New York Fashion Week 2017

This time of the year is notoriously known for the various fashion weeks and fashion related events in the fashion industry (Wow… so much fashion). It has all kicked off with one of the largest fashion capitals New York (Feb 9th -17th) which has just recently finished and will soon be followed by :

  • London: 17th-21st Feb
  • Milan: 22nd-28th Feb
  • Paris: Feb 28th – Mar 8th

As you all may or may not know, I love fashion! Although I am not a fashion blogger  I do like to peep into the industry wherever I can and keep up where possible! Therefore, to mark the beginning of fashion week in my home city: London, I wanted to reflect on some of the awesome things that came out of New York. The last time I discussed fashion week – lets just say it wasn’t the most positive piece (read here to find out) so it’s nice to give things a change and give credit where due.

  1. Anniesa Hasibuan
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Source: Express

Her work is a clear example that modesty doesn’t have to be simplistic and boring. Modesty can be reinterpreted in many ways and this is a clear example. It shows that Islam, isn’t a faith that conforms women into a small box where they all have to look the same or dress the same because clearly from her work – Muslims are anything but the same!

Image result for anniesa hasibuan

Source: ELLE

What I love most from this collection is way Hasibuan uses very bold metallic colour to contrast the simplicity of her pieces. However, to say her pieces are simple is an understatement because she manages to bring the outfits to life by incorporating various textures and patterns to create a dynamic piece instead of a ‘blank’ 2 dimensional canvas.

Watch her full fashion show below!

2. Kanye YEEZY Season 5

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Source: BET

West has always been able to surprise us and keep us anticipated at what his collections are and how his show will turn out to be. He is a very smart and calculated designer ensuring that his work is remembered. This year, his show entailed most of the pieces being displayed on a big screen before the models came out at the end to share the outfits in person.

The outfits this year were really comfortable and stylistic. To some extent reflective of my personal style as it featured a lot of denim, hoodies and jumpers. The style gave me quite laid back but cool vibes which was something I really liked. Such vibes were contrasted by the strong colours of blue, burgundy and the infamous camo print which are all very trendy at this time of year.

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Source: Nice Kicks

Source: Nice Kicks

He also featured Halima Aden, the first girl to compete in a hijab for Ms Minnesto. From one Muslim sister to another, I can definitely say that I am so proud of what she has accomplished and what she has become. By being true to her faith and identity, she managed to accomplish so much in so little time. I thank Allah for blessing her with such success Alhammdullilah and I pray for such success to prosper Insha’Allah. She uploaded a post giving gratitude and I just wanted to share it because I found it so humbling and nice to read.

Halima.JPG

Source: Instagram

I may have only highlighted these two show, however they are great examples of how we are seeing a lot more diversity on the catwalk. The fashion industry is a huge culprit in creating a ‘reality’ that is clouded by ‘whiteness’. The world is made up of many cultures, religions, shapes, sizes and  backgrounds, consequently, fashion shows/magazines should also reflect the same.Such an art form should be realistic not ‘perfect’! Regardless, what has happened in NYFW 2017 (especially in these shows) has set an example for many designers to follow. By no means is this the end, but it is definitely the beginning!

Featured Image Source: Teen Vogue

 

 

Anxiety, Stress and Mental Health

In light of the recent sixth sense publication (the sixth form magazine at my school) about mental health, I thought that it would be nice to shed light on the topic.

Mental Health – what is it? An issue that isn’t addressed enough. Something swept under the carpet and ignored. Why? We have grown up under this belief that if you don’t see it, it doesn’t exist! We have been brought up to learn that concepts such as pain and hurt are proven through physical scars. However, why is this a problem? .

 

Because people think the solution is to “Just cheer up!“But how? This is the problem with Mental health, people don’t take it seriously. Why, because you can’t see it – after all “seeing is believing”. People can never get into another person mind/ body and feel the fear and panic that builds up within them. I can speak from experience, but in those times I lose control of my body – I feel helpless and that is the worst feeling ever.

