This body of work is an exploration of the extent of cultural appropriation and encourages a discussion about it. I give the appropriator and the appropriated the opportunity to defend themselves and create a dialogue between them, while maintaining a neutral stance myself. I am not attacking those who appropriate, merely educating and creating awareness. Neutrality is key in this series, as i remove myself from my political and social status and opinions, stripping the problem to the most basic issue; taking an item that means a great deal to somebody and corrupting it.
“Native” beaded bag by Free People. #NativeAppropriations
it’s moments like these where i seriously wonder if the people responsible for this even know what the medicine wheel is, or just thought “oh i just really like the way white, yellow, red and black look together! and beads are just so pretty!”
free people is the fucking worst. their ad campaigns, their lookbooks, their products are always filled with rampant overpriced stereotypical items that are just a total mess. like this shit?! 162 dollars for a bag made by the “*By Spell & the Gypsy Collective…” wait, what? are you attempting to appropriate native american culture and then using a racist slur against romas to describe it?!
for the record, free people is owned by the same people who run urban outfitters (and anthropologie) and they can all suck a bag of dicks for all i care.
sidenote: if your only defense is “but i like the way it looks!” and you want to own something that looks like this? look up some ACTUAL native designers. support independent native artists and craftspeople. check out some of the many others people like lisa charleyboy (aka urban native girl) or jessica metcalfe (the great mind behind beyond buckskin). check out the beyond buckskin boutique.
to me, this is the fashion equivalent of putting a bunch of native art in the “craft/anthropology” section of an art museum and putting the artist name “anonymous.” do your research!
Her appropriative swag is yet another reminder (not that we needed any more this month) of how little black women are valued in our society, even in genres we co-create. In a moment where cool is synonymous with swag, a particular manifestation of black masculinity, Kreayshawn’s dismissiveness and denigration of black women animate her success.
The objectification of black women as a lyrical trope is what makes Kreayshawn interesting. Look at this white girl who talks like a black man! Isn’t she awesome?
honestly i’ve been thinking about this a lot, more than i’d like to admit. i watched the video two or three times because it kept on popping up on my dash, and i was like, “am i missing something everyone else is seeing?” i don’t hate it, but i still can’t wrap my head around so many (critical) folks are loving this.
not to mention the girls raggin’ on other girls shtick. this whole song is about chicken heads, “the basic bitches where that shit so i don’t even bother” and hating on girls who work at arby’s. and i’m supposed to be like ha! ha! oh those basic bitches! fuck them! yeah… no thanks. is it internalized misogyny? is it part of living in a sexist society that makes us internalize some of this bullshit? is it reclaiming a space in a hypermasculine environment?
i mean i think i have my own personal issues (recovering sensitive child/bullied/not being girly enough/being dismissed since i’m a femme queer by butches/being dismissed in music scenes because i’m a woman/whatever) but i try to put that aside and try to get the tough girl shit… but i never do. it often involves way too much putting other girls down to make you seem tougher, and i don’t get it. i hate those environments.