Bounce by Iggy Azalea feat. Third World Fetishisation
I saw this awhile ago and I’m really undecided about it. On the one hand, I actually really like Iggy Azalea (I have a filthy love for pop music because I find it wildly fascinating, mostly) but by the same token she seems to be the master of cultural appropriation. I say that because a) white girl rapper from Australia, b) makes music and music videos about lower middle class American life, c) white girl rapping where rap is an African American invention that is inextricably bound to African American culture and d) this video. Which really sucks. I love seeing Australian’s in the ‘spotlight’ so to speak, especially in entertainment industries where barriers about being Australian and a women are there to be challenged. It’s just a shame to see an Australian women not challenge them, and instead do what I’d consider the opposite…
Slight segue: I feel like the fetishisation of India is something a lot of pop musicians do at some point though. Selena Gomez is also doing it right now, Gwen Stefani has been there and done that and then there’s this crap.
I don’t have a lot to say about it because being on holidays has put the actual research at a little hault, but here is a quote I really liked from what I have read. It’s more about Selena Gomez but it well describes the presentation of culture through inauthentic representatives, to make it more palatable to Westerners, I suppose you’d say.
What makes the non-South Asian person’s use of the bindi problematic is the fact that a pop star like Selena Gomez wearing one is guaranteed to be better received than I would if I were to step out of the house rocking a dot on my forehead. On her, it’s a bold new look; on me, it’s a symbol of my failure to assimilate. On her, it’s unquestionably cool; on me, it’s yet another marker of my Otherness, another thing that makes me different from other American girls. If the use of the bindi by mainstream pop stars made it easier for South Asian women to wear it, I’d be all for its proliferation — but it doesn’t. They lend the bindi an aura of cool that a desi woman simply can’t compete with, often with the privilege of automatic acceptance in a society when many non-white women must fight for it.
via Jaya Bedi in Beyond Bindis: Why CUltural Appropriation Matters on The Aerogram
On a related, everyday life not: I served a white girl at the cafe I work at, and she was wearing a bindi. I felt it wildly inappropriate and was actually quite uncomfortable because I couldn’t find a way to ask her why she was wearing it, even though I really wanted to know. I suppose that settles my earlier statement/post when I wondered how I felt about white girls wearing bindis – for the most part, where it is about palatable presentation and where it is a symbol of “coolness”… I really don’t like it.