Normally, my posts are a bit more light, frilly and colorful. However, after reading up on this “new trend,” I was compelled to give my opinion on the matter.
A few weeks ago, there was a post (that has now been removed) by ManeAddicts.com that has caught quite a bit of backlash. The post by Mane Addicts was in reference to a hair tutorial, recreating a style that they called “Twisted Mini Buns.” The hair tutorial was actually inspired by a hair style worn by models in the Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring 2015 show. Now, clearly most of us can see (in the photos below) that these “Twisted Mini Buns,” are merely “Bantu Knots” that have been given a different name. For many reasons, I was not shocked by what I read by Mane Addicts, however, the outrage was still almost immediate.
So where does the disrespect come into play? Well, the fact that Marc Jacobs’s models wore this hair style is not the problem. The problem is that the individuals who reported on these “twisted mini buns” did not bother to even find out where this style actually came from. Linking the creation of this style to designer Marc Jacobs, and giving it some ridiculous name, rather than acknowledging its roots is a big slap in the face.
So, my question and/or concern on the issue is: Is this another blatant case of cultural appropriation, or is it a “convenient” misunderstanding? Was this incident merely a lack of proper research, or was it intentional? Well, I can only give my opinion on the matter. When it comes to Black and African culture, from my perspective, it’s never seen as acceptable or good enough until someone of Caucasian decent puts their face or stamp of approval on it. For example, when Hip Hop and Rap music first emerged decades ago, many looked at it with a disapproving eye. Much was the same with our fashion, hair, style of dress, our lingo and even the way we dance.
Cornrows, a style worn by just about every person of color at some point in their lives, was never seen as “fashionable” or “chic” in the predominantly Caucasian fashion community, but then all of a sudden, cornrows are on the runways, Caucasian celebrities are wearing braids, and then BOOM! it’s “the next big thing.” Over the past few years, even“twerking” has become a “thing.” It became so, ironically, after Miley Cyrus was seen shaking her hind parts (or lack thereof) all over YouTube. Now, as a Louisiana native, twerking/booty shaking is definitely nothing new; so how and why is it now all of a sudden gaining attention? However, I digress because this post is about much more than who created or started twerking.
I could go on for days listing the things that have been unapologetically taken (without at least recognizing or appreciating its origins) from black culture, by other races.
So was the “Twisted Mini Buns” yet another case of cultural appropriation?
Well, my answer is yes, most definitely.
Although, regardless of my opinions, I can confidently say that one fact does remain the same. Everyone wants to be black, until it’s time to “be black.”
So in closing I’ll leave you with this question. What if America loved black people, the way they love black culture?
This was Dynasty J, giving your more “Thoughts from a Brown Girl.”
Peace & Blessings
“Whatever the white man has done, we have done, and often better.”
-Mary McLeod Bethune