Let's Agree On One Thing: Cultural Appreciation Isn't Cultural Appropriation

Let's Agree On One Thing: Cultural Appreciation Isn't Cultural Appropriation

Please stop creating more divisions between cultures.

Our contemporary world is crowded with hate, criticism, and anger; thus, I choose to wake up every day to do my part to spread peace, love, and acceptance. Within this positive theme, I believe it should be stated that there is a difference between respecting cultures and clearly making fun of cultural traditions.

The latter is blatantly wrong, and no one is accepting it. However, immersing in another culture by making traditional Mediterranean food, wearing Asian prom dresses, or sporting classical African jewelry has advantageous influences on our ever-dividing society.

Cultural appropriation is when a dominant culture, most notably the "white culture," adopts elements, usually with great meaning, from a minority's culture. The key factor to appropriation is disrespecting another's culture—being ignorant and insensitive.

Yet, let me adore cultures without it being called cultural appropriation. I love learning about the way people grow up and live life differently than me. I enjoy learning and exploring the various ways of life that I'm not accustomed to. I grew up in a very small town away from a lot in this world - hence, now I am immersing myself in diversity, and I want nothing else than to respect those around me. However, there recently has been a scandal where a Utah high school teen, Keziah Daum, was attacked on Twitter for her choice of prom dress: a qipao, a beautiful, traditional Chinese dress.

Backlash, which included Twitter comments, such as "My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress," stormed the Internet and generated a lot of discussion about cultural appropriation.

The controversial dress shouldn't be so shocking since it's a gorgeous dress with tremendous amounts of history behind the design, and Daum acknowledges this elegance. Her words about the dress only garner respect and love for the traditional Chinese culture: "Really gave me a sense of appreciation and admiration for other cultures and their beauty.”

Daum stands by her decision to wear this prom dress as she responds to the criticism: "To everyone causing so much negativity: I mean no disrespect to the Chinese culture. I’m simply showing my appreciation for their culture. I’m not deleting my post because I’ve done nothing but show my love for the culture. It’s a fucking dress. And it’s beautiful."

Many find this dress in bad taste.

However, many individuals in China are actually applauding and appreciating the gesture as Daum is celebrating Chinese culture.

So, it is our view of the representation of cultures. Let's come together and begin to celebrate the appeal of cultures.

Celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Nikita Dragun, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and many more have all been accused of cultural appropriation. In certain cases these individuals or others may have made a mistake by exhibiting a culture different than what it should be, but, in general, having big-name celebrities display the beauty of various cultures is a beneficial, diverse idea.

A noting, understandable, and upsetting challenge is the idea that when the dominant culture takes on the traditional cultural accessory or whatever it may be, it is looked upon positively while on the minority culture it is criticized or shunned for being different. This idea is evidently unjust and I believe the way to positively change it is to come together and celebrate all cultures. Historically, the dominant white culture attempted to wrongfully whitewash the world. This must be stopped in our modern civilization since a rainbow is much more special than a white fog.

See also: No, White People, You Don't Get To Claim 'Cultural Appropriation' For The Met Gala's Latest Theme

I don't believe criticizing others for appreciating different cultures will create peace and acceptance in our divisive world. Please stop creating more divisions between cultures, instead, we should be uniting and putting our hands together no matter our backgrounds. We should share our stories and customs and not feel attacked when someone is attempting to do so.

Cover Image Credit: naki.post on Instagram

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47 Things All Female Athletes Have Said

Yes, I know I am sweating a lot. No, I do not enjoy practices. Yes, I have said all 47 of these.

Whether you're a collegiate athlete, or a high school one, you have probably found yourself saying most of these phrases. Us athletes know that the athlete life isn't for everyone, and we often find ourselves questioning if it's still for us. So, this is for all my fellow athletes.

All my fellow athletes who know the struggle is undoubtedly real, and who find themselves saying these 47 phrases almost as often as I do.

