Are Racial Outfits Relative to Where We're From?
With the big story of Justin Trudeau dressing in brown face I started wondering about cultural appropriation.
Looking at Justin Trudeau's latest scandal. I started wondering about cultural appropriation, and how each region around the world thinks about things differently.
If you haven't heard by now, Justin Trudeau, Canada's Prime Minister was caught dressing up in brown face. I've never heard of this term before until recently. He was at an Arabian Nights themed party in 2001 dressed as Aladdin. Normally that wouldn't seem like such a bad thing, but then he decided to go the extra mile and paint his skin black. I don't know what movies or books he saw in the past, but I've never seen any Aladdin that dark.
This gets worse when you realize that he was 29 at the time, he was also a teacher at that school, and to top that all off, he is a son of an ex prime minister. I know, privileged kids don't really live in the same sense of reality as the rest of us. We saw this in a situation when Prince Harry dressed as a Nazi soldier at a Halloween party years back.
So what's this all got to do with racial outfits being based on regions? Well I thought about it, and I realized the big issue was the fact that he painted his skin black for his costume. This was messed up, and it seems like a ton of Canadians are okay about it, because they claim that his actions today should outweigh his actions in the past. I get it, but I don't think Canadians understand the racial significance of wearing black face, because it is part of American history that Canadian's are totally ignorant to.
You'll see the same situations when you see European music festivals where party goers wear aboriginal headdresses. They're in total ignorance of the racial significance of aboriginal headdresses in North America.
It's also weird that North American's are the only ones that put up big fusses about these issues of cultural appropriation as well. There have been instances where various nations will wear traditional clothing from nations in Africa and Asia, but no one puts up a big deal except for people in North America.
A few years back Trudeau was again in a dress up controversy when he and his family wore traditional Indian garb when they went to visit Indian dignitaries in India. It was all over the news here, but it didn't seem to be a big deal to Indians. He has a thing about wearing outfits by brown people I guess.
Other nations outside of North America seem to encourage foreigners to dress up in their old traditional clothing. In Germany people would encourage you to dress in lederhosen for Oktoberfest. In the streets of Asia there are tons of stores trying to sell traditional clothes or put you in a costume to take pictures.
Here in North America you could get in trouble for wearing a hairstyle that doesn't belong to your race. I don't know when only North America became so sensitive about everything, but you'll see outside our bubble there's a whole world out there looking to mix and mingle.
That could be for better or worse. Yes, they do have a ton of people that don't care about what traditional clothing you wear, but at times these nations can be on the racist side as well. They don't have the filters, but they don't have the cultural knowledge either, and they judge people by general stereotypes. I think North America has the world beat on our understanding of other nations. We respect everyone's culture, but sometimes a little too much.
I can't tell if one side is better than the other. On one side you have freedom of doing whatever you want, but you have the chance of feeling disrespected. On the other side you have everyone respecting you, but to keep the respect going we all have to be a collective and restrict ourselves from doing anything offensive. All I know is that it's a terribly confusing time, and I don't think it's going to get any easier as the years go by.