Anonymous asked: As I'm sure you may have noticed in recent weeks on the dread tag, there has been a lot of talk about cultural appropriation when white people wear dreads with many come backs of saying white cultures never had dreads, only braids. What is your opinion on this whole thing?
Actually, I avoid the dreads/dreadlocks tags most of the time.
Those people are obviously quite foolish & should do a better job educating themselves (on world cultures, history, & definitions) before opening their mouths to lecture someone else.
Anonymous asked: is it wrong to have dreads if ur white & not rastafarian ? :( i keep getting mixed answers.
I’m going to go ahead & assume you aren’t trolling.
To put it simply (the long version is here), dreadlocks do not belong to any one race, religion, or culture. They sure as fuck existed a long time before Rastafarians coined the term in the 1930’s!
Dreadlocks exist in many cultures all over the world, & have since ancient times. For fashion, for spiritual reasons, or just because it was practical! Dreadlocks exist in EVERY race/skintone. Knots are the natural state of ALL hair.
Anyone who tells you that you cannot have dreads because of your skintone or your religious affiliation or lack thereof is wrong. Frankly, anyone that pathetically ignorant has no right to ever even attempt a lecture on cultures.
Want to dread your hair? Do it.
Anonymous asked: How do you feel or respond to peopl who claim that "white guys/girls" shouldn't have dreadlocks, or they're not part of their culture? Obviously we say forget them, do as we like, but it's surely a subject that comes up, people asking you "why have you got dreadlocks, you're white!" I've been thinking of getting Dreads, but don't fancy the constant ridicule.
Honestly, I’ve never had a confrontation like this in the four years I’ve had my dreads. The closest I’ve come to it was a (white) woman who absolutely insisted that my hair could not be my hair, because “white girl hair can’t do that”. Nevermind that she is right there, looking at proof otherwise.
Mostly I get tons of compliments & polite curiosity. People give me business cards for African salons (which I accept to be polite, because I’ve had difficulty explaining to people that my hair does not need to be “twisted” & maintained, & it is, in fact, permanently knotted & grows that way). I get a lot of young stylists who work at such salons who want to learn how they can start dreads on my hair type, since this is not covered in most all beauty schools.
I think there is a lot of pressure to be politically correct these days, & no one really knows what that means, or where to draw the line. So they fear everything remotely seen as cultural is a no-no. So it frequently goes beyond the obvious (like not using racial slurs, or wearing distinctly sacred symbols as fashion accessories) to silly things like pretending cultures can never blend or merge in any way, ever. Um, hello? Where the hell have you been? If you haven’t noticed, in this modern world races & cultures mix & mingle & even- GASP- marry. I have a white friend who was raised Christian, married a Moroccan man & converted to Islam. Is she not allowed to wear a Hijab because of her skin tone? (The answer is of course she is.)
I do want to take a moment to point out (just because misused words irk me) that cultural appropriation is not necessarily a bad thing. It can simply mean assimilation- which is positive. Cultures blending together & being adopted by different peoples. That is part of the definition, even though people want to ignore it these days. You hear the term thrown around a lot lately, but often strictly as a negative term, mostly implying that a member of the “majority” is adopting aspects of the “minority” in an offensive & degrading manner.
That said, dreads do not even factor into the cultural appropriation argument at all, because they do not in any way belong to a single race or culture or religion. Let me repeat that. DREADS DO NOT BELONG EXCLUSIVELY TO ANY SINGLE RACE OR CULTURE OR RELIGION. They may have become popularized in recent decades by the Rastafarian movement (which, for anyone who doesn’t know, is a religion & not a fashion statement, nor is it synonymous with “I smoke weed”), but they sure as hell weren’t invented by Rastafari, even though that is when the exact term “dreadlocks” was coined.
Dreadlocks- which are of course just knots- are the natural state of ALL hair. Your hair type or skin colour makes absolutely no difference. Don’t brush your hair, you get dreads. Period. They also exist in a variety of cultures all over the world, dating back way further than the 1930’s. Do you think my Germanic tribesman ancestors, or the ones in ancient Ireland, didn’t have knotted hair?
If the issue ever arises, I would simply tell someone that dreadlocks do not belong to any one race or culture. Some people chose to wear them for spiritual reasons, & some do not, & all of that is okay. If someone has a problem with my hair, it is their problem.
You don’t need to take abuse or have your day ruined because someone else lives in a little tiny box with blinders to the world.