How To Appreciate Culture Without Appropriating It
On this year’s fashion runways, Gucci sent white models down the runway in traditional Sikh turbans. Last year, Victoria’s Secret’s fashion show featured models wearing Native American headdresses. And last spring, a Utah high school student made national headlines when she wore a traditional Chinese dress to her prom — and took pictures with her hands in a prayer pose.
Over and over again, incidents like these are met with accusations of cultural appropriation. And outrage ensues as a minority culture is thrust into the spotlight by those who aren’t from that culture.
But is there a way to express appreciation of another culture without appropriating it?
For more on that, The Show got a hold of Melissa Chan. She’s a PhD candidate and a digital humanities fellow at the University of Southern California.