Whoopi Goldberg Accuses Black Women with Weaves of Cultural Appropriation, Twitter Reacts
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Whoopi Goldberg Accuses Black Women with Weaves of Cultural Appropriation, Twitter Reacts

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Whoopi Goldberg isn’t a fan of the term “cultural appropriation.” In fact, the talk show host believes the phrase is overused and hypocritical coming from black women who rock “white lady hair.”

Her recent comments regarding the topic on The View set off an immediate Twitter firestorm from women hoping to educate the Oscar winner.

 

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For starters, cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture. It is often framed as cultural misappropriation, and believed to be a violation of the intellectual property rights of the originating culture.

 

When Kendall Jenner and Pepsi were accused of appropriating Black Lives Matter for a soda commercial, Whoopi took issue with the accusation, saying it was simply a bad concept.

She went on to say black women who wear weaves and wigs that look like “white lady hair” are true appropriators.

 

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“It’s just a crappy idea, it didn’t work. [But] this cultural appropriation stuff is really starting to make me crazy. If we’re going to go with cultural appropriation, wear natural hair. If we’re wearing white lady hair, isn’t that appropriation as well?”

 

The Ghost actress went on to say, “Listen, now, there are some things where you can say ‘Hey, you need to be more sensitive,’ but this ain’t one of them. This is a bad commercial that didn’t work.”

 

Twitter immediately let their feelings be known, with a few Whoopi fans agreeing with the comedian.

However, the vast majority of feedback came from women hoping to educate the 61-year-old on the difference between appropriation and assimilation, an important distinction when discussing the matter.

 

Cultural assimilation occurs when a person or group's culture comes to resemble that of a dominant group, usually seen as a means of survival within said culture.

Mainstream rejection of traditionally African styles led many black women of the '50s and '60s to straighten their hair and wear more “American” styles.  

The Black Power/self-love movement of the '70s brought about a resurgence of pride in natural hair, but was not enough to remedy discriminatory practices against African-Americans who were not deemed capable, intelligent, professional, etc. because of their natural hair.

 

 

Several women hopped on Twitter hoping to educate Whoopi on the nuances of appropriation vs. assimilation.

Others argued that Black women naturally have varying textures of hair, and to assume straight hair automatically equates to “white lady hair” is prejudice in itself.