Why? We have been raised to take control over everything: our lives, our mistakes, our responsibilities and our decisions. But when have we been told to loosen up? To follow the flow and go wherever life takes us. I’m not denying that I’ve heard that advice, but i would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that the first piece of advice is enforced a lot more than the second.

I am in a place where I should be the happiest person alive…but I’m not! My mind is a battlefield for my emotions so yes, I guess I could say I am mentally unstable at times. I guess we can all say that because it impossible to feel a certain emotion 100% of the time. It is possible to be consumed by one though and feel like that. However, if I raise my hand and say that I am not mentally okay, you would automatically assume that I am insane. Mentally unstable = Crazy. This isn’t a tautology. With the rise of social media, technology and social expectations, young people are increasingly thrown into situations that are intoxicated by pressure. Such an overwhelming dose has poisoned us with symptoms of Stress, Anxiety and even Depression. Although 2016 on the whole was a great year for me, it was also the same year that tested my mental health. It is the same year where I experienced one of many mental breakdowns. It was the first time that I accepted the fact that its okay not to always be okay. What matters most is the bounce back. What you do in response to those voices in your head – because trust me, they are there.

So what do you do? I could give you advice but that would be based upon the false pretext that I have found the solution, that I have successfully overcome my own issues. However, I can give you some advice about what I have noticed that has helped me the most. SUPPORT! I have a great network of friends and family who are always there when I need them. Simply asking me “Are you OK?” makes a huge difference. I usually don’t open up about my feelings. I usually bottle things up and let them ‘fester’. So knowing that people are there for you to talk  to means the world. It makes it easier for me to break the barriers in my head and shed some light to the dark.

So, before I go, I just want to ask “Are YOU okay?”

P.S (Sorry nothing makes sense, this is just the why my mind works)

CSG Sixth Sense: https://www.facebook.com/camdensixthsense/

Featured Image Source: Parliament Street

Trump’s Muslim Ban

24 days…

For 24 days I was fasting to make up for the days I missed during Ramadan (the month of fasting for Muslims). I dedicated these days to fulfilling my new years resolution of consistency! Whether that be in my faith, with school or this blog. However 24 days of non-stop fasting is no easy challenge. It’s a test of resilience and my faith. I have always tried to conduct myself the best I can in regards to my faith because it is an important part of my life and my well being. Islam has taught me a lot about myself and helped me grow as an individual.

So, when I hear that the chief and commander of the United States, Donald J Trump, used his executive order to impose a Muslim travel ban to people from 7 predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen,  I was disgusted. To make matters worse, as soon as the order was signed, people were being detained at JFK airport to prevent their entry. For what reason? Observing a particular religion.

I have grown up in a world where people have the freedom to practise whatever religion they choose to. Consequently, when citizens are being discriminated upon because of this simple fact, it is certainly frustrating. Not only is this a major infringement upon human rights, it is unconstitutional and it is replicating horrible mistakes that people made in the past.

Image result for trump muslim ban executive order

Source: abc7

On Friday 27th January this executive order was signed and ironically shared the same date as Holocaust Memorial Day. I was planning to share this post on that very day, however, I thought it would be more appropriate to share a post paying my respect to the Holocaust. I don’t know whether it’s because I visited the Jewish memorial site in Berlin, visited one of the labour camps or because I am a person of faith but for quite some time I have felt a special connection to this day. I always remember, when I visited the camp and I just broke out in to tears when I walked into the cabins where the labourers stayed in. When my friends continued through, I felt this overwhelming sense of fear that prevented me from moving further forward and made me leave. Thinking about it now is just making me tear up because I can remember that day perfectly and I can feel the pain. To think humanity could be so cruel is sickening and that’s why it angers me because this genocide started from the scapegoating and stereotypes of Jews, it then led to discrimination and eventually persecution. I’m not scared that this would happen again but when you see the red flags, you have to be cautious and alert to what may be.

