If I comb my hair in certain ways or braid it in certain ways that resemble the traditional ways that some tribe did somewhere at some time, or resemble the ways that certain ethnic groups somewhere did, then I am GUILTY, GUILTY, DAMN ME, of Cultural Appropriation!

I like to wear Indian, that is, Native American, style jewelry from time to time, the rings, cuffs and bolo ties. I also wear western shirts like the ones Native Americans wear. I like the style. Right now, in the summer heat, I usually wear Hawaiian shirts, ones I bought in Hawaii, just like the ones Native Hawaiians wear. I am one guilty guy, I shamelessly culturally appropriate and laugh in the face of those who would scorn me, Oh, the shame. Or lack of it, I should say. Yes, I have guilt I don’t feel, without shame for not feeling guilt. Sue me.

When people wear the clothing, jewelry, hair styles and so forth of various ethnic and tribal groups, it’s a complement to that group and anyone who doesn’t like it should shut the hell up. This is America and we can wear what we damn well please anyway. There is no law that says any style can’t be copied and imitation has always been the highest form of flattery.

For reasons unknown to me, some members of some ethnic groups are trying to shame non-members out of wearing similar styles, as if only they had the right to wear or braid or tattoo or pierce whatever it is they do. Nope. Go ahead and wear your styles but stop acting like spoiled brats when people copy you, and take it as the complement it is when they do.

People don’t wear the styles of other peoples in order to insult them or make fun of them, it’s because those styles are admired. Anything that people admire, they will always emulate.


  1. x says:

    Quite. A small (but growing!) proportion manage to see a racist etc. insult in anything. Far from reducing racism etc. it drives it because people just get suck to death of all the whining.