Cultural Appropriation

Chelsea Mendoza , Staff Writer / Photographer

In a racial dispute on Instagram, Kylie Jenner was bashed by Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg for posting a harmless selfie with cornrows, during the summer of 2015.


Stenberg questioned Jenner’s authority as a white woman and commented on her cultural hair style picture, with her tweet “When you appropriate black features and culture but fail to use your position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards your wigs instead of police brutality or racism,” Stenberg said.


Stenberg’s statement addresses the universal and controversial subject called “cultural appropriation,” which is a way to publicly demean and undermine minority groups in society. Praised celebrity idols are accused of being racist because they use ethnic fashion as statements, but most are just unaware of the cultural dispute and admire the ethnic styles. Fashion is a way to express yourself as your unique person; it is a moveable billboard and you have the right to display what you feel, even if it is in a positive or negative way.


“For years, I didn’t feel confident in wearing braids,” junior, Kiaerra Thomas said.

African Americans are forced to cut their dreads, take of their braids and hide their textured hair to be hired for a job. Ethnic minority groups are deprived of their freedom of expression because when they express their native culture, they are looked differently or rejected by society. Society is blind to the fact that cultural appropriation does affect people; it sadly can even go as far as racist acts which can cause people to be ashamed of their own culture.


“I feel as if we should pay more respect to cultures, especially in the United States, since we are so diverse; we tend to kind of forget that those are cultures,” junior, Aimee, Danilin, said. “White people when they get dreads or braids it is deemed as cool and edgy in society, but when a black person has the same hair style, and even though it’s part of an African American culture, everybody thinks ‘wow, they have nappy hair’ or ‘wow, they can’t even have real hair’ and it’s not fair.”


The blurred line is between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation. The difference is people start using cultures as fashion, but in reality you should respect cultures. Kylie Jenner, or any famous person who is not ethnically associated with the culture, can negatively affect an ethnic group, when wearing a cultural style in a statement, because it influences and expresses that the only way a cultural braid or style looks good is if a light skinned person wears it.