Discussing cultural appropriation is a very foggy subject. If we begin to recognize lots of things as cultural appropriation, there becomes too much censorship. There is definitely a way to appreciate cultural expressions, but there is also a way to make them extremely offensive. Here's a list of things that you may or may not realize are cultural appropriation.
1. Saying the N-word
Most people know that this is cultural appropriation, but a lot of people still don't, and I know this because I see it every day. If you are not black, you should not say the N-word.
Sure, it is in the first amendment that you have freedom of speech, but you should not say it. It does not matter if you're rapping a song, if your black friend thinks it's okay, or if you aren't using the hard R. A lot of black people are offended by non-black people using that word because it was used as a racial slur for many years, and still is!
A good way to think about it is that if you are offended by the use of the R-word, which most people are and should be, then you should be offended by the use of the N-word because they are both used to scrutinize a group of people.
2. Wearing dreads or cornrows
Again- a lot of people are aware of this one, but still, some are not. People of color have been scrutinized by jobs and schools because their traditional hairstyles of dreadlocks and cornrows are "unprofessional." If you are not black, you should not style your hair with cornrows or dreadlocks.
Yes, yoga. Most people are not aware of this, but yoga is traditionally a Hindu practice. I am not saying to never do yoga again, but be aware of what yoga was created for. Yoga was not traditionally used as a form of exercise, but was used for mindfulness and self-realization and is supposed to go hand in hand with meditation.
Most people are not aware of this, because yoga has become a huge corporation with many independent yoga studios all over the place. Next time you throw on your $100 dollar Lululemon pants, think about what yoga really is for.
4. Saying the word g*psy.
Saying the G word is just as bad as saying the N word, but for Romani people. Our society isn't as aware of this one, simply because we aren't surrounded by many Romani people. Think of this word as a racial slur next time you're about to put in your Instagram bio that you're a "modern-day g*psy"
5. Wearing Native American headdress
This is basically the same as wearing cornrows or dreadlocks but to Native Americans. Please don't wear feathers to a music festival. Haven't we already taken enough from Native Americans?
Definitely try to be more aware of what you are doing and saying, because sometimes you may not realize that your dress, speech, and hair could be culturally offensive.