During the 2015 Oscars, E! News co-host Giuliana Rancic made some negative comments regarding actress Zendaya Coleman’s dreads. Coleman handled the situation quite well, writing an open insightful essay to Rancic explaining the history and culture behind dreads. Since the incident, Coleman has almost become a spokeswoman for cultural appropriation issues.
Cultural appropriation has been a recent topic of discussion lately, and just about anyone can be called out. Kylie Jenner became a target of the issue when Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg called her out for wearing cornrows. Fashion designers Junya Watanabe and Thom Browne also received criticism for using African tribe inspired clothing during Paris Fashion week but including only white models. Even Allure magazine set off some negative reviews when they used a white model to demonstrate how to get an afro.
Recently, Coleman joined Nylon for an interview regarding the issues and explaining the differences between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation.
“You can go about it as cultural appreciation or cultural appropriation. You have to be very careful. Some things are really sacred and important to other cultures, so you have to be aware, politically, about those things before you just adopt them.”
She urges people to understand the history behind certain clothing, hairstyles and accessories.
“You don’t just wear something just to wear it—you have to understand the history behind it. I urge people to take the extra step of knowledge and learn about things”