What Not to Wear

My Yoruba instructor from Nigeria brought me a present of this beautiful shirt:

Now I don’t know what to do. If I wear it, it’s cultural appropriation, colonialism, and exploitative whiteness. But if I don’t, it’s white contempt for Black cultures, racist disrespect, and an imposition of white beauty standards.

Thankfully, the Yoruba instructor has no idea about any of this crap. For now, at least.

14 thoughts on “What Not to Wear

  1. If you like it wear it. Most people don’t care and the one professor in the sociology department can go fuck they/them.


  2. What they said: if you like it, wear it! I have a lovely ao dai gifted to me by a friend in Viet Nam. Back when I was still thin enough, I used to wear it to dress occasions. Nobody ever took offense, and I got profuse compliments from Viet ladies about it 🙂 they would always ask where I got it, and I would tell them, in Viet, that my friend Phuong gave it to me, in Vietnam, and that was enough to not cause offense. And if the Viet ladies aren’t offended, then nobody else has any claim to be.


    1. ” if the Viet ladies aren’t offended, then nobody else has any claim to be”

      There’s a lot you don’t know about wokies…. I remember a theater article dripping with indignation about Madama Butterly (especially focused on kimonos) written by an american (with a viet name).

      Wokies are very frequently offended on someone else’s behalf (there’s a very big demand for offensive behavior, more than naturally exists so they make do).


      1. It’s strange how selective they are with it. Nobody seems offended that Larry Elder had an egg thrown at him by a white chick in a gorilla mask. The word has been sorely overused but I’d say it’s definitely racist to mock black people with gorilla masks.


      2. Well, sure. But I haven’t got the time or energy to keep up with whatever the professionally-offended class has their knickers in a twist about this week. And I think we’d all be better off if nobody else did either.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “actually had people complain about you wearing such things?”

          Wanna read something sad? Look at this…


          The attempt to steer between the understandable and legitimate need/desire to grow a brand and simultaneously appease the appropriation hunters is simultaneously sad and hilarious (if it weren’t potentially affecting someone’s livelihood).

          “Ask them to explain why they feel that way and listen closely when they do.”

          In other words “wearing our clothes might make your life a serious of tedious confrontations”…


          1. Well, I don’t know that I’ve ever bought something “ethnic” like this from a company. I tend to get these items in markets / at stores, i.e., from the artisan. Who probably would not have made it if they were not planning on selling it. So.


  3. No one can take issue with the recipient of a gift using it as intended by the giver since that is trespass against the right of the giver to give a gift. So long as the giver had the right to give the gift and gave it freely, then the recipient wearing it honours the giver and their culture, which places the recipient above reproach.

    In most cultures anyone taking issue with a giver rightfully giving a gift insults the giver. It’s taboo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. Every instructor from overseas brings a gift that represents their culture. I do it, too. It’s a way to show acceptance and trust. But we are surrounded by abnormal people who don’t get it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.