The Myth of Cultural Appropriation
Cultural appropriation is understood as the adoption of elements of one culture by members of another culture.
This definition is also labeled as cultural misappropriation, and it’s been the subject of controversy when virtue signaling people, who think of themselves as the owners of their culture.
They complain about cultural misappropriation when someone or a group of people from a different culture adopt aspects that they believe belong to them and only to them.
The latest case of supposed cultural misappropriation comes from Japan, where people are accusing Kim Kardashian of culturally misappropriating their culture because she chose the word KIMONO to label her new line of modeling lingerie.
The launch of her new clothing line is accompanied by numerous criticisms for using the name of a traditionally Japanese garment to sell reductive belts.
Kardashian’s obsession to wear super-tight garments under which she adds all kinds of corsets and molding pieces seems to have ended with this new line.
“I can finally share with you this project that I have been working on this year. I have lived passionately for this for the last 15 years,” announced Kardashian on Instagram.
It was a matter of time before she sought a way to commercialize one of the aspects that most attracts the attention of her physique; the one that her followers know her best for.
In the same way that her sister, Kylie Jenner, launched a complete line of makeup that has made her the youngest millionaire with 900 million dollars, Kim is now testing her luck with a collection of garments that promises a silhouette similar to hers.
Kimono’s Instagram account already has 112,000 followers, though the criticisms have not been slow to arrive.
Users have joined the hashtag #KimOhNo to express their disagreement with the name of the clothing line, which refers to the traditional Japanese garment that has its origin in the fifteenth century and has nothing to do with Kim’s new products.
While celebrity underwear is meant to “celebrate and enhance feminine curves”, the pattern of the Japanese kimono does the opposite.
Many Twitter users, -most of them from Japan- have expressed their sadness due to what they believe is the appropriation of the term by Kim Kardashian. They think that given her popularity, she may end up changing the whole meaning of the word KIMONO worldwide, something that is highly unlikely.
It is not the first time that Kardashian is accused of cultural appropriation: in 2018 she was criticized for wearing boxer braids, a hairstyle linked to Afro culture.
Although Kardashian did not make any public statements about the negative comments that the name of her new clothing line has aroused, she continues to post images of the brand on her social media hashtag accounts under the name #KimonoBody.
It seems that her strategy is to ignore the controversy and focus her efforts on making her new line as visible as she can.
If we all thought that our culture belonged to us and only to us, there would much more criticism to be directed to many other public figures in politics and the media.
Who can forget Hillary Clinton’s fake, condescending accent during the 2016 political campaign, when she tried to mimic … How about Madonna’s use of other culture’s garments? How about Katy Perry or Rihanna?
Before Kardashian, the latest example of the most vulgar form of so-called cultural appropriation was Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claim that she belonged to a native American tribe. She later had to retract her claim after medical tests showed she had lied about it. The list goes on and on.
In a world where we are told that we all belong to a global community -which is a fat lie- why would anyone be bothered about someone using a certain word to label a piece of clothing, whereas politicians and other public figures take on fake identities for political and commercial gain?
As usual, people love to apply a double standard as it is convenient for them.