What A Time For Cultural Appropriation To Be Alive » VSB

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What A Time For Cultural Appropriation To Be Alive

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Much as it pains me to admit aloud, maybe there’s something to all those stupid-ass memes that your “woke” Facebook friends like to share that compare real-life “ignored” atrocities to the asinine shit that makes Buzzfeed headlines. That Blake Lively’s delusional Instagram post dominated an entire Wednesday lends credence to their gripes.

Even I couldn’t stay out of the fray: my Facebook post on the issue reached over 100 comments – a 2016 record to date. The conversation was largely centered around not whether Lively meant to reference Auckland, New Zealand in relation to her ass – which is flatter than damn near all the singing on every “Empire” soundtrack – but whether a pretty, skinny white girl is racist for quoting quarter-century-old Sir Mix-a-Lot lyrics.

In other words, just another day for educated black nerds on Facebook.

I texted Panama for his opinion, to which he responded that he simply didn’t give a shit (the right answer), adding that “cultural appropriation accusations are having the best year ever.” His getting me to think about all the conflagrations over appropriation accusations as of late gave birth to this piece.

In 2016, everyone wants to be Freddie from “A Different World.” (As far as I’m concerned, Freddie was the progenitor of this cultural appropriation clapback shit). Not only are we opening our eyes to new stuff that fits under the umbrella of “problematic,” but those of us who remember what pop culture looked like 20 to 30 years ago start thinking stuff like, “Damn, maybe I can’t watch Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” video with Deebo and Iman’s sexy ass no more!”

Actual cultural appropriation – like actual racism – requires the white supremacist power dynamic. But that doesn’t mean that people of color can’t denotatively appropriate other cultures in ways that, depending on your perspective, can be innocuous or kinda fucked up.

We “borrow” all the time and don’t think about it – Japanese kanji tattoos (guilty), that ugly guayabera hanging in my closet, Indian everything (hair, yoga, jewelry, etc.). But we’ve certainly taken to dragging an increasing number of celebrities for appropriating – namely really popular white ones whom people give more credit than I do in regards to understanding, let alone acknowledging, their actions.

Folks definitely throw around the “r-word” more insouciantly than I’m comfortable with. Though my definition of racism continues to evolve along with the rest of the world, I’m still reticent to use “racist” to describe both Strom Thurmond and Taylor Swift just because she crawled under black asses in a video. To me, that word still holds a lot of heft and shouldn’t be used lightly.

But there is such a thing as thoughtfulness. And often, celebrities need to be schooled on the thoughtlessness of their words and actions. Since I’m the World’s Foremost Authority in determining what’s worth trippin’ over and what isn’t, below is my (correct) opinion on several recent cultural appropriation accusations.

biebs

Incident: Justin Bieber rocking dreadlocks

Verdict: In general, white folks look questionable with dreads. At best. Blonde white people, like Bieber, look like they have a whole head full of what happens in your drain after you give a Labrador Retriever a bath.

That said, though it’s a staple of black American hairstyles, matted hair didn’t exactly originate with us. So the clusterfuckery on the top of Biebs’ head is not inherently problematic. What is infuriating is the sustained negative perception of black dreads. I’ve no doubt that white America still views dreads as unprofessional; that’s the stigma I wish to move past. Bieber only played himself walking out of the house like that.

yonce

Incident: Coldplay and Beyonce aping Indian culture.

Verdict: First off, remember The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” video? That shit was the jam back when I was five years old, but it would have the Freddie types seething in 2016.

Though the video was directed by an Indian guy in cities throughout India, folks were pissed off at the sight of rich English marshmallow rockers Coldplay being…Coldplay…among impoverished countryfolk. I don’t think there should be a mandate dictating that rich white people should only shoot their music videos off of Park Avenue, but there might be something to the complaints about Beyonce Beyonce-ing in traditional Indian makeup and garb.

Her getup comes across pretty tone-deaf. But since many of the neo-Freddies are also card-carrying Beygency members, she got off pretty cleanly.

zoe

Incident: Zoe Saldana straight bastardizing Nina Simone

Verdict: The degree of wackness related to Saldana portraying Nina Simone can’t be understated. Not only are there actresses who bear a much closer physical resemblance, but Saldana also has the acting range of a first-generation Hummer on one gallon of gas. Tack on the questionable comments she’s made about her own blackness that stand in diametric opposition to what Simone fought for, and it’s all bad.

Just the same, there was a room full of people somewhere who probably get paid more than most of us dream about in which someone said, “Hey, blackface, then? Prosthetic nose, yeah?” And everyone else was like, “Good idea, fam!” I’m calling for fucking scalps here.

iggy

Incident: Iggy Azalea’s whole muthafuckin’ steez

Verdict: Look, white rappers have been affecting their voices to sound like black rappers since time immemorial (there was an entire reality television show to prove it). It’s just another aspect of an entire genre whose raison d’etre is to front.

Iggy’s basically caught a lot of shit because she’s an unapologetic, reckless tweeting, not-unattractive white girl who sold a gajillion records. If she had spent 2014 shutting the fuck up on Twitter and at least giving off the vibe that she was constantly genuflecting to the House of Run-DMC or some shit, she wouldn’t be so hated. But it’s easy to get at her when her most egregious sin is the garbage she puts on wax and calls music.

kylie

Incident: Kylie Jenner’s cornrows

Verdict: Similar to Biebs’ dreads, but the only real reason Jenner caught shit about this was because she literally has the same amount of Instagram followers as there are immigrants living in the United States. Every little alteration of her style is perceived as “bold” and “daring” by lemmings who fail to realize that a chick born after “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” went off the air isn’t the first to start a goddamned thing.

