Beverly Hills High School

Opinion: Plethora of false cultural appropriation and racism

Over the past years, it seems that Americans have no shame in flaunting their freedom of speech and letting people know exactly what’s on their mind–and celebrities are certainly not excluded. Just like the pitiful trends of sagging and Crocs, the abolishment of racism is sadly still a work in progress. Some individuals, however, find a way to intertwine this struggle as an explanation for events that may as well have absolutely nothing to do with it.

There’s a fine line to everything, but living in a society where conflict sparks the most amount of interest, the line tends to constantly be blurred.

Take one of the media’s African-American sex symbols, Nicki Minaj as an example.

Minaj’s “Anaconda”, her infamous video that broke the internet, was not nominated for MTV’s Video Music Award of Video of the Year. After the music awards, she decided to use her First Amendment and tweeted, “If I was a different ‘kind’ of artist, Anaconda would be nominated for best choreo and vid of the year as well,” as well as, “If your video celebrates women with very slim bodies, you will be nominated for vid of the year,” making her opinions on racism and body shaming loud and clear.

Nicki, sorry, but you didn’t get nominated, just face it. This had nothing to do with the color of her skin or intensity of curves. If that was the case, Beyonce, another curvy African-American sex icon, would definitely not have made the cut. You clearly had buns hun, the voters just didn’t want any. Pulling the race card can not excuse a half unoriginal song as well as an over-the-edge PG-13 choreography.

Steering away from the music industry and into the fashion world, people of color and ethnic minorities also tend to unnecessarily claim racism. Honestly, if individuals keep falsely crying “racism”, it won’t be long until people begin to lose interest and stop turning their heads to what one day might not be a meaningless accusation. Most of the accusations, if anything, could be interpreted as cultural appropriation- which is in fact, not the same as racism.

Vanessa Hudgens was one of the many Coachella attendees that rocked Hindu bindi’s as a fashion accessory at the music festival. In the case of fashion, everything is a personal opinion. Many Indians might find this former “High School Musical” star guilty of cultural appropriation, while others might not pay a second glance.

The real question is: why is wearing a bindi or a Native-American headpiece any more controversial than wearing a black crop top with white crosses? Forever 21 or H&M have never been famously criticized for selling this famous Christian symbol, perhaps because Christians are in fact not a minority? Are millions of teenage girls disrespecting the crucifixion of the “holy lord and savior” Jesus Christ? Whether they are or not is not a single person’s decision to make.

When googling racism, would it not belittle the seriousness and legitimacy of the word if one was to see images of blazing fires and sufferers in Ferguson right next to a picture of a blonde white girl wearing a cultural headpiece that covers more of her body than her actual clothing?

Racism is a word with a serious negative connotation, and should not be thrown around so lightly. The representation of the word is key, and this representation cannot be fogged with thoughts of bindi’s on the “wrong skin color”, or awards not being won because the loser was of the “wrong skin color”, when many are currently being persecuted for being considered to be born with the “wrong skin color.”

Instead of throwing the word around recklessly, the accusers could focus on real issues and cases of racism and cultural appropriation. Maybe more people should read the Los Angeles Times and other reliable news sources as opposed to mindlessly scrolling through Perez Hilton and TMZ.