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Cultural Appropriation Options
Priscilla86
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 6:16:15 AM

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Just recently, Vogue was criticized for a photo spread featuring a white model dressed as a geisha. People said it was a cultural appropriation. Granted, Vogue could have chosen a Japanese model for the spread but I wonder, where does an homage end and a cultural appropriation begin?

In my part of the world (Southeast Asia) and especially the country where I live, Japanese culture is very popular. People love anything Japanese here.

Sometimes we even would hold Matsuri events here (a popular Japanese summer festival) and some girls would attend dressed up in yukata (Japanese summer kimono). Is this appropriation? I personally don't see how this could be viewed as offensive and no one here ever thinks it is inappropriate but I'd imagine if this happened in the west, it would make a lot of people very nervous.

Would it really be offensive if let's say I had a Scottish-themed party and asked the guests to don kilts?

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Lotje1000
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 6:28:04 AM

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I've pondered this question before and I'm not really sure where to draw the line. I find cultural appropriation starts when, for instance, people wear clothes without having earned the right to do so. So someone from Scotland might take offense to you wearing a kilt with their tartan on it, because you're not part of the people who can wear it. They have a different type of kilt for outsiders. Or Native Americans can take offense to others wearing a war bonnet as such frivolous 'dressing up' disrespects the meaning of the headdress.

In that sense, it's quite similar to wearing a fake uniform or a medal without having served or being awarded said medal, though that's mainly a legal issue rather than a cultural one.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 7:12:46 AM

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Samis, the last indigenous people in Europe, don't like the southerners to dress up like Samis.






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TheParser
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 8:22:19 AM
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Priscilla86 wrote:
Just recently, Vogue was criticized for a photo spread featuring a white model dressed as a geisha.



No matter what a person (or magazine) does, there are always some people who are going to find something to criticize.

They are usually people who do not have anything else to do with their lives.

People who do have a life could not care less about the ethnicity of a model in Vogue.

Lotje1000
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 8:23:34 AM

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TheParser wrote:
People who do have a life could not care less about the ethnicity of a model in Vogue.


Except maybe people of the ethnicity in question.
TheParser
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:15:46 AM
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Priscilla86 wrote:


Would it really be offensive if let's say I had a Scottish-themed party and asked the guests to don kilts?



Here in the States, such a party at a university would probably be prohibited.

The university authorities would be terrified that at least one person (a Scottish person or a non-Scottish person) might claim that his/her feelings had been hurt.

Then there would be demands that the authorities resign and lose their jobs.

American universities are now "safe areas," where no one can hear or read or see anything that might hurt his/her feelings.

Of course, some observers ask: What will happen when those students leave the university and enter the real world, where their feelings will often be hurt?



Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:34:03 AM

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You forgot the part where the delicate college students need coloring books to sooth their bruised feelings.
Romany
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 9:57:15 AM
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OMG - Wilmar - so it's not just the UK? Grown people actually sit down and colour in, there too?

Ah well, I guess it keeps 'em off the streets.
almo 1
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 10:12:36 AM
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Priscilla86, few Japanese would feel it is offensive.

There must be some group/organization behind it, who try to promote excessive political correctness or agitate things.

There was a similar case a few years ago.



Counter-protesters join kimono fray at MFA





The Confused Thinking Behind the Kimono Protests at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts



thar
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 11:23:34 AM

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I am no anthropologist or even that well-travelled - but the wonder of the internet gives me an opinion to spout, so here goes.

I think once it is out there, it is free for people to use. What they do with it is their problem. But you do need to be aware of the culture you are appropriating. They have different levels of confidence. The Sami, for instance, have been heavily persecuted for centuries in terms of language, culture, landrights and even existence. They will hold tightly to what they consider to be theirs, and will not want to see it belittled or trivialised. The result is them not wanting non-Sami to wear traditional dress, as JJ says. That has to be respected.


For many years the Scots were in a similar situation of cultural oppression. An act of Parliament in 1746 made wearing the tartan, such as a kilt, illegal. So wearing it is not just cultural. it is political, nationalistic. An act of rebellion. And although that is long gone, and Scotland now has significant independence and self-worth, it is hard to shed that feeling of victimhood. So that is a history you have to be sensitive to, as well, to gauge sensitively.