The homie Rue came at her with what, in all fairness, was a straw-man argument that suggested a member of the fucking Kardashian hive should have the foresight to care about the #BlackLivesMatter movement simply because she happened to do what basic white girls do in Cancun after too many Hurricanes. If I can’t get mad at Rachel Dolezal, I can’t get pissed at Jenner. Who cares?

taylor

Incident: Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus using black dancers

Verdict: I’m somewhat conflicted by this. On one hand, the black dancers whose asses were utilized for twerking purposes in a video should, in theory, get massive amounts of exposure considering Swift’s “Shake it Off” has been viewed nearly 1.5 beeeellion times. The dancers got paid to do what they presumably love, and they didn’t need to slum it in a Lil’ Uzi Vert video to make rent.

On the other hand, there is that quick, chalkboard-on-nails reaction I get when I see rail-thin pop megastars with the longest of backs juxtaposed against ample-bootied sistas. It also begs the question: who the fuck does the weak-ass twerking dance “belong” to? Since hip-hop is a definitively black and brown art form, are all white people who partake appropriating it? If Taylor Swift threw on some Chucks and broke-dance in a video to “Planet Rock”, is that appropriation? So many questions!

gwyn

Incident: Gwyneth Paltrow tweeting “niggas.”

Verdict: Yeah, this happened four years ago. But I’m mentioning it just because I can’t stand Paltrow’s Nabisco Original Premium ass. Off with her head!

Dustin Seibert

Dustin J. Seibert lifts heavy weights and plays all his video games on hard mode to find peace. He has a better ear for hip-hop than anyone else you know. He writes like the English language is going outta style because the steaks in his freezer are dependent on it.

  • Sparger

    I think we get carried away sometimes with the cultural appropriation claims. Some white girl with a guitar does a mediocre to bad cover of a Rihanna or Beyonce song, neither one of them actually wrote, and for some reason we need to take to the streets in protest. People it’s just a bad cover, let it go.

    • HouseOfBonnets

      Exactly, In addition hate watching them or consuming them despite your disgust only helps them.I just ignore now.

    • cakes_and_pies

      That’s not cultural appropriation. That’s the Pat Boone effect. It’s intentionally watering down a song to make it more palatable for certain ears to listen to.

  • HouseOfBonnets

    You know what, for the exception of the anomaly formally known as Dolezal (because shorty continues to try it on a daily basis) I agree with your rulings for the most part. I mean at this point I simply ignore beiber and jenner because of the fact that they can’t even mimic the trends that are on point (did you see her blending when she tried to become a Zendeya clone and rocked that 1.99 Kankalon pack ponytail?) So now i just cackle into oblivion because at the end of the day despite having all the money and access in the world they will always be at best a imitation Joker in this stylish pack of melanin playing cards.

  • Brandon Allen

    I’m a belieber. Let him rock.

    • IsitFridayyet?
    • HouseOfBonnets

      His latest offerings have been ok but I’m not surprised that most of the tracks i like pull from r&b.

      • Brandon Allen

        He’s a good R&B artist. I ain’t mad at him.

        • HouseOfBonnets

          Same i have sort of accepted it.

    • -h.h.h.-

      last album was awesome. defintely better than le….let me not start lol.

      • Epsilonicus

        Better than Lemonade?

        • -h.h.h.-
          • Niecy

            Please elaborate.

            • -h.h.h.-

              Purpose spoke to me more than Lemonade did.

              • Niecy

                Granted I haven’t heard Beiber’s latest because why would I and I’m a Bey stan so I’m a little partial to her. But maybe, just maybe, I may have to give it a listen. You’re not the first person to say something positive about his album.

                • -h.h.h.-

                  i never listened to any of his music before, and i’ve listened to 80% of this album multiple times.
                  i’ve listened to lemondade….2x. it aint for me

                  • Epsilonicus

                    You knew you were not the intended audience before you even listened to it.

                    • -h.h.h.-

                      i had to see if there was any radio tunes on the album lol.

              • Epsilonicus

                I have not heard it yet

              • HouseOfBonnets

                Soooooo you’re just gonna take this sacrifice to the beyhive over the Purpose album? I mean it’s your funeral boo, because the hive comming…..

                • -h.h.h.-
                • -h.h.h.-

                  purpose might win album of the year….

                  i take that back, adele released an album right? that will probably win

                  • Cleojonz

                    LOL, you would probably be right if Adele wasn’t in the mix.

                  • HouseOfBonnets

                    Oh it’s either Bey or Adele period all awards season…. Tbh it might just go to Adele off gp because she came in and swept everybody. Say what you will about both of them but if they give out the warning you might as well just push your album release date up because once they arrive no one will check for you.

                    • Cleojonz

                      Yeah Rihanna was smart (or her people). She was like Adele is releasing an album when? Yeah we just gon’ go ahead and push this back 6 weeks or so.

                    • HouseOfBonnets

                      That and I feel like somebody gave her a heads up about formation because she slid anti in right before it hit (all release fumbles aside)

                  • Blueberry01

                    Let me ask….

                    Have you ever been cheated on by someone that you loved?

                    • -h.h.h.-

                      i’d have to be loved first, no?

                    • Blueberry01

                      That wasn’t the question, though. I asked if you have ever cheated on someone that YOU loved.

                      Or, are you saying that in order to love someone, they need to love you first?

                    • -h.h.h.-

                      how does one cheat while not in a relationship?

                    • Blueberry01

                      Triple H, so are you telling me that you have never EVER been in a committed, monagomous relationship before?

                    • -h.h.h.-

                      thanks for asking.

                    • Blueberry01

                      I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not, but I’m sure that you can understand how someone might feel if they realized that the person that they loved wasn’t faithful. (Right?)

                      And BTW, if no one has told you, Triple H, you are looking quite handsome today. I think it’s the good chains. :wink:

        • AnswerMe

          Smh @both of you. Troublemakers.

          • Epsilonicus

            I just asked a question

            • AnswerMe

              Glad you did because I didn’t know which album he was referring to.

    • I don’t like the kid but the song on Chance’s mixtape was pretty dope.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        Juke……Juke

    • Val

      Sorry but I don’t excuse or ignore his racist jokes just because he was a teenager. I was a teen and I never told any racist jokes. Also, did he even ever apologize? Anyway, I’ll never be a Belieber.

