While I normally don’t like to contribute to petty little argument-starters like these, I will respond to this.
I am pretty sure that you have sent me this obtuse statement because I have had locked hair and help to run a blog about locked hair, which is inclusive for people with every hair texture, every style of locking hair, and every national/ethnic background.
The thing about cultural appropriation is that to do this, you must take something that is special and belonging to a certain group and trivialize it.
For example (and I’ll pick the easiest example), prancing around in a war bonnet in your denim cutoffs is appropriative. The native peoples aka groups lumped in as the “Plains Indians” hold these items in very high esteem, and to flounce around your little white girl tits in a ~wow so cool looking hat~ is pretty disrespectful. Native peoples have been heinously oppressed (and still are), and wiped out by disease, murder, forced relocation, and settler colonialism.
For a non-native person who is not a part of those groups to prance around in a “wow so cool ~headdress~” is appropriating that culture. You are taking that important thing and trivializing and sexualizing it. (Which, in addition is even more disrespectful to trivialize native american symbols because the rate of sexual assault is far higher for native american women than for non-native women).
That is appropriative.
Locked hair, on the other hand, isn’t localized to one group and isn’t universally sacred in the same way. For Rastafarians, it is symbolic of letting go of vanity (discontinuation of brushing the hair) and Biblically related- Numbers 6:5 “During the entire time of his dedication, he is not to allow a razor to pass over his head until the days of his holy consecration to the LORD have been fulfilled. He is to let the locks on his head grow long.”
However they symbolize something completely different to people in India who lock their hair. Are Rastafarians being culturally appropriative of Indian people, or vice versa? No.
Polish plaits (one giant lock of hair) were worn by people who dwelt in Europe around the 17th century (predating the Rastafari movement), and believed to “draw out” sickness in the body.
If all these cultures spontaneously decided a reason for locked hair, not one of them can truly lay claim to it. The hair is sacred to them for varied reasons, or less than sacred- a superstitious practice (polish plaits)!
On the other side of this coin, war bonnets were not spontaneously decided upon by various cultures throughout the world. One region and one area of different peoples (the people known as the Plains Indians- a lumping-together of many different groups) used them. Nowhere else do you find these things. We find similar headwear around the world, but when a little white girl prances around in her undies and her ~headdress~ and feels oh-so-one with nature and her spirit, we KNOW exactly from where she is stealing/appropriating this icon.
So long as a white or non-black person wearing locks isn’t attempting to be a Rastafarian or to embody beliefs of a culture that does not belong to them, they are not being truly appropriative.
You cannot lay claim to knotted hair.
I understand that I have privilege. I understand that when a black woman locks her hair, it can have a VASTLY different meaning than it has for me.
I understand that when someone with naturally afro-textured hair has locks or leaves their hair natural, that is their life. That is their struggle in a society that views natural afro-textured hair as “messy” or “dirty” or “not appropriate for work.” (please note: I think natural hair of every texture is beautiful and do not agree with imposing European beauty standards on anyone)
I understand that when I brushed my locks out, I returned back to the privilege of having silky straight hair, while when she brushes her locks out, she goes back to no privilege- only to her beautiful hair which (very upsettingly) is quietly frowned upon by the European beauty standards which inundate our culture.
I understand that some people see it as wrong for someone in a place of privilege to “try on” something that is part of a less-privileged groups’ day-to-day life. I try locks, I can go back to straight hair and privilege.
Another example of this would be if I were to wear a full-body covering like some Muslim women wear for religious purposes. She wears it with dedication to her religion or perhaps because she must do so, but I can go back to jeans and a tee-shirt tomorrow. She faces stigma daily (especially in a society where she is a minority), but if I wore her clothing for fun or as a “costume,” that would be shitty of me/appropriative! I would look like a privileged little snot.
I get all that.
However, locks- if worn simply as locked hair and a hairstyle- are not appropriative.
Another thing- If I call my hair “locs” that is offensive because that word is reserved for people of African descent to show solidarity in their hair and their meaning for it. That is why I call my hair “locks” (not even dreadlocks, which many people find offensive) when it is locked. The word “locs” is not my word to use about my hair.
Argue what you want. This is where I stand. I might lock my hair again in the future.
So- enjoy this well-thought-out response. I am incredibly familiar with cultural appropriation and continue to keep myself educated on the subject as well as I can.
So, I was shown this and I feel like my followers would want to know about this.
THIS IS IMPORTANT. Anyone who sells taxidermy, bones, wet specimens, or any item made from animal parts on Etsy (including leather, wool, sea shells, etc) should sign this.
Etsy won’t do shit about it. They love their creamy, wholesome, hipstery, organic, whimsicle selves and aren’t about to ruin that yummy feel-good feeling for all the upper middle class white people who parodies their site.