cultures colliding everyday, there is bound to be some appropriation. It’s hard not to when you’re around so many cultures every day.

You see appropriation when foreign youth try to assimilate into culture, or even with fashion trends. There was once a time when you couldn’t go into a store without seeing clothes with crosses on them. This was an issue because a lot of people were not Christian or acting like it yet they were wearing crosses on their clothing. Many people who followed the religion found it disrespectful.  Appropriation is a tricky subject because trying to appreciate a culture could easily cross the thin line towards appropriating it.

In America, cultures are often appropriated, but the one that seems to be causing trouble is the appropriation of the black culture. More specifically, within black culture, hip-hop culture is the most appropriated. From things as simple as the use of slang, to wearing cornrows, gold grills, and sagging pants. The problem with this is that many African Americans feel as though their culture is more appreciated than they are, especially with the current awareness of the treatment of black people.

You wouldn’t have black culture without black people. Lately, it seems like America has been forgetting that. One big example is Kylie Jenner, because her use of black culture has been very controversial. Many people got upset with her when she wore cornrows, dreads, and black face. The reason that people got upset with her is because she did it only because it was a trend. “Faux locks” and cornrows are what’s “in” and it’s not okay to take someones culture simply because it “looks cool,” especially when you don’t know the history behind it. It’s offensive because you’re not taking the time to learn or truly care about the culture, but just doing it because you feel like it.

Next time you’re trying to keep up with a “trend,” think about whether it is appreciation or appropriation.

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