Yet more confident that cultures don't seem to have the same problem. I find it amusing sometimes, as I watch the ads for the latest blockbusters about Thor and Loki, what would happen if that was some other country's folklore being reinvented by Hollywood. Riots on the streets of Reykjavík? Burning of American flags? No, of course not. An unpersecuted, secure culture can take the joke, and has no problem with people dressing up. Have fun, enjoy. Hopefully learn something about another culture, come to appreciate it. Edit, on rereading that sounds arrogant, or something - it's not meant to - just the example of a non-persecuted culture. It did happen, but a small homogeneous society with self-rule can throw that feeling off quickly if left alone. In that way it is very different from the previous examples. I know it's also not comparable in terms of current beliefs, but, heck, it was an example that came to mind.

I suspect Japan falls into this category - as almo says few would be offended. Are they hurt, threatened by this? No. Pleased, not bothered? Except those who are upset. And who would they be? People who feel Japanese culture is not being given enough value by others? Or by its own people? Those who feel out of step with the majority? Those who feel, possibly only at some deep level, like a threatened minority? I don't know.


Although it is fun to celebrate something, and it is great to have a great time, explore other cultures, I think it is sad when a country, any country, finds 'foreign' things to be of more 'value' than their own. Not a dig, but your example seems to fit - everything Japanese'; elsewhere 'everything American', or Western. Or even 'everything indigenous'. Everyone has fallen for the lure of the 'other', from religion to dress to names, pop music and food - and so much has been lost in the process. I wish on all people the confidence to value their own culture as equal to anything else out there.
(Except when it comes to cruelty to animals. Or women. Or mutilation of body parts. Or environmental degradation. Apart from those bits Whistle )


As for using 'ethnically appropriate' models, actors, I have issue with that. I heard a programme recently on the complaint that white actors were too often being used to play roles portraying east Asians, other ethnic characters. And I do think that casting agents should be open to anyone who can play the part well (the issue of selecting known faces for audience draw was brought up, but not race as an audience-driven issue, so I guess that's not it).
But then pick the person you want. Whoever they are. Just looking Japanese doesn't give you more 'right' to wear a kimono. What if you grew up in the US? In Germany? What if you are half-Japanese? Is that half OK? Which half? When did you last see your father?
Acting, modelling, you play a part. You put on a costume. Models kissing on a beach have never met before. Not all serial killers on the screen have to be serial killers in real life. And you should celebrate all cultures in your 'art'. Be open. Not everyone pictured wearing a kimono has to be a traditional Japanese kimono-wearer! !Whistle


Wow. Officially way too much spouting. Shame on you
End of my soapbox for the day.
BuffaloBill
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 11:28:35 AM
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IMHO, there is a difference between 'paying homage' and ridicule.

Attending a toga party may not mean that I like to ridicule Romans, or are attempting to adopt an ancient culture.
It might be that I like to wear a toga occasionally...



My first post. Just to get my proverbial feet wet.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:05:40 PM

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I'm English and live in Scotland.
I know that it's considered a bit 'bad mannered' by some if you wear a tartan of a clan to which you don't belong.
It's rather like wearing a coat of Arms which you have no right to wear.

However, there are 'Kilt-Hire' companies (60 to 150 pounds for a weekend for the full outfit, top to toe).
Some of the tartans they use are generic 'non-clan' types, but not all.

For certain functions, I'm expected to wear a kilt - good job it's not illegal any more! It even included using chequered material for overcoats
Quote:

Abolition and Proscription of the Highland Dress, 1746:
That from and after the first day of August, One thousand, seven hundred and forty-six, no man or boy within that part of Britain called Scotland, other than such as shall be employed as Officers and Soldiers in His Majesty's Forces, shall, on any pretext whatever, wear or put on the clothes commonly called Highland clothes (that is to say) the Plaid, Philabeg, or little Kilt, Trowse, Shoulder-belts, or any part whatever of what peculiarly belongs to the Highland Garb; and that no tartan or party-coloured plaid of stuff shall be used for Great Coats or upper coats, and if any such person shall presume after the said first day of August, to wear or put on the aforesaid garment or any part of them, every such person so offending ... For the first offence,shall be liable to be imprisoned for 6 months, and on the second offence, to be transported to any of His Majesty's plantations beyond the seas, there to remain for the space of seven years.


