Oh Avril… please do us all a favor and just go back to singing about skater boys.
Avril Lavigne is back and released a new single titled “Hello Kitty.” If that doesn’t already make you somewhat cringe, just listen to the first four seconds of the song where she totally butchers the Japanese language and made people worldwide unanimously go “SMH.”
This sadly isn’t anything new in the land of pop music. Katy Perry donned a full geisha outfit during the American Music Awards last year and flashback 10 years before that Gwen Stefani donned her whole Harajuku girl posse everywhere she went. Can we all just take a moment and say “WTF WHITE PEOPLE? WTF.”
Cultural appropriation is the adoption of specific elements of one culture by a different cultural group. This is a phenomenon that’s been happening for years, but has recently been pushed to the forefront of any pop culture discussion thanks to people like Katy Perry and Gwen Stefani. Miley Cyrus doin’ that whole “thug lyfe, I’m a bad ass bitch that can twerk” is yet another example of how one culture appropriates another. This can be a hard concept to understand by some because some people interpret this adopting as a positive thing. Like, we’re all sharing ideas and we like how this culture does this, so therefore, this is something that should be celebrated, right?
Well… no. Not exactly.
It’s one thing to exchange ideas and celebrate diversity in a RESPECTFUL manner. (Notice how I capitalized the word RESPECTFUL.) It’s another thing to do a modern day version of colonizing a culture and its people and use their ideas as your own. People are not accessories to your identity. People are people. Appropriating cultures in this manner dehumanizes people and belittles years and years of rich history from these cultures.
So let me sound off here. It’s really fucking annoying to see yet another pop star take this aspect of Japanese culture and wear it like a cute pair of shoes. I mean, can you see those robotic, emotionless Asian back up dancers?! That’s all INTENTIONAL. That was choreographed that way. This song and video is absolutely terrible in every sense of the word. It’s pretty much just like that Chinese food video that the other White girl sang about on Youtube.
Make it all stop.
one of the many pissed off Asian girls that can’t take off this skin.