[Read this post before you go any further]
Remember the contender "Reverse Sexism"? Well look out people, we have two new gladiators in the Arena of Stupidity. They go by the names of "Reverse Cultural Appropriation" and "Reverse Racism".
I've been reading quite a few angry responses from white folks who are constantly invalidating the opinions of nearly ever person of color, who have taken on the exhausting task of explaining why cultural appropriation is wrong. Let's begin with this GIF and then move on to these angry responses..
Angry response 1: "People of color speak English! Isn't that cultural appropriation?"
Angry response 2: "I see people of color wearing Western clothes all the time. So why can't I be a Bollywood Diva for Halloween?"
Angry response 3: "I'm cherishing diversity – why is that wrong?! All I'm doing is supporting your culture"
I could tell you why all these responses bear little weight but I honestly don't have the energy.. So instead, I ask you to read this post which explains very beautifully why it is some white folks should stop feeling so damn entitled.
As for Western clothing, consider this:
"Trousers first enter recorded history in the 6th century BCE, with the appearance of horse-riding Iranian peoples in Greek ethnography. At this time, not only the Persians, but also allied Eastern and Central Asian peoples such as the Bactrians, Armenians, Tigraxauda Scythians and Xiongnu Hunnu, are known to have worn them. Trousers are believed to have been worn by both sexes among these early users.
So we got pants/trousers for both sexes before white people. Whoa.
A straw-woven skirt dating to 3,900 B.C. was discovered in Armenia. Skirts have been worn by men and women from many cultures, such as the lungi, kanga and sarong worn in South Asia and Southeast Asia, and the kilt worn in Scotland.
The earliest known culture to have females wear clothing resembling miniskirts were the Duan Qun Miao, which literally meant “short skirt Miao” in Chinese. This was in reference to the short miniskirts “that barely cover the buttocks” worn by women of the tribe, and which were “probably shocking” to observers in medieval and early modern times.
We have skirts of different lengths too! Look at that!
The earliest known shoes are sandals dating from approximately 7,000 or 8,000 B.C., found in the Fort Rock Cave in the US state of Oregon. in 1938. The world’s oldest leather shoe, made from a single piece of cowhide laced with a leather cord along seams at the front and back, was found in a cave in Armenia in 2008 and it is believed to date to 3,500 B.C. Ötzi the Iceman’s shoes, dating to 3,300 BC, featured brown bearskin bases, deerskin side panels, and a bark-string net, which pulled tight around the foot.
Many early natives in North America wore a similar type of footwear known as the moccasin. These are tight-fitting, soft-soled shoes typically made out of leather or bison hides. Many moccasins were also decorated with various beads and other adornments. Moccasins were not designed to get wet, and in wet weather and warm summer months, most Native Americans went barefoot.
As civilizations began to develop, thong sandals (the precursors of the modern flip-flop) were worn. This practice dates back to pictures of them in ancient Egyptian murals from 4,000 B.C. One pair found in Europe was made of papyrus leaves and dated to be approximately 1,500 years old. They were also worn in Jerusalem during the time of Jesus Christ.Thong sandals were worn by many civilizations and made from a wide variety of materials. Ancient Egyptian sandals were made from papyrus and palm leaves. The Masai of Africa made them out of rawhide. In India, they were made from wood. In China and Japan, rice straw was used. The leaves of the sisal plant were used to make twine for sandals in South America, while the natives of Mexico used the Yucca plant.
What about dresses? Well dresses, gowns and frocks are recorded as originally showing up in Medieval Europe. Also, there's Abaya's,the Ao Dia from Vietnam and the Boubou."
(Source: The Mind Is Limitless)
So really, western clothing is an adaptation and an amalgamation of several different cultures that have contributed to what it has become today.
"Many nations of the third world are described as ‘underdeveloped’. These less wealthy nations are generally those that suffered under colonialism and neo-colonialism. The ‘developed’ nations are those that exploited their resources and wealth. Therefore, rather than referring to these countries as ‘underdeveloped’, a more appropriate and meaningful designation might be ‘over exploited’. Again, transpose this term next time you read about the ‘underdeveloped nations’ and note the different meaning that results.”
– Robert B. Moore