A hijab, a prayer mat and Qu’ran are not the tools needed to make a terrorist but a Muslim. The sooner people realise that Muslim=Terrorist is not a tautology, the better. I don’t think every Christian is a terrorist because of the KKK so don’t think that I am a terrorist because of ISIS. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to blame other faiths and turn this into a “he said… she did” situation but why is it easier for people to protect certain religions in one way, and demonise others when they’re both in the same situation. I think this ‘prioritisation’ of religion is very dangerous since it creates a sense of conflict amongst religion. (Below is a Ted Talk by Dalia Mogahed that addresses this subject well – I definitely recommend you watch it)

However, it is evident from the continuous protests that people are not accepting what Trump is doing – regardless of his justification. I feel very proud to see that nations of all kinds from London to Paris to Vienna are refusing to accept such behaviour. The people make the government, the people make the political system and it’s the people who can make a change it. Our anger and frustration can act as a driving force to challenge such bigotry.

Image result for muslim ban protest london

Source: The Sun

Regardless, the US system has a lot of reforming to do and will be challenged a lot in the days to come. Is the structure of the federal government (President, Congress and the Supreme) strong enough to prevent such an executive order from being practised? At the moment, there has been some challenges that have in effect halted this order temporarily. But for how long? Will this become permanent? This article by the BBC gives a good overview of the current situation – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38880877

Islam has constantly been disrespected to an extent. It’s shameful that the actions of the radical minority have tainted the image of millions of Muslims. I know this will be one of many posts defending my religion but it important for people like me to use outlets like this to scrutinise people like him and share the perspective of real Muslims!

Featured Image Source: Times Live

A letter to Obama

Dear Mr & Mrs Obama,

Wow, where do I start. Maybe I ought to start with two simple words: Thank you! In the space of 8 years you have done so much – improved healthcare, advocated for women’s rights and transformed your economy. If I had infinite time and space I would continue to praise all your accomplishments but I think that would be pretty pointless – especially as you’re the ones who have accomplished it. So I guess, in a nutshell, I’ll try to summarise what you have taught me in your 8 years of office.

I remember in 2008 when I saw a light, hope and ambition. I saw a promise and sense of commitment that I hadn’t received from any other candidate or previous president. You were different. Not just by the colour of your skin but the way in which articulated and presented yourself. Your authenticity and humility enabled an ‘non-American’ like me to relate to a man like you. Consequently, I rooted you for, we rooted for you and you won! That was a proud day, one filled with happiness, tears and joy. Change was coming and fast! You showed the American people that politics is a lot bigger than middle class white men debating in their suits.You showed them and me that politics is about the people and the people are the politics. What’s a force when there is no drive? Definitely not a force!

Throughout your role you have been scrutinised and challenged but you have successfully embraced this and continued to persevere. Besides, what is a democracy without checks and balances? You have taught me that you will face many hurdles in life. Whether it is trying to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran or getting out of bed in the morning, what matters is not the challenge, but how you overcome it! It is easier to walk away, to give up and let things engulf you but what do you gain? Nothing. There is no such thing as an ‘easy pass’ in life, most things require determination, persistence and belief. Using all three won’t lessen the load but it will make it lighter to carry.

Such perseverance has inspired me to achieve things I would have never dreamed of. Why? I kept going. People didn’t believe in me but I believed in myself and guess what… that was more than enough! With my faith and a lot of support I managed to take a path that was never planned. As a result, I’m going to achieve things that I never thought I could achieve.

Although, I have been writing with both of you in mind, I want to dedicate this paragraph to Mrs Michelle Obama. I have 101 million things to say but can’t express. If I was ever fortunate to meet you, I would consider myself blessed. You have revived the role of ‘First Lady.’ With exception to Eleanor Roosevelt, I can definitely say that you have been one of the greatest First Ladies in History. You are a clear example of being the change you want to see. Why? When Barack was elected, the role of being FLOTUS was thruster upon you. It was really easy for you to watch his career prosper and timidly look pretty for the cameras, but you didn’t. You have reiterated that the POTUS and FLOTUS are two different people with different methods, personalities and aspirations. From your visits to schools in my city, London to the  #BringBackOurGirls campaign you have done so much to enable YOUR name (not your husbands) carries a legacy. Thank you for teaching me that being a girl is my weakness but my strength. You have empowered me with the tools to embrace sisterhood and achieve whatever I want (without any constraints).