Good old King George was not only disliked by the American 'revolutionaries'.

One thing which IS disapproved of (in Edinburgh at least) is shops selling "kilts" made of a couple of yards of light-weight acrylic - a traditional kilt uses eight yards of heavy wool.
The same sort of shop which sells "Hey you, Jimmy" hats and statues of the Loch Ness monster.


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Articulate Dreamer
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:12:47 PM

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The briefest answer to your query Priscilla:
Go have the Scottish bang!

Guid luck! Here's tae ye!



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thar
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 12:42:27 PM

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There are a lot of military bands round the world, including Asia, evolved from the Scottish model - but this has no military background. An Indian living in North London just heard it, saw it, liked it...Got his followers to form a band..


So here you are, years later, with the Shree Muktajeeven Swamibapa pipe band playing at their new temple in London.



Shoes off for respect inside the temple, of course.



I think it is great. Just seeing something you find of beauty and making it your own. Not better, not worse - just there, for everyone. I can't see any disrespect here, or how anyone could be offended.
Certainly not ridicule. Not quite homage, though. True appropriation, but in a good way, I think?
Nothing seems to have been lost by the new inclusion .




All fact checked. In the daily mail so it must be true! Whistle

Apparently there are now bands from this sect in US, UK, Kenya and India.
Dreamy
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 3:25:32 PM

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Priscilla86 wrote:
People said it was a cultural appropriation. Granted, Vogue could have chosen a Japanese model for the spread but I wonder, where does an homage end and a cultural appropriation begin?

This is a very touchy subject with the Maoris in NZ, and is constantly in the news.

Naturally some folk are heartily sick of it, but inappropriate copying of things Maori, be it costume, custom, culture, or characteristic is highly offensive to those pushing the Maori sovereignty agenda.

The key word in all this is "mana", which is a complex concept to translate precisely, hence the rather full Wikipedia page devoted to it, but generally it means power, influence, prestige, authority, and dignity.

The slightest hint that these things are being trampled on or treated disrespectfully can lead to legal action, or hostility and violence, depending on the mentality of the aggrieved.

It's a bit weird but local and national government, schools, businesses, and workplaces, readily submit to Maoridom performing karakia whenever and wherever possible, but are not so keen on Christian prayers or Bible readings, which are in fact banned in all but a few cases.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia wrote:

Karakia are Māori incantations and prayers, used to invoke spiritual guidance and protection.
Karakia are generally used to increase the spiritual goodwill of a gathering, so as to increase the likelihood of a favourable outcome.
They are also considered a formal greeting when beginning a ceremony.
According to legend, there was a curse on the Waiapu River which was lifted when George Gage (Hori Keeti) performed karakia.
In the Māori religion, karakia are used to ritually cleanse the homes of the deceased after a burial.
The missionary Richard Taylor gives a 19th-century view of the traditional role and scope of karakia:
The word karakia, which we use for prayer, formerly meant a spell, charm, or incantation [...] [Maori] have spells suited for all circumstances - to conquer enemies, catch fish, trap rats, and snare birds, to make their kumara grow, and even to bind the obstinate will of woman; to find anything lost; to discover a stray dog; a concealed enemy; in fact, for all their wants. These karakias are extremely numerous
With the nineteenth-century introduction of Christianity to New Zealand, Māori adopted (or wrote new) karakia to acknowledge the new faith. Modern karakia tend to contain a blend of Christian and traditional influence, and their poetic language may make literal translations into English not always possible.

In modern Māori society, performances of karakia frequently open important meetings and ceremonies, both within a Māori context (such as tribal hui, tangi, or the inauguration of new marae), and in a wider New Zealand setting in which both Māori and Pākehā participate (such as the beginning of public meetings or at the departure of official delegations for overseas).



