An Announcement For All Coachella Attendees: Stop. Appropriating.

So, let’s take a moment to talk about Coachella. You all know Coachella I’m sure – the top music festival owned by a man that regularly donates to anti-abortion and anti-gay organizations? 

Yeah, that Coachella. 

Look, I’m aware it’s been a few months since the music festival, but the moment it ends they release next year’s lineup. So is Coachella really ever not the topic of discussion? Either way, the constant issues need to be addressed.

But we won’t get into
those specifics. Instead, I’ll talk about the other problematic aspect of one of the most popular outdoor concerts: cultural appropriation. Every year, Coachella makes its magical reappearance and Instagram is suddenly inundated with copious Urban Outfitters-inspired outfits. Each competing to get the most likes despite the 100+ degree weather, melting makeup, and body odor. (Don’t get me wrong, I live for the non-appropriated outfits. I’m just describing the scenario.) 

Anyways. 

Despite the fact that Coachella is just a mesh of troubling situations, people still spend nearly six-hundred dollars (and more) every year to try to experience the hype. 

But let’s be real, Coachella will never be the same after Beyoncé. I mean, is anyone the same after Beyoncé? Did we all recover from Homecoming? 

The correct and only answer is no we didn’t, and no it won’t be. In all honesty, she’s so impactful I’m trying to turn this woman’s black power into a thesis statement. 

But I digress. 

So, Coachella is a mess and it’s still popular. An acknowledged fact, but if anyone is going to be attending the festival and aiding in boosting the misogynistic, homophobic owner, the least the attendees can do is refrain from channeling their inner “blackness” or 0.0001%  “nativeness” by appropriating clothing from a race they know nothing about and want nothing to do with. 

Before I continue, I want to make it known that I am not Native to my knowledge. And if I were to be, it would be 0.0001%, so I am unable to speak from experience. However, being half-black and half-Salvadoran, I can understand the issue of appropriating culture and if I were to tackle a topic as sensitive as this, I cannot only target the races that appeal to me. In this war, one minority must try to fight for all. 

So why do I bring this up you may ask? For political correctness? Because I’m a snowflake? No. Not for any of those things, but rather for the simple fact that cultures need to be respected. The inherent faith by the Natives of this country is the belief that all things possess virtue, power, and wisdom.

There is no if, and’s, or buts about it. If you are not a Native, you don’t get a say in the conversation. 

Which includes the feathers in their headdresses. Every feather in the headdress holds a powerful connection of honor between the owner, the Creator, and the bird. Something this delicate and this beautiful should never be disrespected for the sake of 1K likes on a post by people you have never met before.

The sacrifice of the Natives should not be ridiculed by Instagram models getting paid per post. The cultural genocide inflicted upon the Natives should then not be caricatured into a fashion statement.

Unfortunately, however, this point becomes lost on those guilty of appropriation due to their lack of respect and their initial disregard for anything with meaning. 

As per usual, black hairstyles, like headdresses, are at the center of the problem. (Looking at you Kardashians.)

Cornrows, box braids, and micro braids have been worn by black women for centuries. These styles were created to fit the natural texture of our hair – a little side note: these hairstyles are only for thick, black hair. However, women at Coachella *cough* Kylie *cough* tend to adopt these styles and are consequently applauded for it.

Essentially participating in the erasure of the oppression of Black Americans and those of the African Diaspora. This naturally gives the impression that these hairdos are only acceptable if you completely remove them from Black people and place them in a box where their identity is erased. Black people are still being fired from jobs for their natural hair and being expelled/suspended from school. But all the while the Kardashians are able to adopt these styles without consequences? 

Cool.

Everyone wants to be black until it’s time to be black. 

Now, I know it must be so hard trying to find the perfect outfit for Coachella, but let’s remember there is a slew of outfits that don’t fall within the column of appropriation. You can choose from Urban Outfitters, Brandy Melville, or Etsy. (Come on, their clothes are dope.) There’s no reason to dehumanize an already oppressed minority just so you can be “cute” for two weekends. 

Enough is enough. 

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