Black fashion in the mainstream media causes cultural appropriation. The best thing about diversity is being surrounded by people and cultures that can be similar and very different from our own. The world is becoming more and more diverse and unfortunately things like cultural appropriation do occur. Cultural appropriation is when a race steals elements from a culture in an opposing race and uses it for financial gain or re-branded ownership. Usually the race being pillaged holds little to no power. During this time, black women and men are embracing their culture in a most positive way. Black fashion is one of the ways the black community speaks to the world without saying anything and will continue to inspire people. Although, this type of fashion is only acceptable when worn by someone not black. For example, in 2015 Zendaya, a famous celebrity teenager, graced the Oscars with her hair styled in faux dreads. Zendaya was then criticized for looking like she smelled of weed. Kylie Jenner also wore faux dreads for a Teen Vogue story and was labeled “edgy”, “beautiful”, and “raw.” These two examples show that even though one of these women are mixed she is still less than the white women. The more black fashion is exposed in the mainstream the more likely it is that the black community will lose black fashion and with it part of their identity.
Black fashion in the mainstream media causes black people to lose their identity. Since cultural appropriation effects how black people are first perceived it is hard for the black community to recognize what their identity is. A big majority of black culture is black fashion. Black fashion was and is still a major approach used by the black community to fight back against oppression and the conformity of society. The black community has to live with knowing that they exist only because of the 246 years slavery existed. They must also learn that after slavery the black community continued to feel pain because of segregation which lasted about 89 years. Through these years the black community has fought wars and forced laws all to make living a little easier for the next generations. Black fashion is what makes black people happy as well as surviving subjugation and racism. This explains why black people are so passionate and interested in incidents regarding cultural appropriation towards their culture. Knowing that black people would become just like everyone else is what pushes this group of people forward to stop this from happening. If the barrier between mainstream “trends” and black fashion was to be removed many black youths would grow up confused at how to define their style and where their sense of style actually originates.
Popular white celebrities and black fashion causes cultural appropriation. These trends in mainstream fashion do not come out of nowhere. Most of the trends in fashion are determined by popular celebrities who are seen by the media. They are also more likely to set a “trend” if they are white. The Kardashian family is infamous for cultural appropriation since they draw inspiration from black culture and profit from it or rename a fashion in black history. A recent example would be Kim Kardashian’s “boxer braids” show in Teen Vogue’s article “This Hairstyle Is Not Called “Boxer Braids” and Kim Kardashian Didn’t Make It Popular.” The author Britni Danielle writes that “girls have worn cornrows before, or that most of the early 2000s were filled with celebs like Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks, Ludacris, Bow Wow, and even Justin Timberlake rocking the style” but the reason it received attention “is because white women have finally caught on.”
Popular white female celebrities wearing black fashion causes cultural appropriation which also causes black people to lose their identity in society. White women wearing black fashion does not cause them to be a victim in the negative side effects of being black. Since there is an imbalance in power white women are less likely to be ridiculed or treated unfairly if they wore box braids in the workplace or fashioned an athletic suit on Instagram. This same imbalance in power makes it harder for black women to wear their natural hair at work without “causing a scene” or having offensive demeaning labels attached to them. White women need to understand that society holds them on a higher pedestal than minorities. For this reason, they should be more aware of the message they are putting out into the world to work together to bring growth instead of tearing women apart.