Since Tumblr is about being anti “white” (I’ll get to that) folks “stealing” other people’s cultures, I have a serious question:
Is it reappropriating someone’s culture if that’s what you grew up with?
Small backstory: I grew up in a small town in Central California. It’s heavily populated by Latin Americans of all kinds and a ton of Spanish people (people who were actually from Spain, it’s a very Basque area). While in the winter I look “white” I’m only the second generation of my mom’s family to be born in America and not Greece (my mom and her brother being the first) and third on my dad’s side not born in Ireland. Not that should matter.
I grew up around “Cholas” and “Cholos.” I grew up around lowriders and pinatas and going to Quinceneras. Menudo was like our drug of choice and I worshiped my friends big sisters who hung out with all the “Vatos” and learned how to do make up from one girls big sister who already had the Mi Vida Loca tattoo on her hand before she was in high school. Before grunge happened, I had the big ass bangs and the hoochie hoops because I never saw anything else.
I never saw examples of “white” culture unless I was out on the farms with my cousins on my dad’s side or in LA with my other cousin on that side going to punk rock stores and even we all know punk culture doesn’t have a color.
I looked for people in “White” culture that looked like me or my friends and didn’t see anything. Almost none of my friend’s parents spoke English, and as a result I learned some Spanish before school wanted to teach it to me.
This is my upbringing. I’m darker than my best friend who lived in Mexico. I to this day dress kind of Chola, lots of bandanas, big ear rings, my make up, big hair… I don’t feel like I’ve been culturally reappropriating anyone’s culture because this is the culture I grew up in. This is my life. I have always known a life of sugar skulls and Día de Muertos. I have always had that “Chola” look in my head as the beauty standard.
Does that mean because I’m culture stealing? Because I’ve lived it my whole life. There isn’t a Greek community where I grew up and even though I do now as an adult identify with my with Irish/Basque side of the family as well, it’s not how I grew up.
I don’t know, you get on tumblr and it just makes you feel guilty for existing.
Perhaps my best friend will answer this question for me.