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cultural appropriation

TMZ are reporting that Katy Perry is under fire for including designs in her shoe range which resemble blackface.

Her eponymous shoe line, Katy Perry Collections, include two styles; the 'Rue Face Slip-On Loafers' and 'Ora Face Block Heel Sandals'. Both are being pulled from retail shops due to the backlash.

In a statement representing the brand, a spokesperson said; "In order to be respectful and sensitive, the team is in the process of pulling the shoes."


A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on

The loafers came in two colours, nude and black, and the high-heeled versions in black and gold. The designs feature blue eyes, bright red lips and a triangular-shaped nose, which has some Twitter users feeling VERY angry.

An image of the shoes was posted to the Roar singer's Instagram last August and there was serious criticism in the comments section.

Numerous fashion brands have come under fire for allegations of blackface, with Prada and Gucci especially receiving negative attention.

Numerous fashion brands have come under fire for allegations of blackface, with Prada and Gucci especially receiving negative attention.

Perry's shoes are currently available at Dillard's and Walmart and cost a whopping $129, but will be removed.

Feature image: Women's Health


We're all most likely familiar with the incredible Marvel film Black Panther.

One of the biggest phenomenon's of 2018, and the highest grossing superhero movie of ALL TIME, the hiring of a nearly all-black cast was a pivotal moment in cinema.

The setting of Wakanda remains one of the most iconic aspects of the film, which mainstream fashion has gripped onto. 

Image: Polygon

The film's acclaimed costume designer Ruth E. Carter wanted to change the public's generalised perception of the African continent;

“I want people to have a new vision of the continent of Africa,” she told Refinery29.

“I want people to understand it's not just this dark place where everyone dresses the same with bones in their nose, living in a grass hut. People need to see this is a modern continent. It has a voice and an aesthetic.” 

Unfortunately, clothing brand Forever21 have released clothing inspired by the film, but have gotten into some hot water when it comes to the models chosen…

Fans of the film are NOT happy to see possibly the palest man in existence modelling merchandise for the infamously diverse movie, but some fans are claiming that the backlash is unfounded.

Forever21 tweeted; "Wakanda Forever, get the sweater here" last night, alongside a photo of a mens' top, named a 'Wakanda Forever Fair Isle Sweater.'

Twitter did it's job, to say the least. The clothing company quickly deleted the tweet, but the image is still on their website.

If you click on the link, it redirects you to another model, this time a diverse one, wearing a yellow and black sweater.

There's nothing wrong with a person of any race enjoying a movie's merchandise of course.

However, many users online were troubled at the perceived whitewashing, considering the film is arguably the first superhero of it's kind to appeal to all races, ages and genders.

Whitewashing has been appearing in fashion more and more recently, with Zara and H+M getting into trouble for missteps in their high street fashion.

Prada found itself getting backlash last week for a shop window display featuring a charm eerily reminiscent of a Blackface character.

We think Forever21 need to be a tad more careful with it's marketing campaigns…


'Blackfishing' is the bizarre beauty trend that has the internet exploding, and we want to know your feelings on the matter.

In case anyone is confused about the meaning behind the term, 'blackfishing' is relatively new phrase describing people who pretend to have a different ethnicity online, specifically non-Caucasian.

It ahs become increasingly common amongst young white women on Instagram who use certain filters and language to pose as black or Asian, whether for attention or to capitalise, but other internet users deny that there is any racist intentions behind it.

We are SHOOK at this new information; some users online seemingly even use dark filters, are deliberately ambiguous about their face, wear make-up much darker than their natural complexion and use false or altered hair to appear flawlessly black or Asian.

A young woman named Odinaka even created a Twitter account (which was later suspended) dedicated to outing any reported cases of evident 'blackfishing' from white women.

"I created the account because I thought that there was really an alarming amount of white women posing as black women," she told The Cut.

“It’s very annoying to see people who aren’t black get praised…but yet actual black people get called things like hoodrat, ghetto and ratchet,” Odinaka said.

"They’re gaining success by appearing to look like me while I work ten times as hard to get where I really want to be. It’s unfair."

Writer Wanna Thompson spoke to Buzzfeed regarding the alarming trend of 'blackfishing', where she claimed that more responsibility needs to be undertaken when it comes to ethnic transparency:

“It’s clear that a lot of black women are being overlooked for these white women, so that narrative needs to change"

Speaking about the latest infamous incident involving model Emma Hallberg, she said:

"Nobody is saying you can’t get a tan or modify your appearance but she was intentionally ignoring the comments from black women specifically who genuinely wanted an honest dialogue…Her resistance to own up to her ‘blackfishing’ makes me wonder if she truly cares about black voices at all.”


A post shared by EMMA HALLBERG (@eemmahallberg) on

Swedish Instagram model Hallberg is the latest influencer who has landed in MAJOR trouble after being called out for potential cultural appropriation.

Social media users are now claiming that the 19-year-old influencer has been "pretending to be black" online, but she is adamantly denying these accusations.

According to Hallberg, everyone in her family has naturally curly hair and tan easily, and she has never fully clarified her race on her account. However, this explanation didn't stop the torrent of hate which was heading her way.

Emma is frequently seen sporting a heavily tanned skin complexion and has even appeared on Instagram pages promoting black models, therefore many social media users assumed she was mixed race.

Understandably, the internet nearly lost it's mind, and a storm of angry responses erupted as more alleged examples of 'blackfishing'  were noted.

Some people deny the trend altogether, believing that models simply use methods of tanning as part of their personal beauty regime:

However, many people online commented on the double standards which are present, emphasising that black women are often criticised for being unprofessional or unkempt for their braided or 'untameable' hair.

