This week in cultural appropriation, Elle Canada found themselves in the middle of a Twitter fire storm when they did an article called ” Is the Dashiki The New Kaftan?’
If you stroll through the online pages of Elle Canada, you will not find the article though so do not even try to find it. After their Twitter spanking, they removed the article.
The trouble all started when the said the Dashiki is new trend because Sarah Jessica Parker rocked it and made it hot.
“When SJP starts rocking it you know it’s hot! She even wore a dashiki to her collection launch at Nordstrom.”
Fail! I think SJP is hot, really I do, but should she really be credited for making the Dashiki hot? Maybe in her space, yes, but not over all, so it is important to not just cover this with a big wet paint brush.
I give Elle some props because in the piece they did allude to the fact that the Dashiki originated in West Africa, and stating that it is on their style radar.
“Originating from West Africa, this tribal printed shirt is on our style radar,”
While all the blogs and everybody on Twitter is scolding Elle for their choice of Dashki celebration I am not quite that mad or insulted, but rather I am disappointed. This could have been a great piece but they failed miserably again!
Elle has been scolded for cultural appropriation before, they were the ones that wanted the make baby hairs a thing and we all jumped all over them saying, “no baby hair is a black thing have several seats.”
In this case the Dashiki has been around for years, it is traditional African dress and many of us own one that we may or may not ever wear…. #fact. Like with many trends, something never becomes cool until style influencers make it cool by wearing it.
This includes, Beyonce, Sarah Jessica Parker, Zendaya and Rihanna all of whom were included in the piece. On one hand I think the inclusion of SJP as the main style influencer has been a sore point for many as well as mentioning the words ‘new trend’.
Black culture is definitely not a trend, while Dashiki’s are popular on the African continent it has not been as popular in North America especially if we were to compare the two tit for tat. I have said it before and will say it again, the cultural things that are important to us we should be celebrating ourselves.
Magazines that are put in place to celebrate black culture should feature traditional black fashion like Dashiki’s, when was the last time Ebony, Essence, Jet magazine even mentioned Dashiki?
So is Elle wrong for highlighting the Dashiki, no way! But they could have been more balanced in their coverage. It isn’t enough to mention the origin of the Dashiki and throw Beyonce and Rihanna in the article.
But show your cultural diversity with a real appreciation of where the Dashiki is from and why Africans have loved it for years then mention why it is trending. — In “magazine speak”, that means at least two or three paragraphs along with pictures.
This is where these editorial magazine get it all wrong they do not understand the value of origination and once they get that right I think they will get more praise from the public.
What say you? Are you mad that Elle called the Dashiki a “new trend”?