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Ignorance is acceptable up to a point. For instance, when I was 12 years old my mom had to take me aside in the hippie store and explain to me why I, a 12-year-old white girl, could not wear a dashiki. But I was 12, I didn’t know what a dashiki was and I just thought it was a neat pattern. Now I understand. You don’t play dress-up with other people’s cultures to assert your own uniqueness and specialness.
Avril Lavigne’s New Video Wins The Gold At The Cultural Appropriation Olympics By Robyn Pennacchia (x)

(Source: hanaxohana)

A white girl wore a bindi at Coachella. And, then my social media feeds went berserk. Hashtagging the term “cultural appropriation” follows the outrage and seems to justify it at the same time. Except that it doesn’t.

Cultural appropriation is the adoption of a specific part of one culture by another cultural group. As I (an Indian) sit here, eating my sushi dinner (Japanese) and drinking tea (Chinese), wearing denim jeans (American), and overhearing Brahm’s Lullaby (German) from the baby’s room, I can’t help but think what’s the big deal?

The big deal with cultural appropriation is when the new adoption is void of the significance that it was supposed to have — it strips the religious, historical and cultural context of something and makes it mass-marketable. That’s pretty offensive. The truth is, I wouldn’t be on this side of the debate if we were talking about Native American headdresses, or tattoos of Polynesian tribal iconography, Chinese characters or Celtic bands.

Why shouldn’t the bindi warrant the same kind of response as the other cultural symbols I’ve listed, you ask? Because most South Asians won’t be able to tell you the religious significance of a bindi. Of my informal survey of 50 Hindu women, not one could accurately explain it’s history, religious or spiritual significance. I had to Google it myself, and I’ve been wearing one since before I could walk.

We can’t accuse non-Hindus of turning the bindi into a fashion accessory with little religious meaning because, well, we’ve already done that. We did it long before Vanessa Hudgens in Coachella 2014, long before Selena Gomez at the MTV Awards in 2013, and even before Gwen Stefani in the mid-90s.

Indian statesman Rajan Zed justifies the opposing view as he explains, “[The bindi] is an auspicious religious and spiritual symbol… It is not meant to be thrown around loosely for seductive effects or as a fashion accessory…” If us Indians had preserved the sanctity and holiness of the bindi, Zed’s argument for cultural appropriation would have been airtight. But, the reality is, we haven’t.

The 5,000 year old tradition of adorning my forehead with kumkum just doesn’t seem to align with the current bindi collection in my dresser — the 10-pack, crystal-encrusted, multi-colored stick-on bindis that have been designed to perfectly compliment my outfit. I didn’t happen to pick up these modern-day bindis at a hyper-hipster spot near my new home in California. No. This lot was brought from the motherland itself.

And, that’s just it. Culture evolves. Indians appreciated the beauty of a bindi and brought it into the world of fashion several decades ago. The single red dot that once was, transformed into a multitude of colors and shapes embellished with all the glitz and glamor that is inherent in Bollywood. I don’t recall an uproar when Indian actress Madhuri Dixit’s bindi was no longer a traditional one. Hindus accepted the evolution of this cultural symbol then. And, as the bindi makes it’s way to the foreheads of non-South Asians, we should accept — even celebrate — the continued evolution of this cultural symbol. Not only has it managed to transcend religion and class in a sea of one-billion brown faces, it will now adorn the faces of many more races. And that’s nothing short of amazing.

So, you won’t find this Hindu posting a flaming tweet accusing a white girl of #culturalappropriation. I will say that I’m glad you find this aspect of my culture beautiful. I do too.

Why a Bindi Is NOT an Example of Culture Appropriation 

by Anjali Joshi

(via breannekiele)

interesting perspective

yancybecket asked:

Tony gets Steve an official Captain America vine. Steve uses it to promote local art festivals and to put focus on struggling mom and pop businesses and Sam is in the background like "[puts head in hands] This guy is a literal saint. I have sex on a regular basis with a Literal Saint."

bluandorange:

yancybecket:

bluandorange:

spaceconfessional:

bluandorange:

I bet you they start out like. Really professional like Steve’s using his Captain America voice while someone else holds his phone and he gives some dorky line while standing next to the shopfront sign

and then in a few weeks it’s just Steve holding his phone over his head swinging it around going “I’m at [——] right now an—” and then a little kid comes up behind him and goes AAAAAA and Steve starts going AAAAAAAAA and they’re both just screaming into the camera until the six seconds are up because they’re LOSERS and Sam physically can’t

NOT THAT SAM’S VINE IS ANY BETTER oh my god once he’s officially on the Avengers and the Falcon becomes a house hold name; all the bird jokes. SEVERAL instances of him pulling up a youtube phone cam vid of him doing something cool, and dubbing it over with “Y’ALL GON’ MAKE ME RELEASE THE FALCOONNNNN” 

Tony and Sam decide it’d be fun to see what cute shit Cap says if you sneak up on him and go ‘Boo’. It backfires immediately because Steve is so comfortable around them and his reaction is to swear viciously and threaten them with bodily harm. Which is still hilarious! Just not something he’d want up on the internet. Sam promises he’ll delete it but Tony keeps it as blackmail (that he has no intention of ever using; he knows Cap’s audience is all ages and he may act like that doesn’t matter to him, but he has a huge fucking soft spot for Cap and his stinking All American morals and he knows it would actually upset him so no, its just for showing to the Avengers for shits and giggles)

Sam’s vines start out as “haha lookit this nest” and it’s him sitting in a little blanket pillow fort to “YO CHECK IT” and he has an actual place set up on Tony’s tower right there on the edge in the middle of the “A” and at the last second somewhere from the background is Clint shouting, “HEY”

Steve shouting DO IT FOR THE VINE at Bucky before Bucky gets what it means

Bucky doesn’t have a vine but he’s in Sam’s most famous one. Bucky is sitting on the couch then offscreen Sam yells “GET DOWN MR. PRESIDENT!” and Bucky looks around wildly but before he can figure out what’s going on, all the Avengers dogpile on him.

Bucky tries to avoid social media in general but he’s like a fucking easter egg on everyone elses’ accounts. The fans love it. He’s often in the background of Steve’s vids or getting trolled in Tony and Sam’s, but he rarely ends up saying anything. SO WHEN HE DOES, that shit is extra popular. 

Finally one day Sam catches Bucky singing to himself as he shaves. Bucky catches sight of him right before the Vine ends and spends the next hour chasing him around trying to steal the phone back and destroy it.

Idea for a two-volume book series:

  • Book one:

    a life-affirming story about pretentious teens with superiority complexes who have experiences and give nauseatingly quotable musings on philosophy and what it means to be alive, which often involves their enjoyment of books and tea and their condescending view of the popular kids as sheep

  • Book two:

    the same exact story, except this time it's being narrated by the teacher who has to deal with these asshole kids on a daily basis but is legally barred from saying "are you fucking kidding me" when they say some pretentious bullshit about how they prefer the smell of old books to the taste of alcohol. The teacher is re-telling the story to her friend at the bar, and her friend refuses to accept that these children could POSSIBLY be as pretentious as she makes them sound

smartgirlsattheparty:

silversarcasm:

[Gifset: Laverne Cox speaks at the GLAAD media awards, she says,

"Each and every one of us has the capacity to be an oppressor. I want to encourage each and every one of us to interrogate how we might be an oppressor, and how we might be able to become liberators for ourselves and each other."]

femmeanddangerous:

(x)

Love her.

(Source: fuckyeahlavernecox)

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