Anonymous asked: I'm confused. How does the Shake It Off vid "walk the line of cultural appropriation"? I don't mean this sarcastically, I'm just wondering how you see it. I think cultural appropriation is mockery, and it seemed to me that the video actually celebrated twerking more as a dance form than make fun of it or the black culture. Plus there were whites twerking too, as there were blacks & whites throughout the vid. If anything, it tells color doesn't matter and all can participate in all things.


This is what I pulled from Google that I believe is a pretty decent definition:

Cultural appropriation is the adoption or theft of icons, rituals, aesthetic standards, and behavior from one culture or subculture by another. It generally is applied when the subject culture is a minority culture or somehow subordinate in social, political, economic, or military status to the appropriating culture.

In my opinion, adoption or theft means using a minority culture’s icons, rituals, aesthetic standards, or behavior to profit. It means adopting them in a way that benefits the appropriator but does not benefit the appropriated. It doesn’t necessarily have to include mockery. An example of this in the music industry, in my opinion, is Miley Cyrus, who adopts and uses black culture as her musical basis in order to profit as a musician. In my opinion,Taylor walks the line of this in “Shake It Off” by having twerking (a part of black culture) in her video. However, I don’t think the video is full blown cultural appropriation, but merely walks the line of it. As I explained, “I think the whole concept of the video is that Taylor is doing her best to be herself and be true to who she is while being thrown into situations that very much aren’t her. So in a sense, she’s not adopting black culture in order to profit off it (as is the definition of cultural appropriation), but rather using it as an example of a culture she is not part of. She’s not the one twerking, she’s the one who can’t twerk and doesn’t fit in.”

So yes, although the video features POC in every scene, I don’t think that excuses the fact that it kind of flirts with cultural approrpration. 

Taylor Swift - Out in NYC [03/26]


me when the new single drops