      • Brandon Allen

        Teenagers do wild stuff. I’m not gonna judge this young man off that.
        You might have never told a racist joke, but you might of laughed at one. Or done some other thing you weren’t supposed to do in high school. He’s talented.
        People don’t want him to be great.

        • Val

          Even if that were true, I didn’t have millions of Black teen girl fans. He did. No excuses.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            I disagree. There are plenty of excuses. But who do you blame more? The Black people who run his career or just him alone? Cause I think teenagers suck in general, so I can only imagine a teenager who’s been rich & famous for years who lost touch with reality years ago just aint getting it.

            IF you need proof…look at Chris Brown..and remember where he is RIGHT NOW.

            • Val

              But, Rewind, we aren’t talking about an average teen, right. We are talking about one that made million on the fandom of tween Black girls. So I can’t chalk it up to welp, he was just a teenager.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                You don’t have to, but I fail to see how he’s going to be different from any other rich famous teenage star. The problem will always be these individuals are out of touch with reality because they have grown adults who OK everything they say and do, without checking them, for fear of losing a payday.

              • Blueberry01

                Wow, Val, you’re tough, but I can understand why you feel the way you do; I just don’t fully believe that ANY person will be perfect all the time. So, you’ll always going to be disappointed by human beings.

                Although, I don’t agree with what R. Kelly, Marvin, or Justin did, I can separate their actions from the music that they make. In my opinion, they make good music, but their characters are flawed.

                Are you saying that you’re willing to immediately stop listening to any of your current favorite artists once you find out that they’ve slipped up?

                Also, are you okay when people stop taking to you when you’ve made a mistake that ruffled the relationship? Or, is it okay that they cut you completely off?

                • Val

                  For some things I’m not able nor do I really want to separate the person from their music. There are definitely levels to this sort of thing. Being a racist or a child molester are certainly things that are inexcusable to me, so I will not support those people.

                  But, like I said, there are levels to it, so someone slipping up is much different from those things I mentioned. I don’t expect people to be perfect but there’s a pretty big gap between being perfect and being a child molester or racist.

                  • Blueberry01

                    I agree there are levels to infractions, too.

                    I’m just curious about your thoughts on something. What if you found out that R. Kelly was molested himself and never received help or the healing that he needed from the trauma, thus repeated the act (not necessarily out of observation, but out of a state of brokeness). Or, if you found out that Marvin Gaye was sexually assualted when he was younger and never healed?

                    Would that change your perspective on their acts that they committed in their adulthood? I’m not asking if you’d excused or justify the acts, but moreso if your thoughts of the egregiousness of the acts would decrease.

                    • Val

                      Well, no, because more people who molest were molested. And, also the vast majority of people who were molested do not molest anyone.

                      And, as for RKelly, at this point, considering he’s actually been on trial for molesting a child, if he was at all repentant then he would have tried to get help. As far as I know he hasn’t.

                    • Blueberry01

                      Yes, I agree. There’s evidence for both sides. Although, those that don’t usually have had some type of intervention (e.g. therapy, spiritual revelation) at some point in their lives.

                      So, it sounds like you’re more focused on whether someone repents – or at the very least, acknowledges their wrongdoing – versus the level of the offense.

                      Yeah, IDK what to say about R. Kelly; he’s always seemed creepy. Remember the whole Aaliyah relationship?

          • Brandon Allen

            Errbody got excuses. Especially, at that age. If we checking that hard we’ll all be listening to instrumentals.

            • Val

              Meh, that’s a strawman. Not every artist is making racist jokes or molesting teen girls. There are plenty of other artists to choose from.

              • Brandon Allen

                It sorta is a strawman. The real question is are you gonna not listen to good music from an artist becuase of inappropriate jokes they said at 17? And are you gonna hold every artist to that standard or just wypipo?

                • Val

                  I don’t listen to RKelly, nor Miles Davis, nor Marvin Gaye. And not listening to Marvin requires discipline.

                  • Cheech

                    Wow. Discipline indeed.
                    What’d he do again?
                    (Maybe I don’t wanna know.)

                    • Val

                      Impregnated and then married a teen girl when he was almost 30.

                    • Cheech

                      Ok, I can see that. I’m gonna give him the statute of limitations, though. I like the music too much.

        • Question

          No.

        • dmcmillian72

          Here’s the problem with that though… I saw the video clip of Beiber telling the joke. It was a group of teens being silly. Beiber sets up his joke, something about why Black people don’t cut grass or some foolishness… Even I knew what the punchline was gonna be… So did at least 2 of the teens sitting in the group listening, and both of them…including the child recording them…said, “Don’t say it Dude…” (in that sing-songy-warning voice that we have with our friends before they put their foot in their mouth). Beib’s punchline was, “Because the lawnmower says, “Runnn, N199a-ni99a, ruunnnn…” Or something like that. All of the teens present didn’t even laugh…

          So no, his being young at the time is absolutely NOT a pass, because teens his age…his peers, who were sitting there with him…knew better and attempted to warn him against finishing the joke.

          EDIT: The video clip in question was filmed BEFORE Usher “found” him so he wasn’t famous then.

      • Question

        Right? I didn’t know age was an acceptable excuse to be racist.
        Folks fallin’ for it again.

        Do we really think JBieber is gonna keep this down-with-black-isht shtick for the rest of his life? Nah, he’s gonna hit 27 and do a Justin Timberlake and then at 35 do a Mark Wahlberg. New white boy…same story.

      • What was the joke?

        • Val

          Don’t remember but it wasn’t funny. We were the butt of the joke though. And of course he referred to us as ‘ninjas’ in the joke. So it was very crude.

          • Hmm, oh well, I never liked the dude.

            The only time I paid him any attention, was when I heard he got caught up with some prostitute in Rio…

    • YeaSoh

      gross… I almost downvoted yo @ss

      • Question

        This. I had to look at the name like 6 times. Still don’t know how I feel…

    • miss t-lee

      no.

