They’re doing squares in 6th grade?!?!?Reblogged 15 hours ago from alligator-sunglasses.com
The Harajuku district of Tokyo, Japan is the epicenter of street fashion. Collisions of colors, fabrics and aesthetics culminate in this single square mile, overloading the district with boutiques, clothing chains, and fashion malls all catering to the ever-growing sartorial scene. While Gwen Stefani may have introduced Harajuku to more Western audiences in 2004 (and somewhat contentiously, at that), Harajuku fashion has been a veritable institution for decades.
Tens of thousands of fans and followers visit the area every day to see what is currently trending and inevitably drop their money on the newly hatched styles. It is now one of Tokyo’s hippest scenes, and actually gets much larger (and more colorful) crowds than any clubs or other tourist destinations.
Though only recently discovered worldwide, within Japan Harajuku has been a growing hub for style and fashion for decades. When the Olympic Games came to Tokyo in 1964, people flocked to Harajuku for a chance to meet the athletes staying within the Olympic village. During that time, downy-cheeked crowds of fashion conscious youth persuaded creators and designers their own age to set up shop in the area. In the late 1970’s, the Laforet Fashion Mall opened and became Harajuku’s crowning jewel almost overnight. At that point, the Harajuku district cemented itself as THE place for fashion in Japan.
While Harajuku is a timeless destination for all that is avant-garde, the styles and trends that it houses change within the blink of an eye. Those in the scene strive to adapt and even influence what is coming next in the region. From Cyber-Punk to Goth and Goth-Loli, to Steampunk and Decora, Harajuku melds pop culture and high-fashion runways and creates an absolutely inimitable aesthetic that is as confident as it is peculiar. Many in the United States have picked up on Harajuku, and have thus begun to sport its looks at Anime Conventions or sing its praises across countless Tumblr blogs.Reblogged 20 hours ago from all-thats-interesting.tumblr.com
In spite of the fact that aircraft accidents, hijackings and bombings are at some of the lowest rates they’ve ever been and have been steadily decreasing over the years (and even as the number of those traveling has largely increased!), airport securitization has increased. Is that effective?Reblogged 20 hours ago from all-thats-interesting.tumblr.com
Reblogged 1 day ago from a-writers-littlethings.tumblr.com
What isn’t cultural appropration:
• Trying/eating/making a culture’s food
• Listening to that culture’s music
• Watching that culture’s movies
• Reading that culture’s books
• Appreciating that culture’s art
• Wearing that culture’s clothing IF in a setting where that culture is prevalent and IF people are okay with it and/or it is necessary to fit in and not stand out weirdly (i.e. If you visit Pakistan, you can wear a shalwar kameez so you don’t stand out as an American tourist. Or if you visit a specific temple or religious setting, you may need to/want to adhere to specific dress forms. Or if you’re invited to a wedding and they allow/invite you to wear their cultural dress to participate in the festivities).
• Using that culture’s dance/physical traditions in specific settings (i.e. taking belly-dancing classes, or going to an Indian wedding and trying to dance with them).
What is cultural appropriation:
• Wearing specific items of clothing that may (and probably do) have deeper meaning as a costume. Like on Halloween.
• Wearing specific items of clothing to be trendy or fashionable.
• Trying to imitate their natural beauty standards and possible makeup/markings (i.e dreadlocks and bindis and mehndi/henna).
• Taking their rituals, old-as-hell traditions, and dances and turning them into cheap, tacky everyday garbage for you to have “fun” with (i.e. smoking sheesha. Y’all turned it into this janky nonsense that looks so trashy and stupid).
• Taking spiritual/religious ideas and traditions and subscribing to them to be trendy or unique
• Trying to act like you’re an expert in their food, music, or art, and that you can do it BETTER than them
• Basically trying to WEAR that culture’s skin, clothing, & beauty traditions as a costume/trend and turn old traditions into cheap garbage
And WHY is this wrong? Because, in our society, white people or non-POC can get away with wearing another culture’s clothes and identities and it will be “cute”, “indie”, “bohemian”, “trendy”, and “exotic.” BUT when a POC who actually belongs to that culture wears their own culture’s clothing, styles of beauty, or does things that are specific to their culture, they’re looked down upon, made fun of, sneered at, told to “Go home, get out of this country, we don’t do that here,” and laughed at. The few times I wore a shalwar kameez in public—and I’m Pakistani—people gave me weird looks, like I had a disease. And yet if a white person (or, heck, even a different POC, because POC don’t have the right to appropriate other cultures either) wears a shalwar kameez, people will call her exotic and cute. Seriously? Do you see a problem? I do. Want some proof? When Selena Gomez and Katy Perry use other cultures as costumes in their music videos and stuff, they were thought to be creative and fun. But when an Indian American woman with brown skin won Miss America, there was a huge racist backlash and people said, “We don’t look like that here, we don’t need a curry muncher here, get out of this country.” So I guess Indian culture is only okay if Selena Gomez is stealing it, right? But not if an actual Indian woman is displaying it? Another example: white people with dreadlocks are seen as “soft grunge” and “hippie”, but black people with dreadlocks are looked down upon and seen as dirty and lazy for having them, even though they know how to take care of their dreadlocks way better.
Respect the fact that we are different. You don’t need to be culturally BLIND because that is just as ignorant. Trying to ignore cultures means you’re trying to erase peoples’ identities. You can appreciate/like/admire other cultures without trying to steal them, use them, cheapen them, and wear them as costumes. You weren’t born into it, so know your limits. And YES. There will ALWAYS be those people who say, “But my Chinese friends don’t care if ____!” and “I’m Mexican and I don’t care if people ____,” but they do not speak for all people of that culture and just because THEY don’t mind doesn’t mean other people don’t. Plenty of POC get harassed/taunted/degraded/fetishized over their own cultures WHILE people not of that culture are called “free-spirited”, “bohemian”, “quirky” and “trendy” for imitating the SAME culture—so yes, the people who oppose cultural appropriation do it based on actual microaggressions and bigotry they may have faced and it is NOT your job to try and convince then that they don’t have a right to their own culture or that the oppression against them should mean nothing.
Think about this. There are some women okay with sexism. Some POC okay with racist jokes. Some Jewish people don’t care about anti-Semitic jokes. And your friend might be one of these people. But suddenly that makes it okay for you to behave foolishly, immaturely, and ignorantly?
Wise up. It’s 2014. There is no excuse to be ignorant.
And if you ever need to explain to someone what cultural appropriation is, show them this post (credit me if you post it elsewhere). It’s a good starter and I think it encompasses the basics of what cultural appropriation is and isn’t.