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What is cultural appropriation? Why Twitter is wrong about Beyonce’s dress

Figuring out music for your wedding is often a site of contention between newlyweds as they often have to pick between hiring a DJ or a live band. But when you are the daughter of India’s wealthiest man, you have a lot of options.

For Isha Ambani, she chose to have Beyonce perform at her pre-wedding bash. The lavish celebrations took place in a 16th-century palace in Udaipur — and this was not even the ceremony. The actual wedding took place at her father’s 27-story home in Mumbai and was reported by Bloomberg to have cost over 100 million dollars.

Other famous people attendees of the wedding were Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and celebrity newlyweds Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas who recently celebrated their own Indian wedding.

But the star-studded guest list that wasn’t the thing that incited Twittersphere to weigh in on the event. It was Beyonce’s outfit.


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By looking at these tweets, it’s apparent that white people aren’t entirely clear on what counts as cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is when a dominant culture takes elements of a minority culture after having systemically disenfranchised that very population throughout history. Moreover, it’s not borrowing from another culture, it’s exploiting another culture.

Since white people have so often been called out for wearing the attire of another culture, (just think back to the last Halloween party you attended), some hastily criticized Beyonce’s outfit as offensive.

Yet, these sentiments are just as misconstrued as concepts and slogans like “reverse racism” and “all lives matter,”  which further proves how so many white people are unable to recognize their inherited privilege that is enabled through systematic and historical exploitation of people of color.

But people of Southeast Asian descent came to Queen B’s defense. They emphasized that Beyonce wore Indian cultural attire to an Indian cultural event.