Chopsticks in your hair

So, what I have seen a lot growing up and around me lately is women having chopsticks in their hair. Apparently, it’s a trend…anyhow I’m not sure whether to be amused or annoyed for the cultural appropriation that is inherent in this act.

As a Chinese-American woman, I use chopsticks to eat, as do Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese and other Asian ethnic groups I have not named.

So it is amusing to see chopsticks in someone’s hair, however the times I have seen it happen, it has always been a White, or White-looking person with the food apparatus in their hair. I can easily imagine the giggles and looks the chopstick-wearer will receive walking down a street in NYC’s Chinatown or in a Chinese restaurant. I smile slyly because it is just that: funny. I suppose the Western equivalent of the chopstick “trend” phenomenon would be putting a fork, spoon or other eating utensil in one’s hair.

That said, I will address the not-so-funny aspects of this so called trend. It’s called cultural appropriation, which happens when a person who is not a member of an ethnic group tries to adopt certain things from another culture and use it however they wish, disregarding the cultural value and purpose of item X. For our purposes, it is chopsticks.

Here are some fine examples of cultural appropriation, courtesy of Tumblr:

http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/cultural-appropriation

A definition of cultural appropriation, as opposed to cultural exchange:

http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/09/cultural-exchange-and-cultural-appropriation/

Have a fine day, and please don’t put chopsticks in your hair unless you want to be laughed at, or more importantly appropriate someone’s culture.

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About Classyasfemme

"Those of us with the power to speak must speak" -Staceyann Chin College student doing some reflecting and soul-searching. Will occasionally write about the immigrant diaspora, sexuality, religion, social justice, loss, and offer advice. Most of the time it will be scrambling for answers to questions I don't know the answers to. I write as a way to express what otherwise might be forgotten in passing. I write to heal, I write to forgive, and I write for equality. Thanks for reading about bits and bobs of my little life. Keep on smiling. Profile picture is a series of body art photos done by Chinese artist Huang Yan by the way. Feel free to look him up if you're curious. View all posts by Classyasfemme

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