This morning I saw an article about Khloe Kardashian discussing her hairstyle. Now, this wasn’t the usual style blog discussing how fashionable it was, instead it focused on a much different theme, whether the style was in fact culturally appropriate for her. Cultural Appropriation can be defined as the adoption of one culture’s elements by members of another culture.
In the photo (above), Khloe Kardashian’s hair was styled into Bantu knots a style synonymous with black culture for generations. This has since caused some outrage simply due to the belief by many that she, along with many other white people have not earned the right to wear them. Deep down this is an issue regarding much more than hair. There is a common belief, that those adopting these styles know little about their origins or even why they are so prevalent in the black community. Therefore simply having such a style as cornrows because its ‘cool’ can be found to be incredibly disrespectful.
However, I can almost guarantee that these women are not meaning to be racist or cause offence, but I also have to pose the question are we encouraging differences by even discussing the issue? As should it truly matter the colour of your skin as to what styles you can and cannot have?
It’s odd, when I started researching this topic I was very much in the mind set of, it’s a style and therefore anyone is free to adopt it, regardless of race or culture, although this was from a position of white privilege, in which my culture has never been under persecution. However, I did not see the deeper contexts that underpin the adoption of such cultural preferences.
I understand, this poses more questions than answers, so let us know your view on the issue.
Should anyone be allowed to have any style they wish regardless of culture? Or should we avoid certain looks?
Let us know…