Hipsters Want to Be Anything But White

[Trendzilla] Which race or ethnicity will they appropriate this year at Coachella?

The ever-awaited Coachella lineup is out, and we're beginning to map our guerrilla coverage of the hipster bacchanal in the California desert, especially the lack of clothes and cultural insensitivity. Last year saw plenty of feather headdresses, rice-paddy hats and tacky spirit hoods on mostly white kids, leaving us to believe the young and cool love to pretend to be any race but white.

It seems this latest generation of the tragically hip is more determined than any of its predecessors to offend, shrug its shoulders, and insist that not only is it not racist, but also those accusing it of racism are the TRUE racists for even bringing up race in the first place.

Native American culture takes the brunt of hipster appropriation. The unofficial cigarette of hipsters is Natural American Spirits. Many claim to smoke them because they're a natural alternative, but we're not convinced the brightly colored package, with its logo of a Native American smoking a pipe, has nothing to do with it. No Doubt pulled their video for "Looking Hot" because it depicted Gwen Stefani as an Indian princess. And the Native American headdress and the pinned feather run next to the iconic thick-framed glasses and Pabst Blue Ribbon that stereotype modern-day hipsters.

But Mexican culture is not left out. Stefani has long advocated chola chic in her fashion, claiming she was inspired by Mexican girls at Loara High School in Anaheim during the 1980s. The prevalence of Dia de los Muertos-themed tattoos, costumes and purses is picking up. And the dispatches hipsters have of visiting downtown SanTana resemble British letters from the Punjab during the 19th Century.

Eastern cultures seem to get stereotyped less, partly because Asian American activists quickly organize campaigns against such idiots (although the idiots continue to try—witness American Apparel's controversial sale of the "Conical Asian Hat" for $15 and Ashton Kutcher's laughable mock-Bollywood commercial for PopChips).

All this leads us to wonder—what culture will fashion appropriate next? We'll get back to you when we come home from Coachella.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @taylorwrites.

 
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6 comments
jvp3
jvp3

http://sicangulakota.net/2012/11/11/theres-no-honor-in-fake-feather-headdresses/

 When I see a black and white picture of a Lakota man wearing an eagle feather headdress which reaches clear to the ground, I know he was a brave man who feared nothing. He feared nothing. The headdress tells me that. The eagle feathers were not just passed around for show, they were earned. Oftentimes they were given after much blood, sweat and tears were shed.

 The eagle feather headdress is sacred. If you are Lakota or a member of any other Indian tribe then you already know this. Elders continue to remind us about how the sacred eagle feather headdress is an extremely important symbol to our warrior societies. The headdress represents an Akicita and perhaps an Itancan.

 Many of us are taught that not everyone can wear the eagle feather. It is disrespectful to create those imitation headdresses from artificial feathers, in my opinion. I also believe it is disrespectful to both the sacred eagle and our ancestors for just anyone to wear a headdress, even when it is fashioned from artificial feathers.

............

 Our warriors are the only people on this planet who have earned the right to wear the sacred eagle feather headdress. It is a symbol of everything we as Lakota people still stand for. So yes, I take offense when I see some wasicu woman wearing only underwear and a fake feather headdress. There is no honoring my ancestors with stunts like this.

 But again, ignorance is bliss for some wasicu. In their arrogance they maintain they honor the Lakota and other tribal people when they don those silly costumes. Their ignorance allows them to remain blind to how ridiculous they really look when they try to imitate the way our people dress. Sometimes we grow weary of this endless fight to educate them on how we feel and choose to remain silent as some wasicu have no ears to hear.

missalyss28
missalyss28

My great grand father was full blooded Cherokee, but I look mexican/white. So if I wear native jewerly, ( bought from places like KNOTTS BERRY FARM that encourage people of all races to buy and wear hand made native pieces to support Native American/Canadian institutions ) that makes me racist?? How do you know the people in the pic don't have native blood? Oh, because they're skin is white, so therefore theyre not showing appreciation for the native culture, theyre obviously MOCKING it? God, this articule is so ignorant I can't even believe it was approved to be published.

hjalikakik
hjalikakik

It's hard to imagine a more white sounding name than Taylor Hamby. She may as well be named Holly Honky Whitey-Crackerton. If the brass at the Weekly is going to assign this poor, young, self-loathing journalist such assignments they should at least complete her conversion to the anglo-hater side by giving her a new name like Juanita Running Cloud or Lupe Pees In Pants.

hallucinogen
hallucinogen

How lame is the OC Weekly going to get? You must be starving for stories if this is all you have. Why don't you focus on a real issue. How about Hispanics and their hate crimes on African Americans for starters? Also, I'm Caucasian,  I smoked American Spirts...mmmm...good stuff. All natural. I could care less about the logo. I smoked them because they don't have all the chemicals in them that the other brands have bro, oh, oh.

Also, seeing how I'm a minority in California now, I guess I'll start biatching about you calling Caucasians "White". Maybe I'll go make a sign, gather some "hipsters" and start throwing rocks in the name of "insensitivity" and racism!


Ones who were once majority, are now minority.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

"Pabst Blue Ribbon"

While we're kvetching, it's long since time to call the hipsters out on this one. It insults multiple groups, whose silence only covers the deep felt hurt imposed on them by twenty somethings living in major media centers (and Portland). To whit

1) Blue collar workers. I mean, hipsters are 'ironically' drinking a brew originally made popular by the longshoremen, mariners, and mill workers of the upper Mid West. Just as privileged 'progressive' white kids are trying to hide their whiteness by donning native American garb, they are trying to pretend they are of any economic value whatsoever by drinking the drink of the hard men who built America -- men who wouldn't be caught dead wearing a tight cardigan with a tie. To ad injury to insult, Pabst moved its HQ from Illinois to Los Angeles in 2011.

2) Our fellow countrymen of German descent. All lager-style beer, including imports from Japan and Mexico, own their existence to Germans in the diaspora. Yet members of this group who settled in America, and their descendants, are all to often invisible in today's multi-cultural country, are never credited with inventing, developing, and popularizing this wonderful elixir. Perhaps they should get their own "History Month".

3) Catholics. After all "Pabst" is just German for 'Pope'. It's kinda like if hipsters were drinking a dark stout called "Schwartze"

4) German Catholics. Not only are these folks mercilessly lampooned by Garrison Keiler on state funded radio, but they have to witness  fey young men and women sitting around drinking the beer their ancestors drunk, totally ripped from an authentic context.

Next time you see a horn-rimmed young rascal daring to lift one of those blue and white cans, let him or her know how 'insensitive' they are being.


jvp3
jvp3

@missalyss28 - Native jewelry and faux Indian feather headdresses are two completely different things, and you should already know this. Wearing Native-made jewelry is fine; wearing feather headdresses (war bonnets) is not, because 1. such headdresses are only to be worn by actual Plains Indian tribal warriors or chiefs (men) with the consent of tribal leaders, and 2. there's a cultural-religious significance to the war bonnet. So unless you're an actual Plains Indian male tribal warrior or chief who has the consent of tribal leaders to wear the war bonnet, you have no business wearing one. If you were familiar with Indigenous culture, you would know this and would not need to question it.

 

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