Cultural Appropriation at Coachella

Festival Fashion At The 2014 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival - Weekend 2
Photo via LiveJournal

RGM 10

I never remember which weekend Coachella is, until I see that Kylie Jenner has changed her hair color and her and her entourage are hanging out in a dessert at someone’s mansion. I’m not hating, they all look good in their super trendy outfits. But that’s until they start showing their cultural appropriation. Not just her, but many other festival attendees like to dress in cultural wear. Coachella has been the staple for trendy cultural fashion ever since it became popular. But it’s hard to tell when someone’s crossing the line of a cute outfit to an offensive one. In our class, we took a look at Teen Vogue’s article “How to Avoid Cultural Appropriation at Coachellato better understand the difference.

A student in the class made a good point, Coachella is the place for people who can afford to go can show off their wealth and the latest fashion trends. The article says the type of cultural appropriation that is seen at Coachella is “the kind that reeks of privilege.” They can afford the expensive feathered headpieces and body paint. But why can all of this be seen as offensive instead of a tribute? For the person who wears it, it represents ignorance and disregard towards other people’s cultures. It appears that someone’s culture is just a costume. “But that doesn’t mean anything to those Coachella attendees who don’t respect other cultures. When you can’t see the humanity in people who are different from you, you find no fault in treating their sacred cultural symbols as something to be worn and discarded,” (Andrews).

Also, the trends that have existed in certain cultures for forever, are becoming appreciated now that white celebrities are wearing them. For example, cornrows have been worn by black women for centuries, but once the Jenner’s started wearing them, they became cute and edgy. The media covers stories about them as if they invented the trend. This is especially an issue when there have been bans on certain black hairstyles in schools and even in government positions. They have been stigmatized as unprofessional and ungroomed and it’s unfair that white people can get away with it.

When citing this article, I found out that it was originally called “Dear White Women, We Need to Talk About Coachella.” I appreciate them changing the article name as anyone can culturally appropriate another culture. Nevertheless, I appreciate that this article addressed this issue and reminds people that it’s not OK.


Andrews, J. (2017, April 16). Dear White Women, We Need to Talk About Coachella. Retrieved April 19, 2017, from


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