Cultural Appropriation Vs. Cultural Appreciation in Hair & Makeup - Mandie Brice (2022)

This is the scariest blog post I’ve ever written, but for someone who has a podcast called Bold Moves, I have no excuse not to hit “publish.” I want to state from the start that I am approaching this topic from a place of genuine curiosity, exploration of boundaries, and in the hopes that that it will foster a respectful discussion where I (and perhaps others) can learn about the boundaries between cultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation so as to move forward in a less ignorant and more respectful way as the world seems to grow smaller and the melting pot does more melting.
There are a couple reasons why I’m thinking about the balance betweencultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation. One is that today (in case you haven’t checked your calendar), is cinco de mayo. This has got to be one of the biggest cultural appropriation culprits of all 365 days of the year, excepting perhaps Halloween, and I honestly didn’t even know it until recently. If you’re reading this and confused as to why I am making that statement, check out this well-written article, or if videos are more your thing, check this one out!

The other reason that the boundary line between cultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation is on my mind is because of a facebook group I’m in. A friend here in LA added me to the group because on occasion, people post in the group seeking makeup artists, so it could be helpful for me to find more gigs. I will admit, though, that much of the time that I spend in the group is because there are 25,000+ women in the group, and that is exactly as dramatic as the potential for it would suggest.

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What happened most recently was a combination of both. An actress or model (who is caucasian) posted that she needed and was willing to pay someone to do “boxer braids” on her for a callback that day, and posted this picture with it. In my little bit of research, I’ve discovered that these are actually Dutch braids, unless I am mistaken (this “article” defines them based upon the direction the hair is woven, and that dutch braids are when the hair is woven under. So to me, French braids and cornrows are woven in, and dutch braids like below are woven out?).

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What got interesting is that I’ve worn my hair that way many times, and have braided others’ hair many times this way, so I followed her directions and sent her a private message offering to braid her hair this way, and didn’t think anything of it. She responded that she’d like me to do it, thanked me for reaching out, and mentioned that people were really offended by what she posted. Of course, I went to the post to read it, because I was curious why that was. I had seen braiding posts go down in flames before, but thought that it was a different type of braiding.

In this article’s example, where it’s being called out as a trend as if it’s a new style, and crediting something irrelevant like the UFC (not saying they are irrelevant in general, but unlikely responsible for the resurgence in popularity of this hair style), I can see why people of color would be angry – credit is inappropriately given to a completely different group of people for something that has done nothing to deserve it – like if I were to write a blog post thanking the people of Sweden for Blues music.

One of my questions is “Is Teen Vogue correct in that it’s ok for anyone to rock these looks, as long as they know it’s not Katy Perry or a UFC fighter that deserves credit,” or are the people of color in the aforementioned facebook group correct, and we have enough hair styles, privilege, and other things going for us that we don’t get braids, too? Here’s another article that examines the same questions.

This article seems to say that it’s ok to wear braids, as long as you call them the correct names, and cite your inspiration to give credit to the originator/where it’s due. I can see that – but that brings me back to my confusion about the difference between box braids, French braids, and cornrows. I always thought that for cornrows, it had more to do with how many there were.

Also, for me, a regular non-celebrity human, I feel that if I were to say who my inspiration was for my hair, most people would say “I don’t give a ___.”

(Video) Educate to Liberate | Ep. 3: Cultural Appropriation vs. Cultural Appreciation??

Cultural Appropriation Vs. Cultural Appreciation in Hair & Makeup - Mandie Brice (3)Cultural Appropriation Vs. Cultural Appreciation in Hair & Makeup - Mandie Brice (4)I’m so torn. I have been wearing multiple French braids (usually two) since middle school (for marching band – haha!) and then high school for cheerleading, and on and on for most of my life. If you go to my instagram, especially during the time I lived in NorCal, there are a TON of pictures and videos of me with all kinds of braids, like this one, where I show you how to get voluminous waves without heat styling.


Should I be ashamed of myself? I called them French braids, but according to some of my sources, they’d be technically cornrows, and I also think from the brief second my head is turned sideways that it’s a Dutch braid that I mislabeled. But I don’t think I am Dutch, either, so is that an issue?

I know for a fact that one of my high school senior pictures has me with cornrows in the front. I am okay with not finding it.

I didn’t think it was a white person who started the style, but was I appropriating culture?

While I am calling myself out, let’s get back to Cinco de Mayo… Kinda.

