Topic

cultural rights

1 petition

Started 10 months ago

Petition to DeAnne Stidham, Mr. Mark Stidham, Mr. Terrel Transtrum

Eliminate Culturally Appropriated and Racist Prints from LuLaRoe

As a plus-size woman, who has struggled constantly with her weight, LuLaRoe clothing has finally made me feel good in my own skin. I'm not the only one. Everyone I know who has tried LLR feels the same. And my consultant friends *actually* make great money. Talk about a win-win-win! That's why I am brokenhearted to say that I will no longer be purchasing any LLR clothes until some essential, important changes happen. Namely, this is regarding the culturally appropriated and blatantly racist prints that occasionally pop up in LuLaRoe stock. What is Cultural Appropriation? MyLatinatas.com says it best: "Cultural appropriation is the adoption or theft of icons, rituals, aesthetic standards, and behavior from one culture or subculture by another. In terms of fashion, it means taking ones culture and displaying it as a style for yourself without considering where it came from, erasing its history."  Wikipedia adds this: "Cultural appropriation is seen as controversial, even harmful, notably when the cultural property of a minority group is used by members of the dominant culture without the consent of the members of the originating culture; this is seen as misappropriation and a violation of intellectual property rights." The Difference Between Cultural Exchange and Appropriation Purchasing a beautiful Mexican piece of art from a Mexican artist is appreciation. As is wearing a sari during an Indian wedding when invited to by the bridal party. But sporting bindis as a fashion statement and wearing Native American or Mexican costumes at Halloween is appropriation. Examples of Problem Prints at LuLaRoe Aztec(See LLR example here: https://goo.gl/photos/6hqteaTMGRS9H2Dv9)What consumers may not know is that Aztec patterns originated from Mexico. "Aztec" refers to ethnic groups from central Mexico, most known is the group that held empire in Tenochtitlan. These patterns are cultural artifacts.Let's consider that these cultural artifacts were made for trade and for consumption to sustain these ethnic groups' economies.However much that is sold today, the manufacturers aren't "true producers" of this pattern. How much, if any, of the profits are being given to those who originated the pattern? This is certainly not being done with LuLaRoe. (*1) Sugar Skulls(See LuLaRoe example here: https://goo.gl/photos/LR47FbRbZeg5vqpZ9)Sugar Skulls are an important part of Day of the Dead, otherwise known as Dia de los Muertos. It’s a celebration about those who have passed away and takes place every year on November 2. Some people often think that the flower crown and sugar skull face paint is just another spooky costume for them to wear, but it’s a huge part of Mexican culture and tradition. It is a sacred way for them to honor their deceased loved ones. It is not a design to be used in fashion, especially by those who are not a part of the culture. (*2) Native American Headdresses and Dream Catchers(See LuLaroe examples here:https://goo.gl/photos/7Qru6nJM3ywxDxQe8 and herehttps://goo.gl/photos/psXbnVaVZedwuC9DA)Not only is wearing Native American headdresses extreme appropriation, it is an insult to the elders who have spent their entire lives earning the right to wear these spiritual garments. Made-in-China dream catchers and non-Native fabrics displaying these images proliferate the “Native American” marketplace. This not only offends Natives on a racial level, but it takes away the livelihood of authentic, Native artisans who learned their craft through many generations. (*3) South Asian/Indian Imagery(See LuLaRoe example here:https://goo.gl/photos/1ykzXK87Fu5XmZoJA)Using hindu/Indian/asian iconography, including elephants with ethnic designs, is just another form of appropriation. One could easily have plain elephants and no one would be hurt (or the wiser).In addition, the elephants that have saddles or blankets on them also perpetuate the cruel practice of elephant riding. Swastikas(See LuLaRoe example here: https://goo.gl/photos/b7L66ivRzR5PKkSy9)You have to have been born under a rock to not be familiar with what Swastikas mean to western culture. One of the biggest mass murderers in history, Adolf Hitler, used the Swastika to represent the Nazi party. Once WW2 was over, 11 million innocent jews, gays, Poles, Jehovah Witnesses, Romanis, and courageous resisters were dead.What many people don't realize is that the Nazi party stole the Swastika from religious groups, including Hindus and Buddhists. Not only did they appropriate a cultural icon that means "good luck or fortune," but they used it for terror and death.  Black Face Sock Monkey/Golliwog(See LuLaRoe example here:https://goo.gl/photos/Q4BW5aP7ogMsJrtq8)We all know what a sock monkey looks like. The LuLaRoe print shown in the above link is absolutely, 100% not a sock monkey. Instead, it is a Golliwog.The golliwog contributed enormously to the spread of blackface iconography during the late 1800s and into the 20th century. It's one and only purpose was to make black people look unintelligent, ugly, and ridiculous. Even the name itself is a slur. Again, this is another example of the shameful use of racist and appropriating imagery by LuLaRoe.Update on this print: According to my LLR consultant print, LLR will be pulling this print. While this is a good first step, larger strides are still needed within the company to eliminate racism and appropriation. What LuLaRoe Can Do Again, if I didn't love and appreciate LuLaRoe, I wouldn't be bothering with this petition. Instead, I'd be screaming from the rooftops for people to boycott the company. That's why I am hoping LuLaRoe will read and research everything I have said above. Plus, I highly recommend that LLR hire a diversity consulting team who can properly review prints before they are released for sale. Yes, you may at first have a few people who yell and compalin about not having their beloved aztecs or sugar skulls. But replace them with equally unique and beautiful prints and you will not only keep your customers, but you will create more LLR lovers who will appreciate you taking an ethical stance on cultural appropriation.   Thank you so much for the info and help from: http://mylatinitas.com/profiles/blogs/cultures-are-not-trends (*1) http://everydayfeminism.com/2013/09/cultural-exchange-and-cultural-appropriation/ http://www.inquisitr.com/2537340/why-its-offensive-to-wear-a-day-of-the-dead-costume-for-halloween/ (*2) http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/08/honor-native-americans-without-appropriating/ (*3) https://www.buzzfeed.com/meaganb4a1065421/7-examples-of-disgusting-lularoe-prints-xxn7?utm_term=.jsdxwwJrx#.hc7zqqLxz (photo credits) http://wearyourvoicemag.com/more/culture/11-culturally-appropriated-indian-accessories-really-mean

Emily Rinke
251 supporters