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But please, let’s banish the idea that appropriating elements from one another’s cultures is—in itself—problematic.
Such borrowing is how we got treasures such as New York pizza and Japanese denim, for god’s sake—not to mention how the West got democratic discourse, mathematics, and the calendar.
Depending on the weather, I may pull on an embroidered floral blouse I bought at a roadside shop in Mexico or a stripy Mariniere-style shirt—originally inspired by the French, but mine from the surplus store was a standard-issue Russian telnyashka—or my favorite purple pajama pants, a souvenir from a friend’s trip to India.
I may wear Spanish straw-soled espadrilles (though I’m not from Spain) or Bahian leather sandals (I’m not Brazilian either) and top it off with a favorite piece of jewelry, perhaps a Navajo turquoise ring (also not my heritage).
As the Guardian points out, it’s anyone’s right to dress like an idiot at a festival, but someone else’s sacred object shouldn’t be a casual accessory.
(Urban Outfitters, take note.)Culture is fluid; it evolves—and improves“It’s not fair to ask any culture to freeze itself in time and live as though they were a museum diorama,” says Susan Scafidi, a lawyer and the author of .
And as we watch artists and celebrities being pilloried and called racist, it’s hard not to fear the reach of the cultural appropriation police, who jealously track who “owns” what and instantly jump on transgressors.
Sometime during the early 2000s, big, gold, “door-knocker” hoop earrings started to appeal to me, after I’d admired them on girls at school.
It didn’t faze me that most of the girls who wore these earrings at my high school in St. And while it certainly may have occurred to me that I—a semipreppy dresser—couldn’t pull them off, it never occurred to me that I .
As I dress in the morning, I deeply appreciate the craftsmanship and design behind these items, as well as the adventures and people they recall.
And while I hope I don’t offend anyone, I find the alternative—the idea that I ought to stay in the cultural lane I was born into—outrageous.