Your Fave is Problematic
If you have a tumblr or have ever had a tumblr this is probably a line that you’ve heard often. What it means is, something a person says, their actions or beliefs are harmful towards a particular marginalized group. The person could be a celebrity or someone that you know. Either way, supporting these people, in defense of what they have done, is damaging because if they are never held accountable, they will never change their ways. Despite some extremely problematic things certain celebrities do, there’s always a herd of sheep ready to rally in their defense. So, here is a list of some of your faves that I hope puts things into perspective.
- Miley Cyrus- In the years after her break from fame, Miley Cyrus came back with an entirely new sound and a new look to go with it. I remember when she released her hit song We Can’t Stop and every girl in my high school class was singing it all the time. It was a catchy song. However, I couldn’t help but cringe when she released the music video for it. The music video featured her wearing grillz, twerking and dancing with more black people than she had in any other music video. In fact, in the scenes that she is twerking, she is only surrounded by three other black women. While this may seem like it’s not a big deal to some, it is a part of a common theme of white women only featuring black women in things when they are attempting to profit off of things from black culture. Plus when Miley Cyrus hosted the VMAs with with dreadlocks? Yeah, I was over her.
- Chris Brown- I don’t know how he manages but, despite remaking the same 5 songs on all of his albums, Chris Brown still manages to have some pretty loyal fans. So loyal in fact, they are willing to overlook him consistently abusing women. When Chris Brown had committed his first known offense of assaulting Rihanna, although it is something not forgotten by the media, it appears to be forgiven by all of his fans. Chris Brown was diagnosed with bipolar disorder shortly after. Most of the time, black people are demonized for serious mental illnesses that white people are given countless excuses for. Chris Brown deals with this as well. However, that in no way excuses his behavior against women. Most recently, Karrueche Tran filed a restraining order against him claiming that he has abused her on several occasions. He has sent her and her friends death threats and stalked her. Every time Karrueche is in a new relationship, reports rise that say Chris is “livid”. At this point, Chris and Karrueche have been broken up for YEARS. After, he famously cheated on her with Rihanna and had a baby with another woman while he was with her. (But these “hoes” ain’t loyal?) His behavior is abusive and controlling yet, it is always excused by his fans. Not only is this affecting a real person’s life, it is also a horrible example for girls who think that it is cool to date men that are “crazy” and will threaten them!
- Drake- Out of everyone on this list, this one hurts me the most. Drake’s music perpetuates a misogynist tone that we hear in most mainstream media. A good example of this is his song Hotline Bling. Drake poses as a “nice guy” in most of his songs but, in reality, his praise of “good girls” is an issue. For one, it gives the impression that only women who he considers to be good (wholesome women) are deserving of love. Also, he regularly claims ownership over women and their bodies. There is a difference between wanting someone to be loyal to you and thinking you have control over someone you’re not even with and their body! This idea comes up in plenty of other artists like everyone’s other favorite rapper J. Cole. Reaffirming to a lot of people that some women who are more sexually active, wear too much makeup/ weave and black women that are loud or “ghetto” are less than.
- Johnny Depp- I hadn’t even realized growing up, how horrible some of the things. Including playing a Native American man in the film, The Lone Ranger. However, some realized that Johnny was not someone that they could defend in the recent news that he was physically abusive to his ex, Amber Heard. Emphasis on the word some. People, as always, are still saying that Amber must have done something to be PHYSICALLY ASSAULTED by her husband! Man or woman, I can’t imagine what you could do to deserve to be physically harmed by someone that you trusted. I don’t care how cute Depp is there has to be something truly ugly inside of him for him to hit his wife. I just want to remind everyone that you don’t have to be a feminist to care about women being blamed for their abuse in the media.
- Katy Perry- If Miley Cyrus’s video made me cringe, I was on the verge of vomiting while watching the majority of Katy’s music videos. Katy Perry wears other people’s cultures like Yours Truly era Ariana Grande wore high ponytails: CASUALLY AND ALL THE FREAKING TIME. She has paraded around in grillz, cornrows, saris and bindis. She even became Cleopatra in her music video for Dark Horse. On several occasions she has referred to Rihanna as a “hoodrat”. She actually made a joke where she said about Japanese people “I’m so obsessed with you I want to skin you and wear you like versace” on Kimmel.* I really wish I was making that up, I’ll post a link to a transcript of the full interview at the bottom of the page. Katy has exhibited so much racism and homophobia I probably could have made this entire post about her.
- Kylie Jenner- In the olden days, when I was in sixth grade and watched the Kardashians like it was the one thing that gave me meaning in life, I had a bad feeling about Kylie Jenner. Kylie Jenner, like the other women on this list, is highly guilty of cultural appropriation. Kylie regularly wears cornrows, bindis and has dawned dreadlocks for a photoshoot in the past. She regularly steals trends from black women and claims them as her own. Even going as far as to say that she invented wearing wigs. She appeared in a picture with dark skin stating that she wished she always looked that way. She did a photoshoot in a wheelchair as if being in a wheelchair was some cool fun trend. I could go on but, she’ll probably do something else problematic tomorrow so, you can just look her up. The worst thing about Kylie Jenner and all other white women in Hollywood that are guilty of appropriating other people’s culture, is that they write off people explaining why their behavior is problematic as those people being “haters”. I honestly couldn’t imagine being so ignorant that I completely ignore the history behind “trends” that I am following and the people whose culture and history I’m trivializing and extorting. Especially if people are taking the time to tell me and explain why. But hey! Those are your favorites!
I could name so many other people! Really any mainstream celebrity could have made this list. Emma Stone, Kanye West any one of the Kardashians. I encourage you to search the name of your favorite celebrities and the word problematic and a lot would come up!
Here’s that link that features Katy Perry casually being racist!
^ This is an article I found about Kylie . It includes the amazing Amandla Stenberg not being here for any of Kylie’s CRAP
This post was long enough, I’ll make a post about why cultural appropriation is a problem another time.