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almo 1
Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017 7:52:36 PM
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Priscilla86,
how was the snow in Northern Japan(maybe Sapporo)?





forum.thefreedictionary.com/postst159455_Winter-Clothing.aspx




Priscilla86
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 12:02:30 AM

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almo 1 wrote:




Priscilla86,
how was the snow in Northern Japan(maybe Sapporo)?





forum.thefreedictionary.com/postst159455_Winter-Clothing.aspx





Hello, Almo.

Yes, Sapporo, and Otaru, too. Oh, it was beautiful. The first time I was on the train with snowy landscape outside was so surreal! But it was so f*cking cold. I definitely don't miss having to spend fifteen minutes putting on my leggings, my jeggings, my socks, my heattech shirt, my dress, my fleece jacket, my puffer jacket, my gloves, my boots, my beanie, and my neck warmer just to go out Whistle


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Priscilla86
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 3:11:53 AM

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thar wrote:


I think it is sad when a country, any country, finds 'foreign' things to be of more 'value' than their own



I don't disagree with this point but you have to understand why it (foreign things to be of more value) happens and how some cultures have it easier than others, though I sense that from your post, I think you're already aware of this.

In the case of Indonesia, I would think in the early years following our independence, after having been colonized for over 400 years and left extremely poor, it is understandable that the nation was going through some sort of identity crisis. We wanted to be like one of those wealthy nations and so for a while, there was this 'Imported stuff are better' attitude.

For me, education and exposure through reading, watching, and travel help a lot in gaining / restoring confidence in my own culture. I certainly thought foreign cultures were of more value when I was younger. That is not the case now.

Now, Singapore is a different story. It is a very tiny country (Iceland is 150 times bigger, as a comparison). Objectively, it has little to no natural resources so almost everything is imported. We are also land-scarce and whatever land that we have is being utilized as industrial, commercial, office, and residential buildings so outside of work and live, Singaporeans have to look outside the country for play. So in a way, the fascination with other countries / cultures is understandable. It keeps things interesting. It’s not really so much as thinking other countries have it better. I must clarify that while the Japanese beauty, clothing, and food are popular here, it's not that Singaporeans are trying to be Japanese. They take the good things about them and make them their own.


thar wrote:

For many years the Scots were in a similar situation of cultural oppression. An act of Parliament in 1746 made wearing the tartan, such as a kilt, illegal. So wearing it is not just cultural. it is political, nationalistic. An act of rebellion. And although that is long gone, and Scotland now has significant independence and self-worth, it is hard to shed that feeling of victimhood. So that is a history you have to be sensitive to, as well, to gauge sensitively.


Drag0nspeaker wrote:


I know that it's considered a bit 'bad mannered' by some if you wear a tartan of a clan to which you don't belong.
It's rather like wearing a coat of Arms which you have no right to wear.

However, there are 'Kilt-Hire' companies (60 to 150 pounds for a weekend for the full outfit, top to toe).
Some of the tartans they use are generic 'non-clan' types, but not all.



I had no idea the Scots were ever under this kind of oppression. How tartan patterns represent different clans is also not something that is widely known in Asia. I only know it because Drag0 once mentioned it somewhere on here, I think.

From the replies here, I think there are a lot of ethnic groups in the world with legitimate concerns of being culturally appropriated. I think the issue with appropriating other cultures is that, when you are doing so, you usually take the most visible elements of their culture and put them on yourself in a lighthearted manner, and you don’t suffer any fallout from it – but those same elements were probably used to identify and persecute people who actually belong to said culture. When you think of it that way, you kind of understand the anger.

But in the case of the Vogue spread, I think it's merely an homage. It's like someone decided to hold a Japanese-themed party with some plastic cherry blossoms decoration, open sake bar, sushi buffet, blasting Japanese music, and the guests come in beautiful kimonos. What's wrong with that?


The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 9:01:28 AM
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Priscilla86.
You might be intrested in reading up on the Highland Clearances and the aftermath of the failed Jacobite risings..

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobite_risings

The Scottish clans were seen as a threat to the stability of the English and Scottish thrones, which later became the unified British one, this lead to their suppression.
It's one of the reasons that many Scottish people moved away to other parts of the world, to places like Canada and Australia.

