Essay About Cultural Appropriation

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When I was 12 years old I dressed up as a gypsy; traditional dress, dark eyeshadow, rosy pink cheeks, black eyeliner, and gold jewelry everywhere. Naively my intention was to dress up in a costume that was fun to wear and also made me feel as free as a “wanderlust gypsy”. It was only years later that I came to realize how little I knew about the actual hardships my costume represented. Gypsies were not filled with a great desire to travel, rather they had no choice but to move in constant attempts to flee for their lives. I was representing nothing but a bedazzled form of disregard to the appropriating culture. People think that cultural appropriation is harmless but in fact it is deeply disrespectful. The difference between the appreciation…show more content…
The most common type of cultural appropriation today however comes in a musical form. There is nothing wrong with an individual of a dominate group trying to learn a traditional Hispanic dance. The cultural appropriation problem comes into play however, when people like Dirty Dancing movie director Emile Aldolino used white actors as the main knowledgable source of a Hispanic cultural dance and labeled it “Dirty Dancing”. In doing so, Emile Aldolino tied the loss of innocence of the main character (a young white woman) to a cultural dance that was created to celebrate women. When one takes the dance customs of a culture and not only disregards the origination of that dance culture but even labels the dance as something filthy is one example as to why cultural appropriation should be frowned upon. It is during events like that one where dominate cultures rob minorities of not only acknowledgement and credit but above all, of the importance of great cultural value. In this same way, during the 1950s, because African Americans were still not widely accepted in American society, record executives would choose to sign with white recording artists over the discriminated black race in attempts to form a sort of replication of the musical styles that originated with black musicians. Regardless of…show more content…
Cultural Appropriation is not only undeniable but also unavoidable in a mixing bowl society. Yet, though one cannot help but be intrigued by other cultures, it is important for one to realize that when one “borrows” cultural aspects without proper representation and/or permission is not a form of appreciation but rather appropriation. For this reason, it is not only suggested but required for people in a salad bowl society to learn the difference between borrowing and taking. Just as you would want your image to be respected and properly acknowledge, one must make it a personal duty, to never for this reason, misrepresent or disregard another’s
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