  • I think most of these problems stem from the disappearing line between what is identified as a political problem (policy and law) and what is a social problem (cultural and geographical). When you can’t define a thing objectively, you can’t objectively hold people accountable for falling in or out of line with it, especially legally – the end result is that how you feel is what decides everything. Which is why, especially, when it comes to “racism”, I’m getting irritated by how people just use it or accuse others of it, like it’s hot sauce.

  • AnswerMe

    My cousin and I were trying to understand all of this so we could avoid doing it and recognize when it’s actually happening. We were never able to fully grasp it. What I see online is that basically Kylie can’t rock cornrows because she doesn’t advocate for BLM. So does that mean I can’t wear Indian garb if I had the urge or was invited to an Indian wedding because I don’t promote a specific cause for Indian people? I’m just trying to overstand it all.

    • HouseOfBonnets

      I would watch the short video “Don’t cash crop my cornrows” by amandila stineberg (spelling?). It gives a good explanation. In addition look into any media given by people in those communities the Indian community has also been very vocal on this topic.

      • AnswerMe

        Thanks, I will. I follow her on IG, and she’s so damb woke it’s crazy. Amandla Stenberg…had to look it up.

  • Gibbous

    Personally, the thing with Kyle Jenner, wasn’t about KJ, it was about the media who defined her cornrows as some kind of new, fresh style, knowing full well that a) cornrows have been worn for about a thousand years and b) black women get dragged for having worn and continuing to wear that “new, fresh, style.”

    • But that’s increasingly becoming a problem.

      It’s what you see with Ayeesha Curry and anytime she drops a preference for “traditionalist” christian values. Those in support and those against those values then use her comments, images, memes, quotes etc as platforms to proclaim their grievances against what they deem to be the current status quo in society (black feminists and hoteps are perfect examples of this), and then after trolling each other and writing think-pieces for the rest of the week, carry on like nothing happened.

      It’s kind of funny yes, but it also is, I’m sorry to say a confession of impotence (and a comfort with it…which only gets settled by raging out for a little bit)

      • Gibbous

        So, I intentionally don’t get involved with the whole Ayeesha Curry mess, but I see where your coming from. (I don’t need a role model, and if I did, I’d be looking closer to home anyway – as should others.)
        Question: Where is the perceived appropriation? I’m not getting how she’s relevant to this conversation. Curious.

        • Let me ask you a question first…

          What is Cultural Appropriation?

          • Gibbous

            Nah, I’m not looking to get into an argument, I’d just like you to explain your point. I don’t get it.

            • Lol, I’m not trying to get into an argument. But basically, I find that the definition of it is vague. Not because it started off that way, just like racism. Increasingly, over-time, since such terms seem more useful in pursuit of attainting social change and social justice from a pragmatic point of view, they’ve been getting used more and more out of context, to the point where all that’s left is the feeling such things have on people. The actual meaning is lost, and if you ask many people who are passionate about such things to define them, you often come to the frightening conclusion that they don’t “know” (as in they haven’t thought about) what they are fighting for.

              That’s kind of what drives the back and forth around Ayeesha Curry, as in patriarchy. Nothing she says is patriarchal, as in advocating for systems of male dominance, but after 50 years of activism and the mixing up of the social with the political, the words are enough to trigger the feelings that such a system is associated with, and the battles are solely over such things. It’s the same thing that goes on with cultural appropriation, especially in social media. People are going back and forth over feelings, and thus are unable to achieve anything, outside of temporary relief from daily frustration.

              • Gibbous

                For me, appropriation is about taking something that is sacred or important to or identifies a particular culture and using it in a careless and superficial way or using it to make money.

                An American Indian headdress, as shown in the photo above, is something that has a significant meaning to the group from which it comes and is generally EARNED through service to the tribe or for good works. Wearing it as an accessory at a music concert is demeaning to the culture that holds it sacred – and is thus appropriation.

                I can’t say that wearing cornrows is cultural appropriation because black people who wear cornrows are not a singular identifiable culture. Black women who wear cornrows do so because it’ll keep for a good long time due to the texture of black hair. How you wear your hair can be a cultural expression, or it could just be convenient. I don’t give two hoots about white women who wear cornrows . . . I just wonder why, because it takes forever to put them in and then they fall out the next day.

                • Bklady

                  I think “cultural appropriate” is a misnomer in this context. I think what folks have an issue with the lack of acceptance or just plain ole’ disgust for something that has been done, worn, and/or accepted in our culture and communities and then all of a sudden Kylie, Bieber does it and here comes all the “acceptance”

                  • You and @Gibbous, are kind of proving my point here.

                    • Blueberry01

                      But that doesn’t diminish the validity of their concerns, though. So, whether or not is truly cultural appropriation – or the plan disregard or lack of acknowledgement of the culture that intiated the trend – is not what is important to them.

                      So you do have a point…it’s just not relevant.

                  • Gibbous

                    Agreed!!!

                  • ChokeOnThisTea

                    Agreed, except it IS cultural appropriation. If that, in your opinion, isn’t cultural appropriation then what is? These styles, looks, body types, etc. are valued in our culture and are just some of the ways we have carved out culture/values/exclusivity/shared experiences/identity/pride where we were originally denied those things.

                • ChokeOnThisTea

                  You hit the nail on the head with that first paragraph. I especially disagree with the last one though.

                  White chicks rocking cornrows and then intentionally renaming them (which is further proof that they acknowledge the “original” or previous name given to them in our culture) is cultural appropriation. We do wear cornrows (and braids and such) for convenience. But we also wear them in styles that bring us cultural pride (hence, the very flamboyant opening of the movie Barber Shop showcasing the tons of black hairstyles over time (and even a few white folk who appropriated them)). These styles and values ARE ours and have even come to be recognized as such by outside communities.

                  Every black woman doesn’t have to rock cornrows in order for them to be acknowledge as something mostly black women wear. It’s just lately we have a series of boldly antagonistic white people who are loudly and unapologetically doing what their ancestors before them have always done– steal and then play innocent.

