Hipster or Rude?

Spring is around the corner (sort of, because we can never tell with the irregular climate changes). However, that won’t stop the hottest music festivals in town from happening. Even our very own town, Decatur, is home to many cute festivals related to art and books. One of the most well-known music festivals in the country is Coachella. The focus of this article is on music festivals like the infamous Coachella. Coachella tends to be in April and is mostly known for their popular setlist and celebrities wearing the hottest “trends.” While it may be the hotspot for lots of people to have a good time, these “trends” make it  the center for cultural appropriation. Many of the celebrities at Coachella are spotted wearing bindi’s, henna, and feathers, which has started to become a “trend” as opposed to associating those celebrities with the stereotypes usually associated with those cultural items.  

The significance of these items are no longer important like they used to be before taken out of context. Instead they’re referred as decorative pieces and considered as “hipster” among many store outlets that are aimed at being urban and diverse, but target a privileged society. All of the items discussed before, have been negatively stereotyped against the people that are part of the culture. However, when a majority group member is to wear them, they are set and perceived as a trend. Like the bindis: when a native person was to wear it, they would be looked as different, or even the popular “red dot” is commonly associated with the Indian people stereotype. The bindi holds many different types of significance specifically to the region of India , the bindi signifies a married woman, spiritual guidance as well as symbolically referring to the third eye, sign of what society/caste member one is in, and health. When many of the celebrities at Coachella wore bindi and henna, it started to become a trend as opposed to associating those celebrities with the stereotype. Now more than ever, as a society we should focus on opposing cultural appropriation in places like music festivals, because of the way it has an effect on Natives now.


A better solution for appropriating is appreciating and many times appreciating helps build a stronger communication between societies as well as build a stronger relationship. To sum it up, cultural appropriation is taking an element from one’s culture and using it out of context that it is originally intended for. On the other hand, cultural appreciation is the act of appreciating a culture and learning how to be involved in it without making a trend like one would do in regards to appropriation. Appreciating a culture allows for no stereotypes to be held against a specific group and a stronger relationship between two different groups, as opposed to appropriating which only damages a Native person’s feelings because of the way that they were treated when wearing their “trendy” attire.

As some people get ready for festivals and fun times to get through the remainder of the school semester, it is important to realize the impacts small things have on others. Next time you catch someone appropriating, don’t be afraid to educate them! Beyonce wouldn’t want to catch you appropriating another culture when she performs next year at Coachella! ​