The article and video I led this post with bring up sugar skull makeup, which has nothing really to do with Cinco de Mayo, unless you’re just randomly trying to do anything Mexican in your “celebration.” A couple years ago, I was asked to do makeup for someone for Halloween, and was paid very well for it.

(Video) Cultural Appropriation: Can A Non-Chinese Person Wear A Qipao or Changshan?

Here’s my practice:

And here is the client’s results, posted on facebook with her permission:

I think this is way different than a fake ‘stache and huge sombrero, don’t think the client was Latinx, and have no idea if she knows the significance of Dia de Los Muertos. She paid me to do her makeup so that when her kids came home from school, they would have a surprise – she didn’t even leave the house.

At the time, I didn’t know this was potentially offensive. If I got this request now, I am not sure what I would do. Maybe make sure the person requesting it was Latinx? Ask if the person was respectful and knowledgeable about the history? Just say no?

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I have some guilt that I legitimately profited because of someone else’s culture, but at the same time since she wasn’t leaving the house, doubt that she offended anyone (though now I am sharing the image online, so there’s that)…

Some of the issue, I believe, is completely due to ignorance (and I mean “ignorant” in the pure sense – lack of knowledge, not necessarily as an insult) , and I am hoping to improve both mine and anyone else who reads this, and hope that anyone who chooses to comment both helps with that, and realizes, again, that I am coming from a good place.

Some of the comments on the braid incident in that facebook group mentioned that if the girl had the time to google image search to find the picture, she could have also seen it was offensive. Yes, articles I linked above came up when I searched “boxer braids,” but if you go straight to images, and do the search, you may not find anything that would indicate potential insult.

And where does the line stop? Should we be googling everything to make sure we’re not inadvertently and ignorantly offending someone?

(Video) Cultural Appropriation, Revisited

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I also realize that I am coming from a place of privilege. If googling to check that I am not offending someone is my biggest problem related to race or culture, I am on the lucky side. I have tried to put myself in the shoes of others, though it is difficult, because I am already a mix of many cultures, and don’t specifically identify with any enough to take a comment personally, although there were many anti-white sentiments being strewn that didn’t feel great to read. In that case, though, there is a difference between intentionally sharing feelings of ill-will (whether deserved or not) and unwittingly appropriating a culture.

Some of the women commenting in the facebook group were actually even saying that their rudeness in their explanation of why it was appropriation was warranted because they should not be subjected over and over to the emotional labor of explaining why it is offensive. I can see that to a degree, and can only imagine how exhausting it has to be to explain it, but also think the point of “you attract more flies with honey than vinegar” is worth considering. If you want someone to learn so they can stop being offensive, posting an explanation or link to an explanation would likely be more effective than a comment like “throw the whole person away” (which was really one of the comments).

And what about the idea of the melting pot? Coming together and sharing? Could this (braids, makeup, fashion), in some ways be an expression of that?

If you were hoping thiscultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation post was going to come to a decisive conclusion, I am sorry to disappoint you. I am hoping that comments on this blog and when I share it on social media will help bring awareness to myself and others, although I imagine that thecultural appropriation vs. cultural appreciation boundaries are personal and different for everyone.

If you’re still reading…

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Also, it probably means that you either like reading, or want to get better… Which means you may also be interested in joining our online book club. If that’s true, here’s where you can check it out.

xoxo,

(Video) Is Asian Rap Cultural Appropriation? | Style & Error

Mandie

P.S.Did you like what you read? Check out the other blogs on the page, and feel free to subscribe by entering your email below, that wayyou never miss a post!

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Mandie Brice

www.MandieBrice.com

www.MakeupByMandieBrice.com
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(Video) My Culture Is NOT A Costume | Teen Vogue

FAQs

What is the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation? ›

Cultural Appreciation is appreciating another culture in an effort to broaden their perspective and connect with others cross-culturally, while cultural appropriation is taking one aspect of a culture that is not their own, such as culturally distinct items, aesthetics, or spiritual practices, and mimics it — without ...

Is wearing French braids cultural appropriation? ›

While cornrows are considered cultural appropriation, French braids are generally acceptable. This is because they are not a historical style of a single cultural minority group.

What are examples of cultural appropriation? ›

As a result of systemic racism, Black people face consequences for wearing dreadlocks that non-Black people do not. Non-Black people wearing their hair in dreadlocks is cultural appropriation. As these examples show, the consequences of cultural appropriation can be wide-ranging.

How do you know if something is cultural appropriation? ›

Appreciation is when someone seeks to understand and learn about another culture in an effort to broaden their perspective and connect with others cross-culturally. Appropriation on the other hand, is simply taking one aspect of a culture that is not your own and using it for your own personal interest.