                  • Gibbous

                    There is a difference between race and culture. Black women of many different cultures wear braids – the same and differently. Braids, in and of themselves are mostly worn by black women and men, however, nowhere have they been identified as belonging to a specific black culture in the US. I’m just objecting to the idea that blacks in US all express culture the same. Descendants of enslaved Africans have a shared heritage, but do not necessarily share a common culture.

                    • ChokeOnThisTea

                      You’re talking to someone with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. I’m fully aware of the differences (and the overlap for that matter) between race and culture. Nevertheless, your point is moot as your argument has nothing to do with white women (who, by the way, don’t belong to our race NOR culture) appropriating us– whether we’re American, African, Creole, whatever. It’s irrelvant in this case as we all tend wear similar braided styles that other races dont.

                    • Gibbous

                      I just struggle with the appropriation bit. I don’t think white women wearing cornrows, in and of itself is appropriation. I do get annoyed – angry when it is not properly attributed in the MEDIA as being a hairstyle worn historically by black women. ALSO, if it IS such a wonderful style, then black women should not get shamed for wearing it.

      • Sparger

        What does Ayesha Curry have to do with cultural appropriation?

        • I answered this down thread.

          • Sparger

            Searched your replies. You just wanted to bring up Ayesha Curry.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      I had a similar discussion last week about Blake with someone. They finally came around when I used the analogy Black folk been wearing braids for years; Bo Derek wore them in the movie 10 and Dwights thought they found nirvana. Black women have had junk in the trunk since ancient sculptures. Who did Dwights give credit to for having bootay….Jennifer Lopez. To add insult to injury, they throw shade at Serena’s cakes!

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    • RewindingtonMaximus

      It doesn’t help though that she knows full and well what she’s doing, how she’s doing it, and why she’s doing it….but doesn’t care.

      But that’s youth on her side.

      • Gibbous

        That would require a certain amount of self awareness that I’m not sure she has – mostly because most kids her age don’t.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          Exactly why I just blame it on the youth. I wasn’t much better myself at her age.

      • Curly Sue

        I think it’s beyond youth. That arrogance is in her genes, courtesy of PMK herself.

      • Blueberry01

        ….and white superiority

        • ChokeOnThisTea

          Bingo. Nor anything else.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          Very true, the denial is so real.

      • ChokeOnThisTea

        And whiteness.

    • Val

      What really irks me about Kylie Jenner is that she’s so average looking and yet somehow her rep is that she’s beautiful. Great PR, I suppose.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        It’s called standing upon the shoulders of others. Her sister’s built a platform.

        • elle

          Ha! Imagery…

        • ChokeOnThisTea

          Off the backs of famous black folk (men and women alike). I don’t understand why they don’t have more of a reputation as groupies/shameless social climbers. People try to spin it as though they’re masterful entrepreneurs. They’re groupies with white privilege!!

      • Absolutely.
        Oh yeah…and adopt black friends.

      • Brandon Allen

        It’s basically a brand. She’s just the latest one from the Calabasas factory.

        • It’s not just a brand, unfortunately.

          A lot of people look better with fake ish.

          I remember watching a Vice documentary with a stripper who saved up her money to get butt augmentation. By the time she returned to the biz and started working the poll, her revenue tripled.

          The media may convince us that fake is attractive, but we ultimately are the ones who decide to invest our time and money into what they’re selling.

          • Blueberry01

            But strippers need augmented parts to be attractive to their consumer. However, have you seen how some of these women with fake ASSests look in normal clothes?

            They look like cartoonish trying to wear jeans or a dress. They usually result to leggings.

            • Val

              “They look like cartoonish trying to wear jeans or a dress”

              Nicki Minaj

          • ChokeOnThisTea

            It is their “brand.” Hijacking Black styles, looks, and values while exclusively dating black men is very much their brand. It’s deliberate on their part and they’ve recently gotten boldly antagonistic about it.

      • Gibbous

        Eye of the beholder and all that . . . Brand goes a long way.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        Average? Kylie?

        Where you live where that girl is average?

        • Val

          California.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            *books flight*

            • Photoshop’s a helluva drug

              Check that pic sans make up before you use up you vacation time……..

          • Hammster

            lol I love this.

        • Kas

          She is not average, but she is no top 10% for any major metropolitan area in America.

          • Val

            *hoping Kas gets his broken glasses fixed soon*

            • Kas

              What can I say, I’m aggressively unimpressed.

              • Val

                Huh? You said she’s not average. You sounded somewhat impressed. No?

                • Kas

                  She is attractive but not top 10%. As you may have gathered from my comments on dear Nia, my standards are high.

                • L8Comer

                  I think he means he’s unimpressed by other woman in major metropolitan area and how they compare to her

        • Blueberry01

          I’m not sure what part of BK you’re in (or from), but there are A LOT of pretty people in NYC. I swore I met my husband every time I rode the A-Train. Lol!

      • http://www.pixteller.com/pdata/t/l-263876.jpg

        Evidence – The Life of Donald Trump

      • miss t-lee

        She really was hit before the surgeries. Them genes are still there…lol

      • Curly Sue

        Exhibit A…

      • will_the_thrill

        At risk of a downvote, Kylie is kind of bad. She’s ignorant and stupid and a Kardashian and allat, but those fake lips look good on her. Whoever does her make-up deserves all the awards. And her wig game is pretty on point. The sad part is that she is probably peaking mad early but, in 2016, she’s, at the very least, mostly bad. I don’t want to admit it, but mama is doing it.

        • Val

          This is though, every single thing about her that would make her attractive to someone is bought. So, I guess she looks okay for a bot but as a human she fails.

          • Epsilonicus

            If her look was not bought, you would think she was attractive?

            • Val

              Please refer to the photo that Curly Sue posted above.

              • Epsilonicus

                I know. I am saying. If her current look was her natural look, would that change your view of her attractiveness?

                • Val

                  No, because everything about her current look is exaggerated to the point that she doesn’t look like a normal human. Same goes for her sisters.

                • ChokeOnThisTea

                  Is this a question you ask people who criticize black women with weaves?