Some have even sent home from school for their appearance, yet some (apparently Caucasian) influencers are complimented on their aesthetic.

Many of the accused responded with statements reiterating that they were never trying to appear as another race in the first place, the usual responses were regarding make-up preferences, tanning and hair types such as cornrows and perms.

Supposed Asian 'blackfishers' have also been revealed online, with people changing the shape of their face to appear as another ethnicity:


A post shared by CANCELLED CONTENT  (@cancelledcontent) on

There is much division surrounding the intentions behind these social media influencers; some deny that celebrities such as Kim Kardashian mean any harm when they adopt typically 'black' styles such as braids or dreadlocks.

The prominent issue is that Caucasian people who adopt these racial beauty styles are possibly capitalising on them, while still having white privilege.

Others defend those online for their beauty habits, stating that they have never been pretending to change skin tone, only adopting new trends or even just complimenting other cultures.


A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on

Whether you believe that the contentious trend is authentic or not, this strange controversy is causing an absolute frenzy on social media.

What do you think, are these influencers crossing a line or innocently embracing other styles of beauty?

Jesus take the wheel, this is too much.

Feature image: Instagram/@eemmahallberg


Zac Efron debuted a head full of dreadlocks in a recent Instagram post. 

The post is furthering the ongoing conversation society is having regarding cultural appropriation. 

Many people feel that as a white person, Efron should not wear dreadlocks as they do not belong to his personal culture. 

Others question why different cultures can not share their differences. 

The picture has already garnered 1.5 million likes an d almost 20,000 comments since it was posted. 

'I can’t believe that some of you are mad that he got dreads simply because he’s white,' reads one comment. 'That’s the same as a white person saying that a black girl can’t wear that long, blonde weave running down her back. Hair is hair, not something to classify into separate races.'

'Its cultural appropriation because when we wear it, we get fired from our jobs, suspended from schools, rejected offers etc whereas a white person can wear it, and it's considered cool. That's why we're mad about it,' reads another. 

Zac is not the first celebrity to be accused of cultural appropriation. 

Kim Kardashian has also been criticised for wearing braids and attributing them to Bo Derek, while her sister Khloe has faced backlash for donning Bantu knots. 



Fast fashion retailer Zara is facing a mixture of backlash and ridicule this week for cultural appropriation.

The brand has been accused of appropriating East Asian culture in one of their new designs. 

The skirt that people have taken issue with is described by the website as a checked mini skirt, but online critics claim that it has been plucked from pattern and styling of a traditional lungi garment.

The lungi is a type of wrap around skirt most frequently worn by men in Indian, Arab and African cultures. 

The garment seemed familiar to many people, who called out the brand for flogging their €89.00 skirt without crediting the lungi. 

'My father and uncles wore them, as did many men who wanted something casual, cool, and relaxed to wear in the equatorial heat of Southeast Asia,' wrote Elizabeth Segran in Fast Company.

'And an everyday sarong costs under $3. They’re the garment of the masses, a great equalizer, worn by both royalty and day labourers.'

While some are offended that the company brought out the skirt in the first place, others expressed that they wouldn't have minded if only Zara had given credit to the origins of the style. 

Others ridiculed Zara, highlighting how the skirt is worn by 'older uncles' and is now being passed off as a fashion piece. 

Zara has not yet responded to the criticism.


Mere months after Kendall and Kylie came under fire for their controversial T-shirt designs featuring images of deceased rap icons, the pair are facing backlash over another of their designs.

Kendall + Kylie A/W has just landed, and among the camo-print tops and deconstructed denim is a striking novelty bag. 

The bag is shaped like a Chinese takeout carton with the slogan 'KK express' across it. 

Teen Vogue via Saks

The name of the bag? The Lee Leather Clutch, which some outlets are calling out for cultural stereotyping. 

As well as facing accusations of cultural appropriation with the bag, the youngest Kardashian clan members now need to explain exactly where they got the idea for it. 

Social media users in their droves are pointing out that the problematic bag looks strikingly similar to a Kate Spade piece already in existence. 

The bag was  first seen on the Kate Spade runway back in 2014, after the designer Deborah Lloyd took inspiration from her travels in Shanghai and Tokyo for the collection. 

However despite the controversy, the bag is sold out.  

It seems like Kendall and Kylie can't design a full collection without making a mis step. 


While generally celebrated for her boho style, Vanessa Hudgens has come under fire this week for experimenting with box braided hair.

The High School Musical star has been heavily criticised online for a series of Snapchats in which she showed off the look which is traditionally worn by African women because of its protective properties.

Online commentators have accused the star of cultural appropriation for sporting the ‘do.

One user wrote: “People like @VanessaHudgens, #hate true #BlackWomen, but love the #cultural, our #men, and our #music!  #Confuse (sic).”

While another said:  “Vanessa Hudgens…Queen of cultural appropriation.”

Social media users have also been quick to point out that this is not the first time the 27-year-old has been accused of adopting symbols of cultural significance for fashion-related purposes.


Lib vibes

A photo posted by Vanessa Hudgens (@vanessahudgens) on

She has previously been pictured wearing a sari, a bindi and a Native American headdress.

However, others have defended the star by questioning why white women wearing braids is considered culturally inappropriate.

“Is it cultural appropriation when a black girl gets her hair straighten?  No?  Then why can’t we wear braids (sic)?” asked one woman.


When you try to do face paint like Beyoncé

A photo posted by Vanessa Hudgens (@vanessahudgens) on


This line of thought was echoed by another Twitter user who wrote: “So it’s cultural appropriation when @VanessaHudgens wears braids but when @Beyonce dyes her hair blonde [it’s] ‘slaying’?”