Can we Talk? Yes, you and I? I want to raise the issue of Color-ism as well as cultural appropriation as it relates to and affect people of color from all around the world. My views and experiences will be that of a Black Woman who’s travelled the world and as one living in China. After all, that’s who I am, I am Black woman living in China and I have a couple of things to share and say.
Living in China has opened my eyes to how other races view black people,I mean, really view them. I will touch on one aspect in this article and that is cultural appropriation. You’ve heard the saying that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” well, in my opinion, not here in China. Let me explain, the picture below is that of an asian woman with an afro-like hairdo.
M.A.C Advertisement in Shenzhen, China Mall
Now, one would have to glance back at this picture a couple of times, to make sure that it isn’t a black woman. The answers to why, are there, but I’ll just focus on the afro. Now granted, this is an ad for M.A.C that was in one of Shenzhen, China’s mall to promote Chinese New Year. One thing that I am baffled about is the fact that they actually chose this photo of an asian woman with afro hair. I’m all for other races appreciating the culture, but I will not stand for any other culture mocking the hairstyle and laughing at it, but at the same time wearing it?
Yes, mocking. My experiences with wearing my hair in a fro have been more negative than positive while here. I’ve had people pointing and laughing, even before I’ve passed them while walking down the street. I’ve even had folk holding their noses while sitting next to me, because in their minds, my hair smelled.
How can another culture so call try to pull off a hair-do that we call our own and wear proudly but at the same time mock it and turn their noses up(literally).
This article isn’t for ranting, but I write this to bring to the forefront some issues that some aren’t even aware of, but will go ahead and use it for their gain. I tell you what though, I still wear my hair out proud! but ever so suddenly, I am self conscious about my blackness out here over seas, and that, my friends is why the above picture called out to me to write this article. I should never be ashamed but proud! However seeing how black culture is appropriated and the people of the culture are not celebrated brings a stench to my nose. Something, somewhere has to change. I promise you the change for awareness continues with me over here in China.
P.S Featured photo was taken in a Shenzhen, China Mall as well. Couldn’t believe my eyes. They are in fact… brown women.