Image result for obama family

Source: Today

 

Finally, let discuss what some may class as the elephant in room… Race! I have no shame being a black woman. I have no shame being black. However, I can’t pretend that we live in a fantasy where discrimination doesn’t exist. For the first time, I saw a black family in a high political position of power. You were the first black US president and hopefully this will set a long lasting legacy for many black leaders to come. If anything, you have given me a glimpse of “what may come and what may be”. I have always been afraid of being the only black person (or part of the few) entering a typically ‘white’ field or industry however if I don’t, if we don’t try to break the mould and create change then things will continue to remain the same and nothing will change.Thank you for giving me the courage to stand for what is right, make a change and be the change you wish to see!

You have taught so much in these 8 years, and I hate seeing you go but:

All good things must come to and end in order to create beautiful new beginnings

I love you all and wish you best because you will be truly missed!

Haddy x

Feature Image Source: BBC

Happy New Year!!!

OMGGGGG!!! Guys it’s 2017. “New Year…New Me!” Right?

LOOOL, jk jk. I don’t go by that motto! For me, I’ve always been improving myself but I am not going to lie, a new year is just another reason that motivates me to carry on.

2016 was a MAD year. When I see people complaining about how bad it went I feel quite sad because I felt like 2016 was an amazing year for me. It taught me a lot about myself, friendship, my faith and so much more! By far it was not my easiest year, I had huge mental breakdowns, anxiety and lots of stress but it has also granted me so many blessed opportunities. I lost people and I had to constantly battle with my biggest enemy…Myself! However, without enduring such a war I wouldn’t have been able to make it to 2017. But I AM HERE! So clearly, I went right somewhere.

Last year I changed the way I approached new years resolutions. Instead of setting a small number of specific targets that I aimed to fulfil, I set a theme. My theme for 2016 was ‘Selfishness’. Yes, you read correctly. In 2016 I wanted to become a lot more selfish. Why? Well, one thing that I have observed about myself is that I am quite a selfless person, so I usually put other people first. It reached a point where I essentially forgot to live for myself (sounds quite sad now that I think about… but it was true) . As a result, I decided to put myself first in many situations. Whether that meant rejecting people’s company to study for myself, treating myself or spending time dedicated to myself. It was quite difficult but the more I did it, the more I realised the benefits. For example, I procrastinated less and learnt more about myself. It’s weird because this was the first ‘New Years Resolution’ that I managed to fulfil. I am not going to lie and say that there isn’t any room for improvement, but I have accomplished a lot more than I believed that I could.

This year I want to continue my themed resolutions. So whilst continuing my theme of selfishness, I aim to start a new theme for the new year. This year my theme is : CONSISTENCY! I have realised that one of my biggest problems with  remaining consistent to certain things e.g. school revision. This year, I have so many important events happening which means that slacking isn’t an option and consistency is the key solution to this. This will be a huge challenge for my personal development but I plan to make the most of it, just as I did in 2016. As well as school, I want to be consistent at home e.g. with this blog so I am hoping to ensure I can commit to a post a week (on Fridays). Gradually, I can challenge myself by adding Monday’s back  around June (or earlier if necessary).

Personal development is a very important part of life so I want this year to be another year for that. I hope 2017 is a great year for all of us! If you have any new years resolutions, please feel to share but regardless I just hope you all have a Happy New Year (again)!

Feature Image Source: Happy New Years 2017

BHM: “Is fear a legitimate justification for the oppression of black people?”

Currently in my history course I am having the privilege to learn about the civil rights movement in America ranging from the end of slavery in 1850 to the election of Barack Obama in 2009. One constant discussion that I have noticed popping up in class is about the motivations of some white people to commit such atrocities towards people of my race. As a result I began to wonder whether ‘fear is a legitimate justification for the oppression of black people.’