How do you appreciate a culture without appropriating it? ›

Start with these basic tips:
  1. Examine your own culture and beliefs. Knowing your own culture is one of the best ways to understand and appreciate other cultures. ...
  2. Recognize and embrace cultural differences. ...
  3. Refrain from using sacred artifacts or symbols from another culture as an accessory. ...
  4. Ask yourself why. ...
  5. Be an ally!
1 Nov 2021

Is wearing henna cultural appropriation? ›

Henna Tattoos are an example of Cultural Appropriation if used in the wrong setting or for the wrong reason. Currently, it is so important to understand the difference between cultural appropriation and appreciation.

What are the three types of cultural appropriation? ›

Defined as the use of a culture's symbols, artifacts, genres, rituals, or technologies by members of another culture, cultural appropriation can be placed into 4 categories: exchange, dominance, exploitation, and transculturation.

Is wearing hair sticks cultural appropriation? ›

After researching the origins, it is my opinion that (in most cases), hair sticks are not racist or cultural appropriation when used in good taste. Not good. I guess a good rule of thumb is that if you are wearing costume chopsticks in your hair, that is NOT okay. Hope this helps!

What is cultural appropriation in fashion? ›

In a talk at Digital Fashion Week Europe last July, writer, curator and activist Janice Deul described the phenomenon as using symbols from other cultures purely for aesthetic reasons without considering the meaning of the items. Often this also involves using elements of marginalized cultures.

What is another word for cultural appropriation? ›

What is another word for cultural appropriation?
cultural misappropriationcooptation
cooptioncultural borrowing
assimilationrace impersonation

Are dream catchers cultural appropriation? ›

Appropriation and Commercialization

In essence, when non-Native people make and sell dreamcatchers it is in fact cultural appropriation however, when Indigenous people choose to make and sell dreamcatchers as they always have, it is not.

Are tattoos cultural appropriation? ›

According to EverydayFeminism, "Cultural appropriation is when somebody adopts aspects of a culture that's not their own," and that can apply to tattoos. If the meaning behind the tattoos chosen isn't taken into account, these tattoos could potentially fall under cultural appropriation.

Are Dutch braids and cornrows the same? ›

With Dutch braids, you cross your strands under while holding the hair up at an angle, to create a bit of height, and you often pull apart the braid at the end for added volume. With cornrows, you braid going down for a tighter, flatter effect against the scalp.

What cultures wear braids? ›

During the Bronze Age and Iron Age many peoples in the Near East, Asia Minor, Caucasus, East Mediterranean and North Africa are depicted in art with braided or plaited hair and beards. Similarly, the practice is recorded in Europe, Africa, India, China, Japan, Australasia and Central Asia.

Can natives wear braids? ›

Braids are an enormous part of the Native cultural identity, and the hairstyle is meaningful and powerful.

How do you show appreciation of other cultures? ›

  1. Make friends. Get to know your friends' families and see how their customs and traditions differ from yours. ...
  2. Talk to people. When you meet people from a different culture, ask them about their lives. ...
  3. Read. ...
  4. Watch movies. ...
  5. Listen to radio shows and podcasts. ...
  6. Travel.

What is cultural appropriation and why is it important? ›

Cultural appropriation is the inappropriate or unacknowledged adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity. This can be controversial when members of a dominant culture appropriate from minority cultures.

What is the importance of cultural appreciation? ›

It allows others to learn more about a culture different from theirs. This leads to a better understanding and appreciation of perspectives and traditions different from our own. It's important to understand that sharing and taking are two very different things.

Are Mandala tattoos cultural appropriation? ›

Generally, a mandala is not considered cultural appropriation if used respectfully. However, there are some instance in which it may not be considered okay to use them. If you are using Buddhists symbols in gimmicky, trendy, mocking, or disrespectful ways, then you may be engaging in cultural appropriation.

Is henna illegal in the US? ›

Henna, a coloring made from a plant, is approved only for use as a hair dye, not for direct application to the skin, as in the body-decorating process known as mehndi. This unapproved use of a color additive makes these products adulterated and therefore illegal.

Is henna Arabic or Indian? ›

The English name "henna" comes from the Arabic term الحناء (al-ḥinnā). The name henna also refers to the dye prepared from the henna plant and the art of temporary tattooingfrom those dyes. Henna has been used for centuries to dye skin, hair, and fingernails, as well as fabrics including silk, wool, and leather.

