Exploitation vs. Appreciation: Can You Tell The Difference?

3 years ago

First, take a few and read this from NPR Music: "When Pop Stars Flirt With Bad Taste"

Cultural appropriation.

Done "right": tastefully with an obvious appreciation, understanding and respect for a culture's influence on them and their artistry:

Justin Timberlake MTV Vanguard Medley(Click to watch)

Done horribly wrong with a privileged, misconception of a particular culture and it's influence on pop culture in particular:

While it's not a brand of sexuality I prefer or even find "sexy", I could care less about her vulgarity, foam finger simulated masturbation, "twerking" or anything else she does as a means to express her sexuality on stage.

My issue is that she's purposefully adopted a so-called "black & urban" persona, and  a "black sound" with her new music & identity-but they're rooted in stereotypes and misconceptions about black and urban culture in general. And she's profiting off of it. No one's calling her on this OR the Molly drug references. Rick Ross and other hip-hop artists were (rightfully) boycotted and lost endorsements and forced to apologize for talking about date rape and Molly in their songs...but a white girl does it and she gets a pass. Instead everyone's screaming about the need for her to put some clothes on and her tongue back in her mouth.

Miley rocks a gold grill and twerks: she's just expressing herself.

Black woman does the same: she's rachet and ghetto.

Double standard? I think so.

Reminds me of when wearing "weave" or extensions was fake, ghetto, and caricatured by white people until celebrities like Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears made it known they wear them... suddenly you could buy weave and clip in ponytails at CVS and Wal-Mart, and it was "fashionable" and desired.

Aug. 26, 2013 - New York, NY, USA - August 25, 2013 New York City ..Miley Cyrus attends the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center on August 25, 2013 in Brooklyn, New York City (Credit Image: © Kristin Callahan - Ace Pictures/Ace Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com)

If you want to talk about Miley Cyrus, then ditch the slut shaming and discuss something that's actually a problem.

Cultural appropriation. Appreciation vs. Exploitation. Can you see the difference?



This is an article written by one of the incredible members of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from entertainment

by Chloe Stillwell
| 11 hours ago
by Christina Marfice
| 15 hours ago