One argument that has been raised is that many people were motivated by their fear. The argument entails that white people were scared of the threat of releasing slaves. This fear of the unknown was very prevalent in the US climate because people were worried about what could happen with the rising power of black people. In other words ‘it was one thing to tame the lion and keep it in a cage but would those same people be ready to release it and face its rage?‘ To a certain extent, I understand the argument. However, I don’t believe it is legitimate enough to justify the actions carried out by the perpetrators.

In some instances such as interracial relationships or friendships, if you were caught by extremist groups such as the KKK those who were known as “nigger lovers” would be subject to the same conditions as their black counterparts. Consequently, when it came to saving their own/family lives, disassociating yourself seemed like the best alternative.It was either your life or theirs. When you are put in such life threatening positions the most obvious option is to save yourself. Therefore, it was better be a passive bystander than an active citizen (especially in a country where the majority would be against you). In these circumstances I can understand to an extent their rationality. I haven’t been in such a situation (and God forbid that I ever will) so I can’t judge them for the decision that they took.

However, these people were the minority so I can’t deny the fact that if there were more active citizens standing up against the injustice then change could have occurred a lot quicker. Yet again, having said that, I live in a relatively liberal society where the government generally listens to large scale demonstrations or dissatisfaction. Maybe at the time, the same sort of ‘protest’ wouldn’t be as effective.

Regardless of this claim, we can’t forget the most important stakeholders in this situation, the victim! In such a situation it was always the black person who was severely punished. The white person had a chance to get off ‘scot free‘. Even though the chance might be minimal, it was still a chance – one that the black person wouldn’t get. Furthermore, no one would care for the  victims family. As a matter of fact the family would be at more risk because they were associated with such a ‘criminal’ which then ‘blacklisted’ them within their own community. With the increasing segregation of the two races, especially during the period of the Jim Crow laws, any interaction amongst the races seemed risky and stupid.

Image result for jim crow laws

Source: Mr Nussbaum

But…. Where do we draw the line between an excuse and justification? How far down the line do we say that your fear is acceptable to be acted upon? I understand being afraid of the unknown but how can the mass lynchings, oppression or racism still be a justifiable solution?  If we forever lived in fear then we would have an unbroken and dismantled world. One where a society couldn’t function since all we act upon are our prejudices.

When you are scared of something, surely the first thing you do is avoid the fear? Surely at some point, you ask yourself, why are you scared? Then you try to find a way to cure the fear. Just like an illness- you detect the symptoms, diagnose the illness then you treat it! However, from the history I have learnt, people haven’t taken those precautionary measures. Maybe it is because they have ‘diagnosed’ their ignorance but don’t want it to be treated or they just don’t want to diagnose it in the first place. In these cases the fear isn’t justified, its just an excuse.

In many cases using fear as an excuse is the easy way out. It’s easier to keep fighting than to accept defeat. Why? This is because, I believe we inherently have a culture of blaming others to defend ourselves. It is easier for me to say that you’re wrong, than to confess that I am! It is easier for me to blame my teacher for my bad grades than to accept that I could have done better had I spent more time revising. It is easier to keep arguing with someone even though you know you are wrong. Why? It is probably another one of those natural human habits that we can’t help but do!

However, it takes a brave person to accept that they’re wrong! It takes an intelligent person to get to know someone before they believe their preconceived assumptions. This is a lesson I have learnt throughout History to this present day. During the Holocaust, many Jews feared for their lives but they didn’t stop being Jewish! During and since the Orlando shootings, the LGBTQ+ community didn’t stop being who they were! So why should I? I can’t physically stop being black! I can’t mentally stop being black and I never will! Just because some people don’t accept me for my melanin doesn’t mean I will! Yes, I live in fear for my life and many others because my existence is already a political statement. However, trying to oppress another community isn’t the answer!

In response to the question: Is fear a legitimate justification for the oppression of black people, my answer is NO! It will always be NO! Why? Fear is just an excuse. We don’t have time for excuses because we need solutions so we don’t keep asking ourselves these questions for decades to come.

Featured Image Source: Sophisticated Ignorance

BHM: Black skin is NOT marketable!

Before you read my article, I just want to apologise for disappearing and going MIA. I have been applying to university and caught up with the stress of it all. However, I have finished so I should get back into the swing of things with regular posts again!

