girl in saree

When people complain about cultural appropriation, do they ever factor in the craftspeople of those cultures who make their living producing the traditional art, clothing or accessories being “appropriated?”

  • Japanese kimono manufacturers are happy when white girls buy authentic kimono from them.
  • Indian saree manufacturers are happy when white girls buy authentic sarees from them.
  • Navajo craftspeople are happy when white tourists buy their traditional silver and turquoise jewelry.
  • Moroccan craftspeople are happy when white tourists buy their handwoven traditional rugs and djellaba.
  • Mexican craftspeople are happy when white tourists buy their sugar skulls and serapes.

These are real people making their living. They are keeping their tradition alive and sharing it with the world. When you make it seem like buying and wearing or displaying in your home anything from another culture is “appropriation” and offensive, you’re not actually helping anyone. You’re making someone feel bad, you’re virtue signaling for your own ego and hurting the livelihoods of real people who are actually living those cultures.