How do you handle cultural appropriation? ›

To create more engaging, culturally relevant content while avoiding appropriation, Blackburn suggests these tips.
  1. Commit to cultural investments all year round. ...
  2. Bring diverse people and perspectives into the content creation process. ...
  3. Be conscientious and challenge the “why” behind your content. ...
  4. Embrace education.
1 Mar 2021

Who came up with cultural appropriation? ›

In the halls of academia, discourse regarding cultural appropriation arose in the late 1970s, sparked by the publication of Edward Said's famous book “Orientalism.” In this work, Said explored how, in the West, cultural notions of the “orient” invariably aided and abetted the material and cultural plundering of Asia.

What is it called when you copy someone's culture? ›

Cultural appropriation refers to the use of objects or elements of a non-dominant culture in a way that reinforces stereotypes or contributes to oppression and doesn't respect their original meaning or give credit to their source.

Why is it rude to put chopsticks up in your rice? ›

When you are eating food with chopsticks, especially with rice, do not stick your chopsticks into your food or rice. This is seen as a curse in Chinese culture. This is taboo and said to bring bad luck because it reminds people of the incense used a funeral.

What are hair chopsticks called? ›

A hair stick (also hairstick) is a straight, pointed device, usually between five and nine inches (13 cm to 23 cm) in length, used to hold a person's hair in place in a hair bun or similar hairstyle.

What are Chinese hair sticks called? ›

Ji (筓) (also known as fazan (髮簪 or 发簪), zanzi (簪子) or zan (簪) for short) and chai (钗) are generic term for hairpin in China.

Why is cultural appropriation important in fashion? ›

In addition, for many Indigenous peoples and local communities, making traditional clothes is a source of income; as such, cultural appropriation can wield a significant economic blow, undercutting the ability of communities to earn a living by displacing the sale of authentic products.

What does it mean to be culturally appropriate? ›

Culturally appropriate means affirming culturally diverse individuals, families, and communities in an inclusive, respectful, and effective manner, including materials and instruction that are inclusive of race, ethnicity, language, cultural background, immigration status, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, ...

Is wearing sari cultural appropriation? ›

A sari is a traditional Indian dress. There is no religious background of this dress, and if somebody not from India wears a sari skirt, it doesn't signify cultural appropriation. This means that the people of all backgrounds can wear sari skirts. Wearing a sari skirt is not cultural appropriation.

What is the opposite word of appropriation in art? ›

“In ordinary times this would have been permitted to pass unchallenged in view of his early relinquishment of power.” “The company is understood to be heavily laden with debt following recent investments.”
...
What is the opposite of appropriation?
bestowalgiving
keepingrefusal
rejectionreturn
restorationgift
offering

What is cultural competence in simple terms? ›

Cultural competence — loosely defined as the ability to understand, appreciate and interact with people from cultures or belief systems different from one's own — has been a key aspect of psychological thinking and practice for some 50 years.

Is Anime Cosplay cultural appropriation? ›

Cosplaying anime characters is all well and good as long as it doesn't become appropriating. But you can still cosplay any character prefer as long as you remember that real people aren't costumes.

What is cultural appropriation to Native Americans? ›

Cultural appropriation is when someone from the dominant culture (i.e. the most visible and accepted culture in a society) takes aspects of an oppressed culture (one experiencing any form of repeated or prolonged discrimination) without permission.

Is macrame a culture? ›

The origins of decorative knot-tying are primarily attributed to two great cultures. Some experts believe 13th-century Arabic weaving inspired the decoration we know today, while others trace the art back to third-century China.

Can I wear dream catcher earrings? ›

dream catchers should NEVER be worn as earrings or tattooed onto your body as a non-native. They are to be placed over a bed.

What does a dragon tattoo mean on a woman? ›

The eastern dragons, especially Chinese dragons, are a symbol of power or royalty. Both Chinese and Japanese believe dragons bring fortune, wealth, and protection.

What does feather with birds tattoo mean? ›

Feather with Birds Tattoo

Of all the meanings associated with feathers, perhaps the most powerful is the idea of freedom. We all wish we could take to the sky the way birds do and to travel to places that are beyond our reach.

What do dot tattoos mean on fingers? ›

One of the simplest and most popular finger tattoo designs is dots. While they are understated, dot tattoos also carry a lot of meaning and significance. A single dot often represents a 'full stop' – the end of one phase and the start of another. A row of three dots is another popular version of this tattoo.

