People need to give credit when they appropriate from other cultures

Jamya Martin

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In America, we live in a big melting pot; so it’s understandable that some customs and traits may be picked up by another culture. But cultural appropriation is an entirely different matter.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture.

There is a difference between celebrating someone else’s culture and stealing it  and making it public. I can see how some cultures might be upset when people from other cultures try to make a new fashion trend out of  the way their culture dresses.

Let me just put this out there; there is nothing wrong with sharing.

But when the culture you’re attempting to represent is underprivileged and already fails to have credit given to them, like Native Americans, African Americans, etc., there’s a problem.      

For example, four years ago, a Victoria’s Secret fashion model, Karlie Kloss,  walked on the runway with a fringed suede bikini, turquoise jewelry, and a feathered headdress. I can see how this would be offensive  and why some people with Native American origins would be upset with this “sexy Indian” costume.

In the Native American culture,  only a Native American can get a headdress with acts of bravery and it is a HUGE honor to obtain one, and as we all know, it would be very extraordinary for this model to have accomplished so many of those honors at such a young age. Or, I could be entirely wrong and strutting down a cat-walk requires the same amount of praise as a Native American war hero.

There is nothing wrong with borrowing from one culture as long you pay homage to artistry and acknowledge its origins.

So, in theory she maybe shouldn’t have walked down the runway in her costume without some sort of explanation.

Now, it is understandable that the average person shouldn’t have to give a 40 minute speech about the clothes they wear every time they wear them, but if you’re  in the public eye with a lot of influence, you have an obligation to inform “the people” (a.k.a. your followers) about the origins of what you’re wearing IF you’re wearing something from a culture or ethnic group.            
Cultural appropriation is a real issue, but it is up to the society to step up and represent culture the right way.