Now Reading: Social Media Is Making It Easier For White People To Appropriate Culture


Social Media Is Making It Easier For White People To Appropriate Culture

November 23, 20184 min read

The great and maybe scary thing about social media is that social media allows you to share a created image of yourself for anyone to see. Influencers make money off of OOTD pictures while advertising hair pills or appetite lollipops to their millions of followers. As a social media-obsessed society, we know not to trust the perfect Instagram pictures we see on the daily.

People who make a living off of social media work hard to attain this designed image and fit what’s popular or in. As users, we could give off the impression that we are rich, happy, and fashionable while altering our body and faces with filters and Photoshop so that our imperfections can be erased. While everyone has the complete freedom to edit their pictures the way they want, when does it go too far?

Its become a popular trend on social media sites for people to fake their ethnicity. White girls will blur their eyelids and write their captions in Korean, but when faced with the obvious signs of cultural appropriation, they will defend themselves by calling it an editing technique.

Another trend that has been around on social media is the mimicking of black features and skin tones. These women will tan their skin to a brown color, wear kinky curly hair and over line their lips.

The fact that white people can pick and choose the features they want without having to experience the racism that comes with being a minority is white privilege. A white woman can attain the qualities of a black woman or Asian woman for likes and attention. They receive comments that praise their looks, while real minority women stay experiencing colorism, racism and disgust towards the features that they were born with.

In 2017, two high school girls were punished for their braids, a hairstyle that black girls use as a protective hairstyle, but is treated as a trend for white people. Now a CEO at the age of 12, Kheris Rogers was initially bullied for her dark complexion.

While minorities face discrimination for their features, white women can tan themselves a darker color and wear dark foundation and call it a beauty preference. While some people may try to argue that black woman occasionally straighten their hair and aim for lighter skin in order to be more white, it’s important to understand that this form of beauty stems from the European beauty standards that have been pushed onto black women all their lives.

Social media has brought attention to the features and beauty looks of many different races of people. What makes this wrong is that these people pretend to be another race but otherwise have no care for the troubles and experiences the races they are pretending to be. It’s fun to be black until it is time to be black in the real world. It’s just a preference when giving yourself monolids, but when Asian people are constantly made fun of in media for their looks, do you claim that struggle as well?

Featured Image Credit: @sexorciiism

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Shermarie Hyppolite

Shermarie is a student journalist who enjoys writing about a variety of topics including race, pop culture, music, feminism, and fashion. When she is not writing she enjoys listening to all types of music, reading fashion articles, watching Netflix, and reading books by women of color!