A TikTok video ran viral over the weekend as spectators claimed it glamorized cultural appropriation. The video indicates an Asian hairstylist with braidings utilizing various techniques to imitate type 4 hair on her client while “Dead Man Walking” by S3nsi Molly plays in the back. The TikTok is making the rounds on Twitter and Instagram, and many are saying social media is further normalizing cultural appropriation.
For every viewer who is appalled by the appropriation, there is seemingly another who wants to copy that seem. A quick YouTube search will give outcomes indicating how to use Bantu knots and perm techniques to curl straight hair. Tutorials show how to use moisturizing products typically used by Black women and men to protect their hair, to achieve the perfect faux-fro.
Imitating type 4 hair and appropriating historically Black haircuts has received attention in the media, too. While more and more Black females are proudly wearing their natural hair and fighting against hair discrimination, people who appropriate Black hairstyles and culture are starting to get called out for it.
Cultural appropriation is when certain aspects of someone’s culture are mocked and used against people of that culture, but later mimicked by others, typically white people, and lauded as is fine with no respect for the origins of that trend. While form 4 hair has continuously been marginalized and called ” bad hair” and Black women and men have been penalized for wearing their natural hair, white women like Kim Kardashian attribute cornrows to Bo Derek and are celebrated. That’s appropriation.
Social media may be worsening cultural appropriation. With social media sites like Instagram and YouTube, white people can copy culturally significant styles without learning about that style’s history or cultural origin. When celebrities appropriate lookings, their influence is enormous and it can wholly erase culture significance.
This may be why cultural appropriation is especially prevalent at events like music celebrations where your look is a large part of the fun. Young, impressionable people expend countless hours scrolling Instagram for festival inspiration and assuring others appropriate lookings builds it seem harmless. It’s” just an attire .”