Pham & Inappropriate discourse

I really like Minh-Ha Pham’s argument about moving from “cultural appropriation” to “inappropriate” discourse. It is  a positive and progressive way to look at how the fashion industry commodifies culture from minorities. I personally agree with Pham and think that the term “cultural appropriation” allows for individuals to twist and call it “cultural appreciation”. However, the reality is that those in elite social positions are commodifying culture from those who lack power. I thought this article was strongly connected to the arguments from Elana Levine and Michael Newman. I think the core argument from both Levine & Newman and Pham’s articles is how those with high social power steal “true culture” from those with low social power for commercialization and commodification purposes.

This personally made me think of Miley Cyrus and Kylie Jenner wearing corn rows, but since I already did a blog post on them I decided to look at other celebrities that engage in “inappropriate discourse”. I started to think about how Katy Perry has culturally appropriated several different cultures in different musical performances and music videos. In Katy Perry’s music video Dark Horse she robs the historic and vibrant culture of Egypt as well as African American culture when she puts on her grill. Additionally, when she preformed at the AMA’s in 2013 she dressed as a Geisha. In Japanese culture, Geisha’s are female entertainers who act as hostesses and are highly respected in Japanese culture. For this post I used video clips from her music video and performance along with photos of the culture that are being commodified and abused. I think the clips and photos show how the “rich aesthetic and social history” of these different cultures are being “entirely left out of the discussion”.

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