In honour of Black History Month, I am dedicating all my posts to black related issues hence they will all contain an abbreviation ‘BHM‘. To read the first post in the series, please read my Black History Month post!  It is an overview of some of the black figures I love and respect!I hope you look forward to this little series because it is very personal as it relates to my experiences as a black woman.

Whether it is hair or beauty us black girls are not good enough for producers! Walking into a drug store such as Boots or Superdrug is honestly  a dreadful experience for many women of colour (WOC) because there are no beauty brands that cater for darker shades. It is impossible!

Therefore, I was quite surprised to learn that in September 2015 the racontuer posted an article stating that “the beauty industry is worth £17 billion to the UK economy, and consumers are expected to spend an average of £342.90 on beauty and skincare this year.” Within in this market, the beauty resource further added that it “employs around one million workers nationwide.

Regardless of these numbers, I still don’t understand why it is difficult to find a foundation or concealer in my shade. In addition, when most of the advocates for beauty products from platforms such as YouTube are women of colour (WOC), I don’t understand why we still face this problem in 2016.

These brands constantly partner with such individuals, thus, at some point these brands should think about targeting their large audiences (which are presumably WOC). Consequently, it should be more than obvious to increase the supply of black beauty products by making them! To further aid this case, if you see the competition for drug store black beauty products in the UK, there is hardly any! Therefore, it only benefits the companies as they can capitalise upon the demand.

Patricia Bright (Source: Blog

 

 

Some of the most frustrating things about this is how I can’t run into a local stop and pick up a foundation if I am running low. That isn’t to say that I use makeup so much that I need to run in and buy it whenever, but, having that privilege would be nice. Knowing that, I as a consumer and a minority, have some kind of importance in the market is empowering – it means I have a voice.

Now trust me I don’t want to target the makeup and beauty industry as a topic of political discussion but until the issue is revolved I have to complain!

My main problem is trying to digest the fact that this industry has enough resources to make a product, enough demand to sell the product and enough representatives to show the product. Having said that, why don’t they make products for darker complexions?

Why do I have to buy high end makeup products from Mac or Fashion Fair just to find my right shade? Why do I have to spend over £50 for a full face of makeup when people of lighter complexions could do the same in less than £25? What is the problem with dark skin? Is it not marketable enough?

Having said that, I have to commend L’Oreal for taking the first step forward. Their most recent make up campaign has introduced a range of complexions that suit a multitude of skin tones! By no means am I saying that this it, but I am very happy to see that they are taking the first step in the right direction. I also hope that this initiative will be the first of many and trigger other companies to realise this huge gap in the market, especially as retail giants such as Sephora could be moving here soon to consume all this demand.

Image result for loreal true match

 

Feature Image Source: The Society Pages (please also read the article attached)

 

Blog Bites: September Reflection

With all my recent posts, I feel like it is time to just cool things down and take some time to reflect on just life. September is drawing to a close and I feel like it’s just a cool thing being able to look back and see how far you’ve come in a space of the month. So sorry if you don’t like these personal type of posts because this basically going to be all about me. Having said that,if you want something a bit more political or what not you can wait for my Friday post or read last weeks post about Cultural Appropriation.

So… September… What have I done?

Well… when you put me on the spot, I’m actually having some difficulty to remember. I usually take each day at a time so I fail to remember everything I have done as a collective. I will try and recollect some memories and throw out whatever comes to mind

