So Spring is here, which means sunny days, warmer temperatures, flowers blooming everywhere… and music festivals.
Coachella starts this week, and certainly is one of the most famous American festivals, alongside Glastonbury in the UK. But what’s the deal with music festivals and why are they so popular? Maybe because you get the chance to experience the ‘outdoor festival atmosphere’ with your friends, meet new faces, see your favourite artists live, discover new talents, and, of course, show off your outfits.
Festival fashion has already took over our Instagram and Pinterest’s feeds, with outfit ideas and new trends ready for the festival season. However, this has highlighted one of the biggest and most talked issue of our days: cultural appropriation.
According to Wikipedia, ‘cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of a different culture. Cultural appropriation is seen by some as controversial, notably when elements of a minority culture are used by members of the cultural majority; this is seen as wrongfully oppressing the minority culture or stripping it of its group identity and intellectual property rights’.
Now you may think ok, but I do this or wear that because I like and appreciate that culture; however there’s a big difference between ‘appreciating’ and ‘appropriating’. It’s true though that living in a multicultural world can make it more difficult to understand the difference; let’s say that unless you’re just learning with respect or you’ve been invited to a cultural event and to wear something specific of that culture, then you are ‘appropriating’.
How does all this apply to festival fashion? Well, most of the outfits actually include elements that belong to other cultures, and are inappropriately used as ‘trends’.
Let’s take a look at some examples to understand this better.
People are using social media to express their feelings with the #ReclaimTheBindi movement.
So, these are just some examples of what is considered as ‘cultural appropriation’. Many others can be easily found, and most of them are related to festival clothing.
The intention of this article is not to bore/annoy anyone, or to tell what is right and wrong. But next time you are picking an outfit for a party, a dinner or a music festival, please do it carefully and be conscious; it’s not ‘cool’ to turn somebody else’s culture into a ‘fashion trend’ .