Is it okay for me to get cornrows if I'm not of an African ethnic background?

I'm mixed race arab-white and with my very curly hair cornrowsd seem to me to be a both useful and beautiful way for me to manage my hair for a short space of time and it's a style I've always wanted to try. However, after doing some research I've seen that white people wearing cornrows and other typically African hairstyles labelled as cultural appropriation. I fully understand the background behind the hairstyle and therefore understand if it would be offensive for me to get cornrows so I wanted to see what the general opinion on a white person getting cornrows was?

  • Yes, a white person getting cornrows is cultural appropriation
    Vote A
  • No, a white person getting cornrows is not cultural appropriation
    Vote B
  • It depends (explanation below)
    Vote C
Select a gender to cast your vote:
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Most Helpful Guy

  • So what if it's cultural appropriation?
    Only idiots get offended by that kind of thing.
    It's not like any living African has invented that hair style any more than you did.

    Also, black people use "white" hair styles all the time, dye their hair blond etc etc.
    Somehow nobody is outraged by that.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • A hairstyle may be more associated with a certain race, but hair is universal and you can manipulate and style it the way you see fit. When it turns ugly is when certain people style themselves that way and then take it to mean, that they are suddenly so black or they understand what it means to be black somehow or they exhibit racist behavior and attribute it to their new found "blackness."

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 11

  • First of all, YOU are African. Arabs are from Africa. Not everyone in/from Africa is black (Negroid). The culture of your people is an African culture. You wearing corn rows would be like me dressing up as a Viking (did you know the ancient Vikings had dreadlocks! They did! So did the ancient Celts and ancient Greeks! I'm a Celt, so maybe I should wear dreadlocks to embrace my people's culture, and hopefully piss off a few ignorant black idiots ;) ) - it would be a culture that comes from the continent that you are indigenous to, even if the originators weren't your exact race/nationality.

    Personally I think corn rows are fucking hideously ugly, and just goes to lend credence to the belief that blacks are stupid (since a smart person wouldn't create a hairstyle that butt ugly), and I would never date a girl that had corn rows - but I say if wearing them makes you happy, go for it. You might as well dress/look the way you want in this life, it's short and you only get one. Dress the way you like to look, don't wear something to fit in or please others. I personally have long hair with the long and side-swept bangs look, which is kind of a punk/indie hairstyle, and not everyone likes it - and not everyone likes it when men have long hair in general - but fuck the haters and critics, I'm an adult and I have the right to look the way I want. And so do you.

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  • Simply wearing them is not cultural appropriation.. You not not allowed to wear them because you are "White".. As long as you respect "Black" people and the culture you all good..

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  • No you should never do things that another race does because that's appropriation. But remember, we're all one and we're all the same.

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  • Do what makes you happy

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  • Do whatever you want its your hair... unlike actual black girls. If they have a problem with it call them nazis, you're higher on the oppression totem pole. (totem pole, thats a microaggression)

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  • Just get them, it's a hair style.

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    • Who is the low life who downvoted me?

    • Show All
    • Thanks dude👍🏻👍🏻

    • Straight hair isn't a style, and neither is blonde hair a style apart of a culture.. They are apart of genetics.. And she is talkin about hairstyles, not just hair.. LOL..

  • the answers are stupid there is no such thing as cultural appropriation it's just called being racist to someone because they have a feature typically associated with your race

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    • Okay then fair enough thanks for your opinion, however I don't think racism necessarily has anything to do with it, it's more about being protective of your culture right?

    • that's exactly what is racist though I'm black and I find it annoying when other black people get upset when a white person has dreads or an afro or anything of that sort protecting our culture is just sugar coating you can't do it because you're white

    • That's actually really helpful thanks cos I didn't know how much of it was people legitimately getting upset and how much it was people finding excuses to trash celebs online

  • I think cornrows would look good on you.

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  • If you want to get it then just go for it

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  • it would look great on you... :)

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  • I dont consider you white tbh you're an arab

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What Girls Said 15

  • This is a case where I feel like the cultural appropriation thing is getting out of hand. How can we really tell someone that it is offensive for them to wear their hair a certain way (unless it is their intention to be offensive)?

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  • Just do it, if anyone says that you can't then ignore them. It's literally just a different way to do your hair

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  • The only time I would consider it cultural appropriation is if you went off saying or implying it's better for or looks better on you than the culture it comes from. It just depends on your attitude about it, because cultural appreciation is perfectly fine. Like you want cornrows because you think it's beautiful on them and you would love to share in that beauty I think it's fine.

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  • just do it. fuck anyone that says otherwise. no one has a monopoly on hairstyles.

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  • Cultural appropriation.. smh. Everyone is shouting those two words, but literally all it does is divide different cultures instead of teaching them.

    So no, it's not cultural appropriation to get cornrows. Somehow this also always is white ppls fault. If you truly believe in cultural appropriation, you'd be wearing blankets as outfits and exposing your breasts if you're black, or if you're Asian for example you should only wear kimonos. Because jeans are western culture. But then it's ok all the sudden, because "i'm an American so jeans are my culture too, i was born here". Cultural appropriation is a racist myth.

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  • culture was meant to be shared and celebrated. as long as you aren't disrespecting the culture you're borrowing from, i see no issues.

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  • Do what you want

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  • As a black woman, I don't care if you decide to get cornrows if you're not black. I would only have a problem if you made fun of the hairstyle and the culture surrounding it. Other than that, I don't give a shit on what you decide to do with your hair.

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  • No, That's Like Me Saying Can I Drink Coke Even Tho I Ain't From America😂

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  • It doesn't matter if it's not cultural appropriation. I've seen people other than black wearing corn rows, box braids, and whatever. If you want to try it, I don't see what's stopping u. Lol

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  • It is cultural appropriation, but doing it won't make you a monster or racist.

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  • Do whatever you want with your hair.

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  • Do what you want

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  • why not? :)

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  • It's alright. Go get them. It's just a hairstyle

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