          • Janelle Doe

            I say this to people I talk to about standards of beauty a lot. What the melanin deficient buy to be beautiful we get compared to horses (see Serena) for having. I lowkey wish there was a day when white women wore black make-up for a day (w/wo afros) and we’d see what beauty standard they fit then…

          • Precisely…. like nothing is yours.

            • Kas

              I’m not trying to start/win a debate, but I don’t think her audience cares how she got it.

              • ChokeOnThisTea

                Of course not. No one ever cares how white girls get anything. It’s only black women who are scrutinize from here to the high Heavens in regards to how we get anything (our hair, our education, you name it)

                • Kas

                  Hi Tea

                • Kas

                  Haters gonna hate. The truly intelligent among us recognize and love your game.

      • Ravi Smith

        “Average” is being kind. She’s busted with an expensive stylist.

    • Question

      Add name-plate necklaces and door-knocker earrings to that list.

    • Bklady

      Agreed…The originators of what some deem as “culture” are non existent or even *gasp* unacceptable until the media notices a “non originator” doing it or sporting it, etc… then comes the acceptance and the accolades.

    • PDL – Cape Girl

      Black is never beautiful until AFTER some white woman has gotten credit for inventing and rocking

      • Bklady

        Yes Ma’am! You said that! Snapple Facts in my NY accent

      • Janelle Doe

        you said it.

      • Mary Burrell

        That needs to be a meme

        • PDL – Cape Girl

          :)

      • Mochasister

        I get so tired of that. It’s ridiculous and hypocritical. How is it that on Black people a feature is ugly but the same feature on non Blacks is praised?!

    • elle

      I still think that the media in general has gotten slick and uses “cultural appropriation” as click bait. Every time you get pissed off about it, you share it like crazy, posting the links all over FB so that your friends can relate to it. Online advertisers pay for eyes, so these “fashion” sites like Elle and Vogue are pissing you off because you’re almost guaranteed to click and share that way.

    • Blueberry01

      Yup! They did that with Timberland boots and calling Justin Beiber’s, “Sorry”, tropical house music.

    • ChokeOnThisTea

      It’s also the fact that Kylie and her family are repeat “cultural appropriation” offenders. And do so intentionally, boldly, and antagonistically.

  • -h.h.h.-

    some people want to go to war about any and everything. i don’t get it.

    outside of of zoe saldana putting on blackface to become an artist who’s work is based on not being attractive enough (or…something like that..)the rest of the examples are….not really on my care list…but people want to win a battle so bad.

    • For many people, it’s much easier to get passionate about changing society than their own selves.

      • Question

        But that’s just it – going after Iggy on Twitter isn’t changing anything but the $$$s in her bank account.

        • The money that doesn’t go to her just goes elsewhere though. Doesn’t address the demand for people such as her.

      • Brooklyn_Bruin

        They wish they was changing something.
        Dragging celebrities with Twitter is not the same as organizing a protest in downtown Cairo.

        Eyeliner change is not regime change.

        Kids today….

        *shakes head*

      • Blueberry01

        Until they realize that in order to change society they must change themselves. SMH

    • Gibbous

      Yes, mostly meh about this list.

    • ChokeOnThisTea

      It’s about agency,identity, pride and power and how white people have a repeated history of taking these things away from black people in the form of cultural appropriation.

    • rahshedah

      The reason you may not care because none of the aforementioned relates to you as a man or as a Black man (assuming that you are Black). So there is no reason for you to care. Many of the examples on the list have to do with what it means to be beautiful after Blackness has been whitewashed or used by the less pigmented to gain something while diminishing (intentionally or not.) what they are taking from. It is a win for men either way. And the racially ambiguous.

  • Niecy

    I think the main problems with the Kardashian/Jenner crew is that they get these black body parts and hairstyles to attract black dyck and don’t give credit where credit is due when they’re praised for their looks.

    • HouseOfBonnets

      Truth.

    • YeaSoh

      Oh and they’re slores

      • Niecy

        Well, yeah…

      • Niecy

        Actually they’re more like succubi. (Plural of succubus?)

        • YeaSoh

          debils

    • DG

      don’t give credit where credit is due when they’re praised for their looks.

      What, exactly, would this look like/entail? Would they need to acknowledge the entire black beauty industry? Also, this kinda makes the assumption that their shapes and/or hairstyles are exclusively the terrain of black women. I’ve never been to Armenia before, but there may be some thickness going on over there…I’m just saying.

      • RewindingtonMaximus

        The before & after pics of all the Kardashians is literal proof that genetically, they were NEVER going to look how they look right now. They’ve all been enhanced. I don’t find that to be a bad thing. They like to hang with rich black people. I don’t find that to be a bad thing. They like to set trends. I don’t find that to be a bad thing.

        The biggest issue about the Kardashians when it comes to Black culture appropriation is THEY KNOW they have a connection to Black culture and they just pretend like it’s their own hard work and ideas that made everything happen.

        But I also say…blaming them is only 50% of the problem. Its things like the E! Channel that deserve full scrutiny for how they publicize those women and act as if they are so special, to the point where the world can’t look away.

        • Bklady

          I think the “issue” is the public acceptance for those genetically modified and/or identified as Trendsetters but the lack of public acceptance for the originators and/or the real.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            Indeed. But I know it’s two fold. Those who participate, and those who spread the message.

            • Bklady

              Absolutely, I feel like “cultural appropriation” is not the right term. A new term needs to be coined for what most folks have issue with. “How come when I do it, wear it etc -it’s the worst, but when Kylie does it is the best thing since sliced bread?”

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                It’s more like cultural hypocrisy.

                I do get that in life, there are people who care and people who don’t care. The people who care usually will be chastised if they go outside of their lane and violate the rules. Those who don’t care will get chastised but it won’t stick to them…which then makes those who care say “how come they can do it, and we can’t”?

                Only difference with cultural hypocrisy is literally a whole group of people based on race are chastised while another group based on race gets away with it.

                It’s about to be summertime. Hot pants and short shorts about to be that thing. If black & Hispanic girls with curves wear these articles of clothing, it would be oversexualized and claimed as indecent. But if white girls with no curves at all wear them…it’s absolutely fine.