Edit: I corrected the typo in the word became, it's still in Priscilla86s quote.

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Priscilla86
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 10:56:04 AM

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Sarrriesfan wrote:
Priscilla86.
You might be intrested in reading up on the Highland Clearances and the aftermath of the failed Jacobite risings..

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Clearances
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobite_risings

The Scottish clans were seen as a threat to the stability of the English and Scottish thrones, which later beavme the unified British one, this lead to their suppression.
It's one of the reasons that many Scottish people moved away to other parts of the world, to places like Canada and Australia.


Thank you, Sarriesfan!

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
Romany
Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 1:00:10 PM
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Priscilla -

After you've read that, be sure to take a look at the English/Welsh, and the Irish/English history too. (I don't mean the modern divided countries of Ireland, but traditional relations with England.)

Our small islands have only ever been 'united' in name only.

As to wearing clothes from other cultures? I do. I have a couple of beautiful sari's, I had a lovely collection of Chinese-fusion as well as traditional clothes, I wear sarongs, lap-laps, meri-blouses,Thai fisherman's trousers etc. etc. I also love wearing the traditional Chinese dress erroneously called a 'cheong san' in the West. (can't remember how they spell it). My Chinese students at first asked me why I sometimes wore one and I said because it was graceful and beautiful and celebrated Chinese culture. By the time I left they were no longer an uncommon sight on campus!

It's very common for emerging cultures to experience 'cultural cringe'. Why, Australia did so right until the 1980's! And it led to some pretty daft decisions. I expect it's like a human being becoming a teenager and trying to find their own identity. Once cultures are certain of who they are, just like a young man or a young woman, they start to settle into their own skin.

When the Australian government became PNG's Protector before Independence, this was anticipated. The drift to the city, the desire for 'better' things, the introduction of modern technology: it was obvious that the younger generation would go through a period of rejection of their own culture as old-fashioned. Which was another reason the college in Moresby was set up to bring in the older traditional craftspeople to teach and pass on their skills and crafts so they weren't lost in the transition. PNG has now settled into its skin, but had it not been for the foresight of the Administration, they would have lost too much of their culture to recover.

Oh, and Somari, our First PM (and our 8th?) declared every Friday National Dress day. And everyone - Chinese, Papua New Guinean, Australian,Canadian... - all had to follow his lead and wear the ubiquitous meri-blouse, lap-laps and sandals. Local print and fabric
outlets shot to prominence, too!

I have found that, in the West, people tend to get their knickers in a twist needlessly over cultural differences. Usually they are, as I guess you will have found, too, people who haven't really experienced other cultures? I've always found that if you treat everyone with the same kindness and humour (yeah - and curiosity), they very rarely mistrust your motives.And when in doubt - ask!
Maryam Dad
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:15:53 AM

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Priscilla86 wrote:
thar wrote:


I think it is sad when a country, any country, finds 'foreign' things to be of more 'value' than their own



I don't disagree with this point but you have to understand why it (foreign things to be of more value) happens and how some cultures have it easier than others, though I sense that from your post, I think you're already aware of this.

In the case of Indonesia, I would think in the early years following our independence, after having been colonized for over 400 years and left extremely poor, it is understandable that the nation was going through some sort of identity crisis. We wanted to be like one of those wealthy nations and so for a while, there was this 'Imported stuff are better' attitude.

For me, education and exposure through reading, watching, and travel help a lot in gaining / restoring confidence in my own culture. I certainly thought foreign cultures were of more value when I was younger. That is not the case now.
.



I second this.

To add, 250 million people, no one speaks Bahasa Indonesia properly, from the president, MPs, Ministers, let alone ordinary people.

Kindness is a mark of faith. and whoever is not kind has no faith.
will
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:27:43 PM
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Interesting discussion.

I would have been surprised if a non-national dressed in a kimono caused offence, so I looked up the Vogue issue in question. The problem is not what the white model is dressed in, it’s the fact that she has been made up in ‘yellowface’. This could so easily have been avoided by employing a Japanese model; it is at best stupidly thoughtless… especially as it was apparently a ‘diversity’ issue.

