This is basically when an individual takes it upon themselves to copy another culture’s features and use it as a/n [insert fashion statement here].
What may people don’t understand is that appropriating someone’s culture is offensive. No, its not “just a hairstyle” or “just an accessory”; it’s a person/group using someone’s culture for their own gain, wearing it as a costume, and then receiving credit and “originality” for a concept that was never theirs in the first place.
This is extremely problematic when (mist of the time) people of color call them out on their appropriation. For example, Amandla (Rue in hunger games) called out Kylie Jenner for appropriating an African hairstyle - cornrolls - but refusing to speak on black killings, police brutality, etc. No people, this isn’t “just a hairstyle”. It goes much deeper.
In Africa, both men and women cherished their hair and uses it to show wealth, marital status, and - for queens - it was literally their crown. This emphasis on hair was even brought to America. Many Africa’s would find alternatives to do their hair, such as bacon grease and make shift wooden combs. Their hairstyles would be extravagant. Eventually, the white man grew disgusted with “nigger” hair and ordered women not to wear their hair out. As retaliation, the women instead wore colorful scarves and tied it in unique ways.
These hairstyles so ingrained in their culture include dreadlocks, braids, twists, and the accessory of scarves. Both dreads and scarves were used to go against Eurocentric beauty. Braids, twists, etc were hairstyles often used in their culture; when our ancestors came to america, they were forced to assimilate into White America.
White America took their freedom, dignity, and many if their lives. However, some if these things have changed over time and are still evolving today. But taking away someone’s culture can’t be undone. As people of color, we have to be protective of our culture. It’s the only thing that’s stayed true to our ancestors over the years.