Pretty Little Thing is Racist

Pretty Little Thing has been notorious for culturally appropriating and I felt the need to address how disgusting it is, especially with the UK girl group, Little Mix, endorsing such garments.

Image courtesy of Metro

Pretty Little Thing continues to fetishize and appropriate Asian culture, which is despicable. I wish their company would understand how damaging cultural appropriation is. They describe and label all of their appropriated garments as “Oriental,” which is such an incredibly offensive term. I want to ask PLT to stop sexualizing traditional Asian garments, but we know that will never happen. Profit and capitalism are all they care about and if they can make money through the sexualization of Asian women and culture, so be it. They don’t care if Asian women constantly are harassed, trying to live in rape culture which deems them as docile and having the desire to be submissive. Pretty Little Thing continues to look at traditional Asian garments, paring them down and sexualizing them into skimpier pieces, then labeling them as “Oriental.” This term is historically problematic because it comes from the assumption that the United States is the center of the planet. If PLT labeled the rest of their clothes as “Occidental,” then maybe there wouldn’t be that much of a problem — but of course, they wouldn’t do that.

Image courtesy of NextShark

Image courtesy of NextShark

To address Little Mix’s collaboration with Pretty Little Thing, I understand they picked other pieces, not just the culturally appropriated ones. However, they are still incredibly problematic for picking them in the first place. It is absolutely disgusting. You would think that a female group that focuses on women’s empowerment and feminism would know better than to culturally appropriate, their fanbase is enormous and their platform is so tall, which just leads to more and more young people believing cultural appropriation is okay and justified. Even though some members of Little Mix are not white, people of color can still be racist to other people of color. Little Mix cannot just build their whole image on empowering women but then go to fetishize and sexualize Asian culture with their clothing line.

I think it also important to link this article of an open letter to PLT by Annabelle Schmitt. She defines cultural approbation as the act of taking something from a culture that’s not your own without showing that culture any respect whatsoever. Don’t sex up any culture just because you want to be “trendy” and “stand out.”

I will never understand why people feel the need to culturally appropriate. If you don’t know the history of the garments and appreciate the culture the garments have come from, why do you think it’s okay? Culture is not a trendy thing you can just wear until you think it’s “so last season.” The traditional pieces are timeless and are worn in times of importance and significance. They aren’t backless or short or anything like that. So please, PLT, Little Mix, and anyone who thinks cultural appropriation is okay, go and check yourself.