As New York Fashion week recently came to close, many designers left a stunning impression with their fabulous designers. Unfortunately, the designers who caused controversy with their designs overshadowed those designers. First, social media users gave the ultimate side eye to fashion bloggers when they called Alexander Wang's airbrush t-shirts a "new thing". Then, Patricia Field got the wrath of social media when one of her designs featured a black-faced character. She would reply to commentary in a snooty manner, but after being confronted at her own pop-up, she took the piece down. Then there's one designer who really put the icing on the cake.
"To all who cry ‘cultural appropriation’ or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in any particular style or manner – funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair, I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see color or race – I see people. I’m sorry to read that so many people are so narrow-minded … Love is the answer. Appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing. Think about it."
Marc Jacobs, on behalf of the black community, I would like to formally tell you, you have each and every one of us fucked up.
Let me break it down, and afterward, you can "think about it".
Cultural appropriation isn't nonsense. It's an issue that needs to be addressed. Just like LGBT issues aren't nonsense to you, people of color take their culture and heritage seriously.
Now, you have no right to talk about women of color and how they style and were their hair since it's evident you don't know the struggles that come along with it. How are you going to get upset at people calling out your blatant display of cultural ignorance yet judge women of color who straighten their hair? There's a big difference between appropriation and assimilation. Black women and women of color straighten their hair just to get a job interview, meanwhile white women don't have to worry about the repercussions of how they wear their hair. By the way, there are many black women with naturally straight hair, don't try to categorize our hair.
Oh, wait! There's more!
You contradicted yourself!
You said you don't see color yet in the previous sentence you talked about why we don't criticize women of color. Which means you do see color. You see color, I see color, we all see color, I mean as a fashion designer, don’t you have to see color to be able to coordinate outfits?
Marc, don't sit here and try to call people narrow-minded because it is you that doesn't see the bigger picture. If you weren't narrow-minded, you wouldn't have attacked the people who confronted you, nor would you have insulted their intelligence or minimize the situation. I hate to break it to you Marc, but love is not the answer, education and research are the answers. Miss me with that "appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing" line because if you truly appreciated the culture and found it beautiful, you would have left it in the hands of the people from that culture or you would have hired women of color to walk in your show. There numerous black models out here, and most of the have locs; it's not that hard.
Marc, you may not see color, but I see your TRUE color; you, your supports, and the two people of color who wrote an articles defending you, (oh, Robin Givhan and John McWhorter, I didn't forget about you two, I want to talk to both of you personally, but I want to let you all know up front those articles gave off a house-nigga vibe), I see right through you all. Marc, it's evident that you're another cis-gender, white, gay male who wants the privilege, not equality. You're another white, cis-gender, gay male who loves and promotes the styles and attitudes of black women but won't take the time to acknowledge or listen to the issues of black men, women, or children. I find it interesting that for someone who's been so outspoken about LGBT issues, been a victim of slut shaming, and spearheaded campaigns for Gay and Human Rights, you are blinded by your own ignorance and can't comprehend the basic concept of racism. You are just another white, cis-gender, gay male who uses his sexuality as an excuse to be racist.
This is not us complaining, or us race baiting as some people like to put it. This is an issue of race and cultural. We live in a society where people of color are constantly being told their natural hair or locs are ugly, unattractive, unprofessional, and makes them look like thugs, causing many people of color to be victims of police brutality and racial profiling. Meanwhile, white celebrities and white people, in general, are often praised and called "edgy" and "cool" for the exact same hairstyle. When you've had a piece of your culture exploited and sold by the exact same people who ridicule it, don't ever tell a person of color how they should feel about cultural appropriation. It's counterproductive as a person within a minority group to treat another minority group as nuances and very hurtful to your brand, just go and ask Michael Costello about it.