What is another word for cultural appropriation? ›

What is another word for cultural appropriation?
cultural misappropriationcooptation
cooptioncultural borrowing
assimilationrace impersonation

What does it mean to be culturally appropriate? ›

Culturally appropriate means affirming culturally diverse individuals, families, and communities in an inclusive, respectful, and effective manner, including materials and instruction that are inclusive of race, ethnicity, language, cultural background, immigration status, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, ...

Is yoga cultural appropriation? ›

Erkert said it is important to acknowledge that yoga's origins are religious and that through its spread, it has been culturally appropriated. Erkert also said there is a lack of diversity of yoga teachers in the United States.

Why culture appreciation is important? ›

People who truly want to appreciate a culture offer respect to members of that culture and their traditions by participating only when invited to do so. Appreciation provides an opportunity to share ideas and cultural awareness.

What is cultural appropriation in fashion? ›

In a talk at Digital Fashion Week Europe last July, writer, curator and activist Janice Deul described the phenomenon as using symbols from other cultures purely for aesthetic reasons without considering the meaning of the items. Often this also involves using elements of marginalized cultures.

Is cultural appropriation legal? ›

Copyright law provides at least some protection against appropriations of Indigenous culture—particularly for copyrightable songs, dances, oral histories, and other forms of Indigenous cultural creativity.

What is the opposite word of appropriation in art? ›

“In ordinary times this would have been permitted to pass unchallenged in view of his early relinquishment of power.” “The company is understood to be heavily laden with debt following recent investments.”
...
What is the opposite of appropriation?
bestowalgiving
keepingrefusal
rejectionreturn
restorationgift
offering

What are 3 work practices that can be considered to be culturally appropriate? ›

Workplace practices that are culturally appropriate and demonstrate inclusiveness include celebrating different cultural holidays, sharing food from other cultures and appreciating art and literature from around the world.

What are the 3 three principles that are required of you to be culturally competent within your workspace and or personal environment? ›

These attributes will guide you in developing cultural competence: Self-knowledge and awareness about one's own culture. Awareness of one's own cultural worldview. Experience and knowledge of different cultural practices.

What are the five principles of cultural competence? ›

Have the capacity to (1) value diversity, (2) conduct self-assessment, (3) manage the dynamics of difference, (4) acquire and institutionalize cultural knowledge, and (5) adapt to diversity and the cultural contexts of communities they serve.

Is Namaste cultural appropriation? ›

Saying namaste at the end of a yoga class is a classic example of cultural appropriation. The Oxford Dictionary defines cultural appropriation as: “the unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of the customs, practices, ideas, etc.

Is mindfulness cultural appropriation? ›

Cultural appropriation in U.S. mindfulness-based wellness spaces often results in the ostracization of individuals in which these practices hold religious/cultural significance. This is especially true when considering the scale that yoga and meditation practices have reached in the United States.

Are mandalas cultural appropriation? ›

Generally, a mandala is not considered cultural appropriation if used respectfully. However, there are some instance in which it may not be considered okay to use them. If you are using Buddhists symbols in gimmicky, trendy, mocking, or disrespectful ways, then you may be engaging in cultural appropriation.

How can I be culturally appropriate? ›

Being aware of your own culture opens you to understanding and being more sensitive to the cultures of others.
  1. communicating in a. culturally appropriate way.
  2. Speak clearly and concisely.
  3. Check for understanding.
  4. Be aware of non-verbal. ...
  5. Be aware of the impact of culture.
  6. You are communicating. ...
  7. All cultures are equal.

Why is it important to respect cultural differences? ›

It helps dispel negative stereotypes and personal biases about different groups. In addition, cultural diversity helps us recognize and respect “ways of being” that are not necessarily our own. So that as we interact with others we can build bridges to trust, respect, and understanding across cultures.

What is appreciative culture? ›

1. It is a culture based on the appreciation of strengths, of what individuals and organizations achieved, and the things that individuals and organizations might have succeeded in changing.

Videos

1. Watch This Documentary on Braids and Appropriation in America | ELLE
(ELLE)
2. Can White Girls Wear Box Braids? Cultural appropriation or appreciation.
(Brina Gill)
3. Can Filipinos wear braids?| Cultural Appropriation
(Mimi Felicia)
4. 5BC discuss Cultural Appropriation
(The Black Therapy Show)
5. Can Latinas/Hispanics Lay their Edges? | is it Appropriation🤔
(Brina Gill)
6. Black Fashion: Appreciated vs. Appropriated | Season 1, Episode 2
(MAJOR TR3ND | The Fashion Vodcast)

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