Allow me to assume you own a product from Apple. Did you buy it because it’s a status symbol representative of your position in an elite class of humanity? Are Apple products status symbols? They can be. Or not. It always depends upon your perspective. Can one appropriate status merely by buying a Mercedes or wearing a Rolex watch?
To some, yes. To others, of course not.
I bring up the topic of Apple as a status product because Keziah Daum was accused of cultural appropriation and racism because she wore a traditional Chinese dress to her prom.
Yeah, I know. Haters gonna hate.
To some people, your ownership of iPhone, Mac, iPad, AirPods, Beats headphones, or Watch is considering status appropriation. Are you trying to be more than you are? Or, something different than you are?
Here’s Keziah’s prom photo.
Clearly, the young lady is being racist, right? She is taking– appropriating— a cultural symbol that does not belong to her. Or, did she simply find an attractive dress that she thought would stand out at her prom?
You be the judge.
For better or worse, symbols are what we make them out to be. Keziah was attacked on Twitter and elsewhere for cultural appropriation, racism, and worse. Simply because she found an attractive dress from a different culture and decided to go with it.
Do we see the same kind of outrage because Chinese President Xi Jinping wears a suit and tie? How is he not misappropriating his attire from western standards?
OK, let me loop this back around to Apple.
Are those journalism students exhibiting a class distinction? Are they appropriating the status that comes with being an Apple customer or a Mac user?
Or, are they simply choosing to exercise their own freedom of choice? Most of those in the class chose Macs over Windows PCs. It is interesting– especially so since Macs make up a much smaller share of the overall personal computer market, but are all those Macs simply choices? Or, misappropriated status symbols?
From my perspective, Keziah’s prom dress choice was unique, striking, beautiful, and memorable. Anyone who sees racism or cultural misappropriation in the choice needs to be involved in therapy. Something is wrong.
Likewise, those journalism students made a choice for their needs. Anyone who sees status appropriation or a class distinction in that choice needs to be involved in therapy, too, because clearly, something is wrong.
Haters gonna hate, right?