                • Bklady

                  I like it “Cultural hypocrisy”. Also, down thread I some used the term “Columbusing” and I kinda like that to,

                  • Niecy

                    “Columbusing” is my favorite because of the historical accuracy.

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    Hmmm…Columbusing has a nice ring to it.

                    Take them both!

                • Blueberry01

                  Excellent example.

                  And you KNOW how hot it gets in NYC during the summer! Especially when you’re taking an underground train…Satan, I rebuke you.

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    Don’t remind me. I need clothes with ACunits built inside of them

                • Mochasister

                  What about culture vultures?

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    Oooh that’s a good one…I like it.

            • The core is demand though. Same logic behind drugs.

              You can get rid of the pushers, but as long as people want it:

              https://dalylife4life.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/tumblr_lwd1z4cfne1qmaa05o1_500.jpg

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                I agree, but let’s be real. Many things in our society are created through a manufactured demand, not a natural one. Push something in someone’s face long enough and eventually they will fall prey to it.

                • -h.h.h.-

                  Push something in someone’s face long enough and eventually they will fall prey to it.

                  they will choose to fall prey to it.

                  when was the last time you chose to watch the Kardashians? any of the reality TV shows?

                  i mean for me, i dont watch. even when 1/2 my TL is talking about and watching the real basketball housewifes that hiphop show…nope i’m not.

                  or maybe i’m partial, i really do believe most people have a choice in the overwhelming majority of their life.

                  • Epsilonicus

                    I often wonder about this. You hate them but know their every move. Hmmm

                    • ChokeOnThisTea

                      I never watch the show. In fact, no one has to watch it because their every move is documented online. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve literally had to block stories about them on certain sites (ex. Yahoo).

                    • Epsilonicus

                      Is it that difficult? I don’t do any of that and I know nothing about about their moves

                    • ChokeOnThisTea

                      I also hate Donald Trump, but I know his every move too…..

                      The point is, when such polarizing characters are constantly in the forefront of white media, it’s hard not to know their “every move.”

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    The choice is usually not necessarily a choice if you’re bombarded by imagery everywhere you go that literally makes you feel like you’re in the wrong if you don’t submit.

                    Because MOST of humanity is stupid. That’s how it was always meant to be. Only the few can make choices to so that they can be leaders in their own right.

                  • Gibbous

                    I don’t watch any reality mess! It’s mortifying!

                  • I’ve always felt attacks on advertisers were lowkey attacks on the act of selling itself, I’ve always kind of felt uncomfortable with that. Growing up in Nigeria, I grew up around people who would yell anything they could to get your attention and buy something from you, so I’ve always been comfortable with it, and the fact that I always have a choice in the matter.

                • Val

                  “…created through a manufactured demand, not a natural one.”

                  iphone popped into my head.

                • Eh, yes and no.

                  Manufactured demand comes by appealing to a person’s desire. Great example is the iphone. Wasn’t much of a demand for the actual product, but there’s always been a desire for to be able to carry more and more of our valuables around with us, i.e. purses, wallets.

                  There needs to be a desire, even for demand to be manufactured.

                  • RewindingtonMaximus

                    The desire may be something the average person may think about in passing, but they’d never be fixated on it. The fixation only occurs when you can’t escape the web of the manufactored demand, because everywhere you turn, you’re being given both subliminal & confrontational information.

                    • What do you mean by confrontational information; can you give an example?

                  • Blueberry01

                    Excellent example.

                    We are a consumer-driven culture.

              • Blueberry01

                That’s not the same. Drugs actually change or influence you physiologically, whereby you (at best) like and want to replicate the feeling or (at the worst) become dependent on them.

                So, in some cases, people don’t have a choice to say no until they receive help to ween their bodies off of it. Or, they find something healthier that produces the same feeling.

        • DG

          I feel what you’re saying, but is it on them to acknowledge that connection? How would this even look? What would they say? I guess I’m kinda lost as to how this would actually occur.

          • RewindingtonMaximus

            I like writing Japanese kanji. If I somehow made it popular, how much of an a s s h o l e would I look like if I just acted like I created it all by myself, when it clearly has a lineage over 1000 years old?

            • DG

              Yet, making a cultural staple “popular” requires a genuine ignorance of said staple and (in your own words) a demand, be it natural or manufactured. All that to say, is it on you to educate everyone on the history and cultural relevance of kanji if you’re not the one creating the demand? I don’t follow the Kardashian trend at all, so I can’t say what what their intent truly is. If they’re willfully participating in appropriation with the intent of furthering their brand, I can’t defend their actions…but if they’re just participating just to participate, they may just feel free to do so. Like you said earlier, you have those who participate, and those who spread the msg. Who deserves more of the blame?

              • Blueberry01

                I think he meant that he acted as if he created it versus partaking in a long-standing writing style gleefully.

                So, KK talks about having curves, but she never talks about how she specifically obtained those curves (because believe it or not, there are pictures of her with no a s s) to appear exotic (like Black women historically have been viewed), in conjunction with her perceived (and beneficial) whiteness.

            • Kas

              Related, we learn something new about you every week.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                I swear VSB could just put together all my font and have my autobiography literally written out already cause I did all the work.

            • lunanoire

              I use it in notes when it’s faster than the English word.

              • RewindingtonMaximus

                It is..I’m amazed one symbol can be a whole sentence at times.

          • Blueberry01

            I think that conversation will occur after they acknowledge…

            1. the wide-reaching effects of slavery

            2. white privilege

            3. their level of participation on welfare

      • Niecy

        Oh absolutely. There may be some thickums in Armenia. But we all know Kim and ‘nem were blessed by Dr Miami. The look I’m referring to is the aforementioned cornrows or “boxer braids” and Kylie’s kanekelon ponytail she really tried it with. They’ve always been problematic to me for various reasons, so this is just what I see with them.

        • cakes_and_pies

          I don’t care for Kylie one bit, but how did she try it with her kanekalon ponytail? White women have been wearing kanekalon wigs, falls, and ponytails since the 60s.

