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Marah Louw: “You will never find white people wearing our hair”


Africans cannot appropriate white standards of beauty as white standards of beauty are imposed on us, writes Kylie Kiunguyu.

Marah Louw a South African singer and actress was this week a guest on the DJ Sbu Breakfast show where she shared her thoughts on the “bleaching phenomenon” and “black self-loathing”. She feels that weaves and bleaching go against people “insulting” what God has created.

She further went on to state that “You will never find white people wearing our hair the way we [wear] other people’s hair; going all out like that. You will never find white people wearing afro wigs, black afro wigs to go out and stuff, unless it’s a [themed] party or the circus,” she added.

Do Africans appropriate white standards of beauty?

Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture. Elements are copied from a minority culture by members of a dominant culture, and these elements are used outside of their original cultural context.

A mutual exchange only happens on an “even playing field”, whereas appropriation involves pieces of an oppressed culture being taken out of context by a people who have historically oppressed those they are taking from, and who lack the cultural context to properly understand, respect, or utilize these elements.

Therefore as the social structure and power dynamic situates black people far below white people, any cultural exchange happening on this figurative ladder exists in a context of superiority and inferiority. In other words, white culture is imposed on, and not adopted by, black people