Those dreadful hairstyles….

It is spring break and I’m enjoying it at the library. Yay me!  But on that note, I was tempted to delve into my topic of dreadlocks under the controversy of cultural appropriation. However, I realized that I should tackle some pretty general aspects of this very complicated topic for my next few posts and research sessions. After which I can boldly step into the world of dreadlocks and their status as an appropriated or non appropriated culture. But to begin with, I discovered today that dreadlocks were actually used as a derogatory term to describe the look of the Caribbean Rasta’s who wore their hair in this manner. According to some of the things I have come across, some believe that dreadlocks do not belong to a group alone, so everyone is entitled to wearing their hair in a dreaded form. And historically, other groups not limited to just the Caribbean Rastafarians wore their hair in a dreaded manner.  This just painted a picture of exactly how complicated this research process will be for me. Fro the mere fact that dreadlocks are seen as just a hair style for anyone, to the idea that dreadlocks were present in past cultures(in palces like North Africa and certain Hindu cultures), that weren’t Rastafarian to the other side of the argument which states that dreadlocks are synonymous with the rasta movement and they were harassed and put down for this style, so why should just anyone baske in the opportunity to wear their hair in this manner if these group of people were subject to harsh criticism and it is still not fully accepted today.. However,  it remains a fact that dreadlocks are often associated with Rastafarians and the presence of this style on a person of non-African or Caribbean descent often prompts mixed feelings. Personally, I understand the root of the anger that might arise from this. However, the more research I do, the more questions arise. For example, are White people the only ones appropriating when wearing dreadlocks? What about Blacks who have no ties to the Rastafarian movement and who are wearing their locks, in a non-natural, free manner. Can this also be considered cultural appropriation? This is not a quest to play devil’s advocate, but rather one in which I can examine various sides of the story in order to build a strong analysis. But for now, and for my own purposes(pictures to keep in mind as I go) here are a few things that are commonly used and could be considered parts of certain cultures that have been adopted into the mainstream: Yoga, Beyonce in Ankara, Ankara on runways, dream catchers, black face, head wraps/turbans, sombreros, tribal print, Cinco de Mayo celebrations etc.  Personal note: there’s a very thin line between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation

















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