Would it be acceptable if she’d been blacked up and dressed in a khanga? Speak to the hand


.
will
Posted: Saturday, February 18, 2017 12:30:58 PM
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TheParser wrote:
No matter what a person (or magazine) does, there are always some people who are going to find something to criticize.

He said, critically and clearly with nothing else to do with his life.


BuffaloBill wrote:
IMHO, there is a difference between 'paying homage' and ridicule.

Attending a toga party may not mean that I like to ridicule Romans, or are attempting to adopt an ancient culture.
It might be that I like to wear a toga occasionally...



My first post. Just to get my proverbial feet wet.

I applaud your first post. There is nothing wrong with respectfully embracing other cultures. In some cases it’s expected; I recently attended a Muslim funeral where my wife and I where expected to dress according to that culture. But insensitive stereotyping is another thing altogether.


.
Priscilla86
Posted: Sunday, February 19, 2017 11:27:53 PM

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will wrote:


The problem is not what the white model is dressed in, it’s the fact that she has been made up in ‘yellowface’.


Was it really a yellowface, though? The model (Karlie Kloss) has always looked...how shall I put this...non-conventional to me. She's pale and she has what some call 'hooded eyes' so she's white but she doesn't have that characteristic occidental deep-set eyes like Angelina Jolie's, for example. In her early modelling years before I knew who she was, I always thought she was a mix of white and Asian.

To me, Vogue played up the model's paleness because that's what Geisha beauty aesthetic was (pale alabaster skin), not because they wanted to turn her Asian. It probably looks like a yellowface to some because for American Vogue's usual demographic, the aesthetic is a little different. They're more used to see white models with more colors on their faces, probably glowing with a little tan, a little bronzer and blush here and there.

Furthermore, - and this is purely conjecture - perhaps Vogue was really using Japanese cosmetics when making up the model? I've found that most popular Japanese face powders to have this texture and finish that always make me look unnecessarily pale, even when they're supposedly 'transparent.'

My point is, I think sometimes, as Romany said: "in the West, people tend to get their knickers in a twist needlessly over cultural differences." My problem is not with people's desire to be culturally sensitive, my problem is with the accusatory tone some would readily fling when they see people donning something belonging to other culture without trying to find out what's really happening. It would make people feel on edge about anything related to culture and they may choose to forgo cultural talks entirely for fear of being seen as insensitive idiots, and that's a real shame.


Romany wrote:

As to wearing clothes from other cultures? I do. I have a couple of beautiful sari's, I had a lovely collection of Chinese-fusion as well as traditional clothes, I wear sarongs, lap-laps, meri-blouses,Thai fisherman's trousers etc. etc. I also love wearing the traditional Chinese dress erroneously called a 'cheong san' in the West. (can't remember how they spell it). My Chinese students at first asked me why I sometimes wore one and I said because it was graceful and beautiful and celebrated Chinese culture. By the time I left they were no longer an uncommon sight on campus!

It's very common for emerging cultures to experience 'cultural cringe'. Why, Australia did so right until the 1980's! And it led to some pretty daft decisions. I expect it's like a human being becoming a teenager and trying to find their own identity. Once cultures are certain of who they are, just like a young man or a young woman, they start to settle into their own skin.

When the Australian government became PNG's Protector before Independence, this was anticipated. The drift to the city, the desire for 'better' things, the introduction of modern technology: it was obvious that the younger generation would go through a period of rejection of their own culture as old-fashioned. Which was another reason the college in Moresby was set up to bring in the older traditional craftspeople to teach and pass on their skills and crafts so they weren't lost in the transition. PNG has now settled into its skin, but had it not been for the foresight of the Administration, they would have lost too much of their culture to recover.

Oh, and Somari, our First PM (and our 8th?) declared every Friday National Dress day. And everyone - Chinese, Papua New Guinean, Australian,Canadian... - all had to follow his lead and wear the ubiquitous meri-blouse, lap-laps and sandals. Local print and fabric outlets shot to prominence, too!