  1. I started Year 13 – OMG!!! I still can’t believe that I am in my final year of school. Typing that seems weird. It’s a similar feeling to how I felt in Year 11 but maybe not as nostalgic. With secondary school, I was saying goodbye to 5 years of my life whereas my current school has only been 2. After this I will be moving on to University and endeavouring another huge milestone of my life. One chapter of my life is closing and another is soon to begin; I’m not afraid of that but excited for it. Moving to another school has helped me with that because it has allowed me to get used to change and adapt to new environments. Additionally, I have noticed that I have become a lot more engaged with my work.
  2. University applications – Erghhh… growing up = responsibility and this is one of them. The university application process has been a roller coaster of a process which has challenged me both physically and mentally. However, because of this, I have been able to grow as a person (I might elaborate on this more in another post).
  3. Motivation! – One reason why I wrote my Motivation post last week was because I understand the difficulty in motivating yourself and keeping on top of things in school. I’m not going to lie and say I have been perfectly motivated since the beginning of the month, BUT, I can truly say that I have seen an improvement. For example, my procrastination has moved from an A* to probably a C (there’s still more improvement to go though) and that’s because I have been more focused and keen with school! I am really proud at how I can basically complete most of my homework relatively on time and that’s wayyyyy better than last year!

This may have been a bit longer than I expected… Sorry but once you start reminiscing you can’t stop!

P.S My life isn’t as boring as you think – I have done a lot more than I highlighted above I’ve just forgotten (this will improve over time)!

Haddy x

Featured Image Source: Time and date

Cultural Appropriation: Marc Jacobs and Dreadlocks

I always found Cultural Appropriation to be a topic that is highly controversial and quite scary to discuss. However, today I just couldn’t stay quiet. I have always been scared to discuss my opinions on this matter, but when I heard about the Marc Jacobs and Dreadlocks situation, I just had to vent my frustration.

For those of you who may not know, this season is home to multiple Fashion Weeks across the world.Whether it is from my blog, YouTube video or window shopping in Oxford Street, I have always loved fashion. One day, I hope that I will be able to watch the shows in fashion week and see all the amazing work by such creative designers. One of these designers, for example, is Marc Jacobs. With such talented designs, his brand and work is iconic. So when I saw a video about his show on NowThis Entertainment I was more than happy to watch. However the caption of the video got me the most: “Hey Marc Jacobs, dreadlocks on white models was probably not a good idea.” As soon I read that, things began to take a turn for the worse.

Basically, the video demonstrates the backlash Marc Jacobs has been facing for featuring white models wearing faux dreadlocks in his latest fashion show.

Initially, I  just felt like “here we go again…another Cultural Appropriation issue” because I have literally reached a point where I am just too frustrated to care. However, when I kept watching the video and researching about this issue, I just found myself getting even more angry. I am not the sort of person who gets angry very easily so when I do get angry it takes something big to do that. Not only were the comments I read beneath the video quite disgusting and ignorant but it was the fact that STILL in 2016 people don’t understand why people are so frustrated! One of those people being Marc Jacobs himself.

Image result for marc jacobs and dreadlocks

Source: The Mirror

Whilst reading the Mirror article: Marc Jacobs defends using dreadlocks in fashion show featuring Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner after sparking row, it mentioned Marc Jacobs response to the backlash. He stated:

Image result for marc jacobs and dreadlocks

Source: Refinery 29

“All who cry “cultural appropriation” or whatever nonsense about any race or skin color wearing their hair in any particular style or manner – funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair.

“I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see colour or race – I see people. I’m sorry to read that so many people are so narrow minded… Love is the answer.

“Appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing.”

This whole entire argument is in no way justified for what he has done. It’s clear to me that he doesn’t understand the concept of ‘Cultural Appropriation’ and he doesn’t seem to care. As a matter of fact, on his Instagram page he has just been sharing articles which argue that what he has done isn’t wrong and “Cultural Appropriation” isn’t a ‘big deal.’ Moreover, on his Facebook page he has just been sharing images of the show and made no additional comments which clearly shows how little he cares about the situation.

  1. First of all he states:  “funny how you don’t criticize women of color for straightening their hair.”

Well Mr Jacobs, if we take a little trip down memory lane to a period called slavery, maybe I can give you a little insight to why many women of colour (WOC) straighten their hair. During the slave trade, WOC (black people in particular) were ridiculed for their Afro-centric features i.e. dark skin, big lips and natural hair. Natural hair has collected numerous insults some more direct e.g. ‘nappy hair’ but other more subtle suggesting that natural hair isn’t ‘tidy’.

