There are countries with depleting sources of fresh water out there
And we’re sitting here bitching about shithead hipsters in headdresses
you see, sometimes i check out the tumblrs of people who reblog a lot of my posts, and i’m kind of baffled to find things like this.
just a reminder: pretty much the number one reason why i still write and share shit online so much is to encourage people to think critically about how fashion (yes! frivolous, silly, vacuous fashion) can sometimes be harmful and violent to people who don’t fit into the narrow category of what is “acceptable.” fat people. people of colour. people with disabilities. queer people. trans* people. to challenge readers to think about why it is acceptable for a white person to “dabble” in “ethnic prints” or “exotic colours” while people who are PART of the cultures being appropriated are constantly erased or tokenized, objectified, and reduced to one-dimensional stereotypes.
i also try to point out, time and time again, how that these questions are not completely separated from “real world, actually important” issues. that while they may not be government policy or legislation, they are issues that have “real” impacts on the quality of people’s lives.
firstly, we’re still “sitting here bitching about shithead hipsters in headdress” because they keep wearing them.
we’re still “sitting here bitching about shithead hipsters in headdress” because i still get at least one email a month telling me that things i’ve written on my blog have encouraged people to look differently at these questions. that they’ve shared my post with their little sister who dressed up as an “indian princess” at some frat party, and that it started productive conversations. because i’ve gotten comments from germany, australia, iceland, france, from people saying they had never looked at this question that way.
we’re still “sitting here bitching about shithead hipsters in headdress” because it can be an accessible, easy way for a lot of (sometimes well-intentioned) uninformed white people who have never met a native person in their life understand the systemic violence and oppression they have faced, and continue to face, but also to recognize that they are still living breathing human beings who deserve far more than to be tokenized by “shithead hipsters” who think their traditional headdresses look cool.
and just because sometimes, we’re still “sitting here bitching about shithead hipsters in headdresses” does NOT mean we aren’t challenging bigger picture issues.
i get it. i’m sick of them too. i wrote that fucking article in 2010! more than two years ago! and yet i still get hundreds of hits a day on it. i’m sick of opening fashion magazines and seeing yet another advertisement or photoshoot featuring some regurgitation of the same old mess. i’m sick of visiting websites or stores to shop at and wondering if i should boycott them (or if that even helps) because they sell bullshit products and market them in not only shitty - but illegal - ways.
in fact, i’ve mostly stopped going to shows and music festivals because one too many concerts have been ruined for me by dumb white girls in “warpaint” and feather headdresses.
so yeah, i hear you. i wish i didn’t have to hear about it anymore either.
but dismissing the people who write about these issues and challenge people because “there are countries with depleting sources of fresh water out there” is just… absurd. as if people don’t understand that there is a “bigger picture” question going on out here.
just a reminder.
- audrey hepburn as an indian princess (january 2012)
- pocahaunted (july 17, 2011)
- cultural appropriation tag
- white privilege tag
i get really, really tempted to publicly post the conversations i have with the assholes who tag their photos #indian, #headdress and #squaw in the hopes that i won’t have to have the same inane conversation twenty million fucking times.
yes, you’re young, you’re white, you live in america, you think wearing a headdress and posting pictures of it to tumblr (with all of 5 notes if you’re lucky) means you’re hip and cool and ”appreciating” native folks and culture. even if you don’t know anything about the history of said headdress. even if you refer to it as an “accessory.”
no, you’re wrong.
oh, you’re a big meanie. you and your stupid blog are mean.
you think i’m being mean in these private, civil, tame conversations? i’ll show you fucking mean. wait ‘til you see mean.
tell me not to.
tell me not to.
tell me not to.
tell me to save my breath.
Can fashion be part of the revolution?
Is it already?"
also, there are a few photos of me as an awkward teen.
i’m feeling pretty exhausted/frustrated with the “social media” element of the internet these days. overdue for a facebook break. deleted my short-lived pinterest account. hating on tumblr (but still wasting hours on it). unfollowing massive amounts of folks who post cool shit but don’t use sources/credit ever? using twitter… without a cell phone.
thinking about how to frame these modern conundrums. has anyone written about this shift in an interesting way? lately i’m focusing more on the impact new social media platforms are having on artists (as opposed to the impact on relationships/friendships, i.e. “FOMO”). thinking more of the constant stream of images, which were made by a photographer/artist/person, but instead just become part of a stream.
the evolution of flipping through magazines, where writers and photographers and designers are credited and paid, to the hypersaturated web, where overwhelming amounts photos/gifs/images are “right click saved as.” shared again and again, uncredited, stripped of their context, without anyone being able to make a name for themselves. who is to blame? what is lost/what could be gained? responsibility of users vs the terms of service. having a “how to”/101 that people would actually read.
i have a lot of questions! and a lot of feelings! what do you think?