I have found that, in the West, people tend to get their knickers in a twist needlessly over cultural differences. Usually they are, as I guess you will have found, too, people who haven't really experienced other cultures? I've always found that if you treat everyone with the same kindness and humour (yeah - and curiosity), they very rarely mistrust your motives.And when in doubt - ask!


All of the above are very good points. And I can't think of anyone who won't benefit from a good sense of humor!

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
almo 1
Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017 10:29:32 AM
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Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan


quote: This isn’t the first time Vogue has been called out over racially or culturally insensitive spreads.

In 2011, Italian Vogue apologized for a trend story on jewelry with the headline “Slave Earrings,” with text accompanying the image of a blond model donning the circular hoops: “If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of color who were brought to the southern United States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom.”

In 2009, French Vogue featured images of Dutch supermodel Lara Stone in blackface, and in 2013, Vogue Netherlands followed suit with a blackface “Heritage Heroes” editorial. unquote


https://www.yahoo.com/style/



will
Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017 11:20:47 AM
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You might well be right, Priscilla86, I didn’t dig that deep. I still think it would have been a better choice to give the gig to a Japanese model.

Thar made an important point about ‘cultural confidence’. This discussion has come up a few times lately; it’s easy for a secure group, such as white middle class men, to belittle the sensitivities of other groups, because white middle class men are rarely on the receiving end of thoughtless (often subconscious) stereotyping, and if ever they are they are culturally confident enough to brush it aside.

As I say, it used to be acceptable for people to black up. We took that offence seriously and, after a great deal of time, have come to the collective (give or take a few) conclusion that that is offensive. That said, it’s important to acknowledge that, contrary to ‘political correctness gone mad’ myths, anyone is still perfectly within their rights to black up if they so wish -- as almo 1 says, Vogue have apparently done before. Any publicity... right? -- but with that right comes the responsibility to recognise the offence likely caused.

For many other groups these discussions are still ongoing. To take the sensitivities of others seriously is a basic sign of respect, it is not a sign of rampant political correctness. There have been a great many offences that have been discussed where the collective conclusion was ‘get over it’.


.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017 11:59:41 AM

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Sorry to have been away so long.

It is very difficult to put a dividing line between 'positive' and 'negative'. "Zero" is not easy to define!

I think the Maori concept of Mana is the key - similar, I suppose, to the Japanese idea which is called 'face' in English. There may even be a Finnish word for it.
Dignity, reputation, pride, tradition, nobility, gentility - none of these can translate the idea, but all seem to have part of it.

It's not only 'dignity' because it seems to include the idea of doing something for fun (which is not dignified).

It probably requires a whole series of descriptions to cover 'what is OK' and 'what is not OK'.

Not necessarily "being dignified" but not reducing the dignity of or mocking; laughing with; not laughing at; having fun with; not making fun of; accepting and acknowledging the self-pride of the culture; not being haughty or "superior"; not assuming that your culture is best while making a mockery of the other.

Of course, as someone (I think it was thar) said, a culture which has been suppressed has a more 'critical' level of dignity.

I know that some people in Japan feel the American sanctions since the war amount to suppression (I actually have no idea whether it's a rabid two percent or a solid eighty percent) - continued presence of occupying forces in Japan, enforcement of no standing military and limits on weapons and so on.

So it is possible that some would have a lower 'threshold of acceptance' for this sort of thing.

Edited to add: this article from the US Council on Foreign Relations says a lot.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
almo 1
Posted: Monday, February 20, 2017 1:18:40 PM
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Location: Fussa, Tokyo, Japan
Drag0nspeaker wrote:
Sorry to have been away so long.

Edited to add: this article from the US Council on Foreign Relations says a lot.







Sorry for "just copy and paste":





Okinawa anti-American military bases protesters





Published on Jul 3, 2014

Okinawa anti-American military bases protesters
A visit to a tent inhabited by a minority of Okinawans and one what seemed to be an American who desire to see the American bases on Okinawa closed.

The people in the tent desire to see the American bases close and spend each day there also posting protest banners and ribbons on the fence belonging to the U.S. military. One of the people in the tent admitted to an Okinawan they get money from people in China who want "peace."






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