Dreadlocks usually occur when natural hair (which is of curly kinky texture), begins to lock in to place. Back in the day, hair tools such as comb and brushes were not readily available so this was just a natural thing to occur. As a matter of fact it collected the term ‘Dread’locks because people were actually scared of it’s appearance. Consequently, such hairstyles were usually frowned upon. In order for a slave to SURVIVE, it was better to look more white/Caucasian. Thus, over the years the creative protective styles from the various tribes of Africa soon became a part of history. Consequently, straighter hair wasn’t a choice simply from desire but a choice to SURVIVE! Unfortunately, this is still a part of our society today where certain institutions such as schools and the working environment still dismiss natural hair. For example, in South Africa where black girls protested against having their hair straightened.

So Mr Jacobs, it is very easy to point the finger to sway the blame but actually addressing the issue at heart is the tricky part!

2. Secondly he also claims that: “I respect and am inspired by people and how they look. I don’t see colour or race”

Very funny you should say that Mr Jacobs because I can’t see any colour either from your fashion shows. Out of all the multiple designs you would like to present I find it interesting how I don’t see many Asian people or black people also gracing the stage. I mean what is so wrong with some colour? Do we not fit your aesthetic? Does our skin colour not work well with your design?

I find it quite difficult to believe that you can argue that “Appreciation of all and inspiration from anywhere is a beautiful thing.” because I don’t see you appreciating it that much. From what I gather, you only perceive other cultures as  beautiful when they come from a white person. Maybe you should take the time to practise what you preach by actually sharing “love” for all cultures by displaying all cultures on the catwalk (not just on a white person).

The thing that frustrates me the most, is the fact that you are capitalising on something inherent to another persons culture and that is really offensive. Especially because in this current day and age, I still can’t go anywhere without having to ‘whiten’ my appearance in order to be accepted. It’s funny how although slavery has ended, the mentality of it still prevails. To be specific, we still see other cultures being treated as inferior to the white culture. If he really wanted to appreciate dreadlocks then he should have featured a black model which actually has REAL dreadlocks on her head.

I know this piece is very different from what I usually write but I thought it was important to share my opinions. Please feel free to share yours below!!! If you still don’t understand ‘Cultural Appropriation’ I will be writing a post about it soon so look out for my upcoming posts!

Featured Image Source: The Guardian

Blog Bites: School Motivation

Hey guys!!! I’m back again with another edition of blog bites. The first edition went well so I look forward to what may come. Today I am going to be talking about all things SCHOOL related. I know…*YAWN* but hear me out. Today I am specifically trying to motivate us all to get through this year. Besides, this advice is basically applicable to all aspects of life.

Year 13. A very daunting year for me to conquer. On paper it looks great but in practice I am overwhelmed by the constant homework, revision and post sixth form prep that I just want to SCREAM!!!

Okay finally. I’ve let it out.

Now that the anger and frustration is gone, I can start thinking rationally. So what is my current situation:

  • A2 Exams
  • University applications
  • Homework
  • Revision
  • STRESS

Yes. You guys are not alone. Just like you I have a lot of things to worry and that scares me. Last year I spent too much time getting too comfortable getting used to my new atmosphere and that’s just something I can’t afford to do again. BUT… How can I stop myself from reverting back?

Well… that’s where MOTIVATION kicks in!

It can be quite difficult to motivate yourself to work. How do I know? Because I suffer from motivation-deficiency quite regularly, but that’s okay. I mean who loves school 24/7? Regardless, we have to start by changing our mentality. Revision and studies shouldn’t be something that we NEED to do but something we WANT to do! As the old saying goes “Times goes by when you’re having fun.” So make your work something fun, something that you look forward to doing. Whether it’s by watching videos, creating posters or teaching your friends. Make things interactive so you don’t fall asleep!

Also, set short term targets to achieve long term goals. There will be many hurdles in your way but once you overcome them, you can cross the finishing line with ease.  You do you and work at your own pace (just don’t take too long because that was my mistake last year). People get so overwhelmed by the stress and pressure of exams but if you realise that life is more than a piece of paper then I am sure you will relish at every challenge that comes your way!

Featured Image: Plus Quotes