louteasdale your post has been deleted, which I suppose was the best course of action for you given the amount of anger you no doubt saw directed your way for it. All I can say is that the anger you were seeing was valid.
Finding cultures other than your own beautiful or visiting Africa (which also, maybe I’m misinterpreting you but I think you just generalized the entirety of Africa as one culture when it is composed of 50+ countries) does not absolve you of the immense privilege you have, or how you exact that privilege when you use the culture of groups that historically and systematically been oppressed as beauty trends.
Look, every white person does inherently oppressive or racist things. This is a fact, because of the society we are raised in. Too often we are unaware of just how damaging our behavior can be. You are not alone in being ignorant, but responding to people pointing out that ignorance with “don’t call me racist” is far too simplistic and misses the point entirely.
When there are people from the cultural group you are borrowing from crying out and telling you to stop it’s crucial that you listen. You can appreciate a culture without needing to use it yourself.
If this is hard to understand imagine this analogy: you use a very specific catch phrase all the time in conversation, let’s say it’s “dude, that’s rad.” You use this probably once or twice a day, no one ever comments on it, except some people say that it’s annoying or you need to stop saying it so much. Then one day your more popular friend says it, and people act like it’s the best/funniest thing in the world. People start associating “dude, that’s rad” with your friend, when they’re doing impressions of her, when they’re talking about what makes her memorable. Meanwhile, you’re standing off to the side like “Hey, actually, I said that first, that was my thing,” but when you tell people this they scoff and say that you’re being petty.
Now on top of that add in the fact that the groups you are “borrowing” from or appreciating have been historically and systematically oppressed by people of our culture. And the items you are using from theirs often have significant religious, spiritual, or historical meaning.
Take a breath, stop, and think about how your actions affect others. Because the people who are speaking out against you face oppression that you or I will never know in our entire lives. When you make a post like you did all that happens if you validate every white person out there who is contributing to a societal trend of appropriating cultures and “elevating” them by putting them on white people. It’s not cool and it’s not fair. You say you want a world that has harmony, but we will never get there if the only time cultures are considered beautiful is if white people are using them.
Just think on this, please. It’s never too late to become educated, or to realize you made a mistake. You just have to open yourself up to the possibility.