Khloe Kardashian rocks a burqa. Should we care?World
The Kardashians are no strangers to controversy. It seems like Khloe Kardashian has once again come under the crossfire for cultural appropriation; The reality television star was spotted clad in a burqa during her trip to the United Arab Emirates.
The social media backlash came as a result of a selfie she posted on her Instagram account, which has over 23 million followers, captioned "Habibi love".
While women in Dubai usually wear a burqa, women visiting the city don't have to. However, the Kardashian and her Krew decided to wear these anyway. Her hairstylist even posted a video on Instagram of the lot shopping at the mall.
It may have been a harmless decision just to do as locals do but it resulted in the starlet being slammed for making a fashion statement out of sacred customs.
This isn't the first time that the 30-year-old has upset people of the Middle Eastern culture. Last year, she posted a photo of herself with brother-in-law, Scott Disick, dressed as an Arab Sheikh, with an inappropriate caption.
Certainly, Khloe is not the first celebrity to cause rage due to her clothing. From Madonna wearing a Muslim inspired veil to Heidi Klum dressing up as a Hindu God for Halloween, it's evident that culturally inappropriate fashion isn't going anywhere.
When someone in the spotlight does something like this, there is divide: There are people who dub it cultural appropriation and there are those who think it's cultural appreciation. Where do we draw the line and where does this fascination with marginal cultures stem from?
There is a monumental disconnect between the two schools of thought. To certain people, wearing a burqa may just be a way to show respect for a culture they admire and to others, it's immensely insulting.
Often, the problem lies with the culture in question feeling like they're being wrongly stereotyped; In their eyes, a person who has no knowledge about their culture has no business promoting it a certain way.
It hits particularly close to home when people who can't practice their culture freely, like many African Americans who feel oppressed, are hit in the face with privileged people getting away with the same practices under the garb of fashion. Like Greg Tate says, they get to wear "everything but the burden".
To adopt an all-things-go approach in fashion is not what should be promoted. However, we should learn to pick our battles. Some people truly have no intention of offending another race or culture.
In today's world, it is incredibly hard to get to the source. Even the pioneers of "trends" are following the followers, so perhaps we should leave it at an exchange of cultures without the presumption of intention of degrading either one.
Another thing worthy of being noted is that it isn't considered appropriation if you are a minority wearing something from another minority culture but if you're from a dominant culture and you "borrow" elements of another culture that historically has been discriminated, you're suddenly termed disrespectful.
That being said, cultural appropriation is a real problem and not just a trendy bandwagon. And it certainly doesn't help when individuals in a position of power, such as Khloe Kardashian whose reach is massive, choose to send out the wrong message.
We are not endorsing that there should be zero cultural cross-pollination but merely that it should be done in an informed, respectful manner.