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America’s Favorite Reality Family is Low Key Racist

America’s Favorite Reality Family is Low Key Racist

Cultural Appropriation versus Cultural Appreciation


Ariana Grande, who is promoting her “Thank you, Next” album is she’s getting a lot of pushback from fans who are claiming that she’s appropriating Japanese culture. She’s using Japanese characters to promote her hit “7 Rings,” including a tattoo that ultimately spelled out barbecue grill. While some fans have criticized her for appropriating the Japanese culture, she came back saying that her Japanese fans were excited and that she generally appreciating their culture.

What is the difference between the two? Cultural appropriation is when a party unacknowledged or inappropriately adopts the customs, practices, ideas, and more from people or society by members of another and typically more dominant people or society. Unfortunately, we see this happen around us every day consciously or unconsciously. It has become so accepted by our society that we just let it continue to not acknowledge those practices and customs. Cultural appreciation is taking the time out to learn the different cultures and their traditions, to become more open in understanding the truth about a culture and doing it in a respectful manner.

Let’s start with celebrities, the holy grail of cultural appropriation. While now-a-days celebrities are being called out for appropriating cultures, some like Kim Kardashian one will see her continue to wear cornrows. Interestingly enough the Kardashian/Jenner’s, have adopted black culture, but have the adopted it for themselves to exploit the culture or do they actually appreciate the culture. Critics have called out the family for appropriating and profiting off black culture, Lindsay Peoples wrote “this allows them to engage in a kind of mimicry of black people, without actually having to deal with any of the downsides of being black in America.” The Kardashian/Jenner’s alter their bodies to enhance their sexual appeal, these alterations are what black women are born with naturally but are criticized for. This is just one example of how the family appropriates black culture instead of appreciating it.


Kim and Khloe Kardashian and Kylie Jenner are some examples of those who have been called out for cultural appropriation multiple times. While the entire family has gotten themselves into trouble once or twice, these 3 sisters continue to inappropriately wear bantu knots or cornrows.



These socialites, do their hair and act as if they are African American but they do not teach themselves the history of the black culture they have adopted. Instead they just do it, say sorry and then continue to do it without any repercussions. The question for these sisters is if they know the history behind these braids? Do they know that it originated in North Africa and a specific look could indicate one’s marital status or age? Does the family know that when they were captured by traffickers to send to America their hair was shaved to strip them of their humanity and culture, and their braids in America simply became a way to just to manage their hair? Lastly do they know every day black American women may not get hired or even fired from their jobs because they want to embrace their culture? Probably not, instead they see it as the next fashion statement, not as a way as African American women are taking back what was rightfully theirs.

Even Queen Bee herself has gotten in trouble for appropriating Indian culture for dressing in traditional Indian clothing with henna on her hands in Coldplay’s “Hymn for the weekend” While there have been a lot of debate whether she was wrong or right, and if the entire video was appropriation of the culture. The video is done tastefully in showing India culture, but it is only emphasizing Holi Festival. While some India natives and India American love how they the portrayed their culture, others called them out for appropriation their culture when Beyoncé is dressed head to toe in Indian clothing and a henna tattoo. Coldplay was held at more higher standard because instead of dressing the part, they actually immersed themselves into India’s culture.



About The Author

Olivia Bruns

Senior of Advertising at the University of Tampa.

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