The Mainstreaming of Urban Culture

Today I was browsing target.com and I ran across a pair of gold toned, chunky, bamboo earrings.  I was kind of floored to see them.  I remember that style of earring being popular in the late 80s and early 90s.  Big, bold, gold hoops were once only popular among Black and Hispanic women in urban areas.  They were lampooned for it.  Big hoops were thought of as ghetto, uncouth and too flashy to be chic.  So are they still ghetto now that suburban soccer moms and hipsters will be wearing them?

target model

I’ve seen this before.  I grew up in the 80s and 90s outside of Detroit.  The fashion industry has promoted styles within the last ten years that I remember inner city women and men wearing thirty years prior.  Back then that style of dress would have made a person unemployable.  So it’s interesting to see urban styles marketed as chic and trendy when the fashion industry is actually decades behind the trend.

I ran across this article a few years ago in Lucky magazine a few years ago.

zoey deschanel

Sorry but Zooey Deschanel is the last person I think of when I think of nail art.  No celebrity comes to mind when I think about nail designs.  The popularity of nail art has grass roots.  Grass that sprung up in between slabs of concrete.  Nail art has been a fashion staple across America’s big cities for decades.  It was hood until Zooey Deschanel and Lucky magazine said it wasn’t.

I’m not one to get angry about cultural appropriation because I live in a multi cultural society and cultures rub off on each other.  But it’s unfair the way that anything that is associated with Black Americans is looked down on but a White stylists or buyer copies an urban fashion, brings it to the White masses who think that it is something new and all of a sudden it’s a new trend and it’s origins are forgotten.  Then people tell African Americans that we have no culture and some African Americas seem to agree and wait for the White mainstream stamp of approval.

We have culture but we often turn our noses down at it in order to assimilate into the dominant culture.  Instead of Blacks passing it down to our own children another ethnic group ends up selling our culture back to a different generation of Black Americans.  It’s honestly our own fault and we should know better by now.  But we keep falling for the okey doke.  This cycle also happens in music and the restaurant industry.

russian hairstyles  ghetto hairstyles

Black people need to appreciate their own creativity and originality.  Stop joining in the chorus of folks labeling something as ghetto in order to fit in to polite society.  Something is either tacky and uncouth across the board or it isn’t.  The marketing is the difference.  Black people should protect their culture and proudly claim it.  Don’t wait for a White reality star to make you chic.  Learn to market your own culture instead of complaining when someone else figures out a way to make a buck off of it.

I’m sure glad that I saved my gigantic Turkish link gold hoop earrings from the 90s.

 

 

 

 

 

Why do Children Bully?

Bullying has been a hot topic for the last few years and this week the bullying hype has reached a fever pitch due to the #Keaton hashtag on Twitter.  People love to reflect on why children are so cruel to each other.  To me it is painfully obvious why children mistreat each other to the point that a student may commit suicide because of taunting at school.  Children mistreat each other because they are growing up in a mean, disrespectful society that does not value others.

I’ve been noticing for years that people love to strong arm one another in modern day America.  There is no respect for a difference of opinion and when people do not do what we want we try to force our will on them.  I noticed that in various customer service positions I’ve held.

If a store clerk says “Sorry you can’t bring this back you’ve owned it longer than what our return policy allows” or “Sorry this coupon is expired” or “Sorry you can’t substitute the sides and still get this at the same price” people become mean as hell.  They use language to demean the clerk and demand to speak with a manager.  If management doesn’t do what they want they call the corporate office and rudely make demands and if they don’t get their way they threaten to slander the company on the internet.  They’re bullies that don’t respect the boundaries of others and want to force their will.

The “Real Housewives”, “Basketball Wives” and “Love and Hip Hop” are popular reality show franchises that give us a glimpse into the private lives of the wealthy and privileged.  These tales involve adults, some of whom are grandmothers, that treat each other terribly and sometimes they are even violent to one another.  The characters on these shows are sensitive and have hair trigger tempers.  Their interactions often lead to mean words being thrown back and forth, wine being thrown in someone’s face and/or punches being thrown.  There is no doubt in my mind that a lot of these shows are family viewing in many American households.

Social media is another place where mean, rude, crass behavior has become normal.  People call strangers names and demean each other for their opinions.  The behavior gets even worse when people start talking about and to celebrities.  Geez, people love to build celebrities up and then drag them through the mud or “cancel” them.

To top it off look at who Americans chose to be their leader in 2016.  A man was democratically elected because Americans want a president that speaks his mind and isn’t politically correct.  In other words America wanted crass and brazen behavior in the White House.  He does what he wants and doesn’t consider others.  He grabs bitches by the pussy!  In other words Americans wanted a bully as a president.  The last president we had was considerate, polite, professional and tried to help people.  What a punk!

So the next time anyone ponders why children bully each other just look at what is surrounding them as they grow up.  They are surrounded by bullying in real life, in the media, in entertainment and in the White House.

Bullying and treating others with disdain is normal for children because of the behavior the see modeled before them.  So don’t blame children for the bullying.  It’s not their fault that they are growing up in this modern day trashy American culture.