* * *

1. Do you have an extra hair tie?

2. What if we just said no? What if we just didn't run when the whistle is blown?

3. I, like, really, am not feeling practice today.

4. Do these pants make my quads look big?

5. Are you going to eat before or after practice?

6. I'm so sore.

7. Want to get McDonald's after practice?

8. Did you see that she wore makeup to a preseason practice?

9. I actually looked like a girl today.

10. I wonder what college would be like if I wasn't an athlete.

11. We're up before the sun way too often.

12. Is it gross if I don't shower after weights?

13. How hard do you think practice will be today?

14. Coach is literally crazy.

15. I ate like 20 minutes ago, so there's a 50% chance I puke during this practice.

16. I'm not going to drink the protein shake they gave us because it's going to make me gain weight.

17. I think my legs are bigger than his, so I can't date him.

18. I think my arms are bigger than his, so I can't date him.

19. Today in class a non-athlete was talking about how busy her schedule is. It was so annoying.

20. Thinking about preseason makes me want to cry.

21. Is it even healthy for us to have this many practices in one day?

22. I'll be right back, I'm having PGD (pre-game dumps).

23. I think I'm going to throw up.

24. I should have worked out more on my own.

25. How do other girls have the energy to put makeup on for class every day?

26. My legs are dead.

27. Why did we think being a college athlete was a good idea?

28. Do you think coach will be mad if I have to go pee?

29. I think I peed my pants a little bit during conditioning.

30. Should I wear my hair in a pony-tail, or in a bun?

31. I should probably start eating healthy soon.

32. Only six more practices until the weekend, we can do this.

33. I'd rather be sore for a week straight than climb into this ice bath.

34. They might have beat us, but at least we're still pretty.

35. I can't wait to celebrate our win this weekend.

36. How many hours of sleep did you get? I got 6, it was crazy, I feel so refreshed.

37. I look like such a boy right now.

38. Will you braid my hair?

39. That referee totally rigged the game. We should have won.

40. I think I'd hate being a reg (regular student).

41. It's OK if I eat this since we had conditioning this morning, right?

42. If you're not doing homework, get off the bus Wi-Fi, everybody.

43. These pants fit my legs perfectly but are huge on my waist.

44. I smell so bad right now that I can smell myself.

45. I bet my grades would be so much better if I wasn't an athlete.

46. Coach only gave us, like, one water break during practice. It was horrible.

47. I am so happy that I'm an athlete.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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The Ins And Outs Of Imposter Syndrome And How It Affects Women Of Color

We're taught by older generations that we always have to work twice as hard to get half as far as white peers.


First things first I want to tell you what Imposter Syndrome is not. I know there are plenty of articles that discuss self-confidence through body image but I can guarantee you that's not what I'm talking about here. That could be another article for another day, perhaps. It's also not just a feeling of "oh, dang, I could've done that better" or "I wish I'd done that differently." It must also be noted that this is less of an actual disorder and more of a condition if you will.

What Imposter Syndrome actually is is feeling like nothing you accomplish is actually worth anything and that everything you've achieved is because of luck, not because of the work you put into it. It's always feeling like you're going to be exposed or found out for not actually being as intelligent or successful as you seem or as you say you are.

But how does this manifest in everyday life you ask? Well, of course, I am here to provide some examples.

Whenever I have a project due in one of my journalism classes, I make sure to listen to the instructions when it's being introduced. I always go back and read over the syllabus when completing my projects. I take the tips and tricks into account. I follow all of the guidelines I was given and I always try to put my best foot forward. Yet, I still always feel like I'm doing everything incorrectly or that I'm forgetting something. I feel like no matter what my professor is going to hate it and I'm going to get a bad grade.

Or it can manifest as whenever I try to apply for a job I have a hard time describing my skills or past work experience because I feel like I haven't really done anything relevant. I also don't really feel like I have many skills if any. I always remember that someone is going to have more experience or a better portfolio or a better resume. Whenever I remember that it can leave me feeling inadequate and like I don't belong. Like everyone else is a hireable employee and like I'm a poser.

I think this has a lot to do with the fact that, as a woman, you're socialized to put other people's needs and wants before your own whether that be celebrating other people's accomplishments or helping other people bounce back from failure. But you never really gain the skills to be that same support for yourself, at least not without years of work and undoing the internalized misogyny you've faced. Also because we've been socialized this way it can leave you feeling like you don't deserve anything good because the people around you haven't gotten there's yet. And that can be extremely difficult to break through.

As for people of color, because we're taught by older generations that we always have to work twice as hard to get half as far as white peers, we're always so used to exerting so much energy. But the moment you actually get recognized for your hard work can be jarring because you might feel like you weren't working as hard you could be and don't deserve it. Or that you got lucky this time but soon everyone is gonna find out the truth and you're gonna be exposed as a fraud or an underachiever.

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