          • Niecy

            The texture of the hair is somewhat kinky. Outside of some Jewish people, kinky hair isn’t seen on white folks, especially the Kardashian/Jenners.

            • cakes_and_pies

              I can concede to that. I never looked at the picture up close, just in a thumbnail.

        • Blueberry01

          I didn’t see the ponytail. Like the one from Beyoncé’s Upgrade U video?!?

    • Gibbous

      I don’t think it’s about giving credit. I have thick thighs, but would have to give my genetics credit – it was nothing I, nor my culture, created. Appropriation is really about stealing aspects of a culture – man made traditions, rites, adornments, styles, etc. and not about the physical appearance of folks from a particular segment of a particular race. Not all black folks are shaped the same.

      What I think is more important is that if you think a big behind and thick thighs are attractive on you, your friends, your anything, why would you slam anyone else for a) wanting it or b)coming by it naturally??? If one admires the Kardashian/Jenners shape, style, you can’t turn around and somehow give it a negative attribution just because black women or women of other ethnicity come by it naturally.

      • Niecy

        I guess my issue is that we have been ridiculed and mocked for the very features they’ve been lauded for. Which is surely no fault of their own, but they annoy me so…here we are.

        • Gibbous

          Agreed. I don’t fault them for wanting what we or other women have. I would fault them if I ever heard that THEY “ridiculed and mocked” other for these very features. Currently, I’ve not heard that they’ve done so.

    • PDL – Cape Girl

      It’s no secret I’m no fan of the k klan, but while home after a medical procedure yesterday, looking for something good to watch, I decided to check them out. Tomfoolery. I was irked with the black dude that is mom’s bf because he was just happy to be there. Holding babies and serving as that dude that step in when one of them ain’t got nothing to do. Really, dude? Your only aspiration?

      Anyhoo, I’m doing piggyback to your post…..agreed I couldn’t get around the big lips, big boobs, black boos, the trashy tree monster Khloe saying “I don’t like anything white”…..pun intended. Chiiiile, I’m dialing into my conference call because I could dissect that entire hour of ratchet copycat-ness if I don’t stop myself.

      • Val

        Khloe’s enhanced butt look redamdiculous.

        • PDL – Cape Girl

          She’s a hot mess. She’s headed towards plastic surgery catastrophe. There’s more to the black woman’s physique than wack, overdone big butts and blown up boobs. They left off curvaceous and voluptuous. All the corn rolls, black boos, ill formed butts and bursting boobs can’t capture that. IT IS A GIFT! LOL

          • grabo2003

            Do we give nicki and k michelle et al a pass with their enhanced bottoms and/or boobs?

            • PDL – Cape Girl

              Nooooo

    • Body-Plagiarism???

      • Blueberry01

        Body Copyright Infringement

    • will_the_thrill

      They all want to be lightskinned women from the ’90s. It’s sad.

      And when has a white person ever given credit where credit is due when credit is due to a Black person? Cause I’m still waiting on reparations.

      • Gibbous

        Genetics? We don’t really “make” our bodies, unless we do.

  • HoobaStankyLeg

    The thing about MJ though was he would dance among people of a culture, while still dressed as MJ. He would let people shine in their own without trying to take, and then pretend like he started a whole trend. Culture wise, dance wise, that’s a whole other story….

  • HoobaStankyLeg

    On another note, I’m over being upset. If you want to be white and wear cornrows to let the sun radiate and sunburn your scalp, by all means, do you. But just know there is not one white woman walking the planet that cornrows look good on. 2+2=4 WW look stupid in cornrows. Some things just are what they are.

    • Brandon Allen

      Real talk. I’m not with cornrows on women as a “style” It’s always been a functional thing to me. Like if a women wants to keep her hair down for a week or so, or she’s about to fight for the WBO welterweight championship.

      • HoobaStankyLeg

        That’s exactly what cornrows are. We have evolved it to make it look cute over the years, but it is still all about function. Which is again why it may be stupid to me. Why would you go through all the trouble of getting cornrows that won’t hold for 2 weeks-1 month. I HATED getting my hair cornrowed. Ole tender-headed self.

      • miss t-lee

        What’s life for us, is always style or playing “dress up” for them.

        • P.A. was right when they coined the phrase “My life your entertainment.”

          • miss t-lee

            Indeed.

      • ChokeOnThisTea

        As you once asked me, “why can’t it be both?”

        Because cornrows/braids are very much both functional and a style for Black women.

        • Brandon Allen

          They are both. Don’t need my validation. I just don’t like how they make women’s foreheads look prominent

          • ChokeOnThisTea

            *snickering*

            You’re terrible, but they do look better on certain head shapes.

    • Mochasister

      Yes. But you can’t tell them that because you’re just “jealous” that the style looks ‘better’ on them. In their arrogance and self entitlement wypipo think that every thing should be for them. If something looks “cool” or “neat” to them, they’ll copy it with no cares given.

      • HoobaStankyLeg

        You remember that story the Emperor’s New Clothes? The king walked around naked because couldn’t nobody tell him nothing? Same basic principle. Don’t let it get you upset. Your heart should sing every time you see this occurrence. You just got a free laugh.

        Funny story: When I was in bootcamp, ‘light greens’ were not allowed to cornrow their hair. One ‘light green’ asked the Drill Instructor why it was against military dress code, and the ‘light green’ D.I. told her, because it looks idiotic. Your hair is not meant to be cornrowed. Enjoy your bun and your push ups. Child! I about died.

        • Mochasister

          No lies were told.

          • HoobaStankyLeg

            Listen. Seeing a full grown white woman tell a younger generation of white women that some things are not meant for them, and then having her do push ups until her arms gave out to further drive home that understanding was easily one of the most beautiful things I have seen in all my life. It is always gonna be ones own who changes their own. So don’t fret. Just chuckle to yourself. There are actually some out there who know better.

            • Mochasister

              Chile, I wish more of them would get a clue. I also wish I could have seen that!

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