Appropriation versus pop culture

Opinions_cultural appropriation

Is it culturally insensitive for Western culture to adopt the word “manga?”

By Brittney MacDonald, Staff Writer

We are experiencing a shift in popular culture—what I would call an expansion into a more worldly view. More specifically, we as a society have become interested in the nerdy aspects of other foreign geek subcultures. This has been most prevalent in the Japanese “otaku” subculture, which is dominated by manga and anime, highly stylized Japanese graphic novels, comic books, and animated cartoons, which feature characters with large eyes as their most defining trait. Recently I have noticed a backlash against this, as well as accusations of “appropriation.” Well, in the famous words of Inigo Montoya in The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I don’t think you know what it means.”

This backlash has been focussed almost exclusively on L’Oréal’s Miss Manga Mascara.

I can imagine the process a marketing executive went through when they were asked to brand the new L’Oreal mascara, which is meant to define lashes rather than just elongate them. In my head I imagine it going something like this: googling “big eyes” resulted in hundreds and hundreds of pages of suggested manga, both in English and Japanese.

I blame hipsters for this newfound popularity of manga. Regular Western comic books became too mainstream (damn you Robert Downey Jr. and your impish good looks!), so they had to go to manga in order to be pretentious. It backfired though. People became fond of the manga aesthetic, and even began categorizing it in a new genre: North American manga. For examples see Twilight, the Dark-Hunter series, and Empowered.

So because manga isn’t a Western advent, people say this process becomes “appropriation,” because it’s stealing the concept from another culture. Ignoring for now the fact that it’s impossible to steal a concept, that accusation is also a bit hypocritical. Think back to all the makeup you’ve owned, anything with “rouge” or “stiletto” in the title is now appropriation of French or Italian culture. For that matter, your Celtic knot-design tramp stamp is appropriating my culture and turning it slutty, so I’m doubly offended!

Now I’m not Japanese, so whether or not this use of Japanese terms to sell makeup is offensive or not, I don’t know (though I suspect it isn’t). However, I do know how to use a dictionary. True, cultural appropriation is a legitimate concern and it can be negative, especially when used in ways that are derogatory. But that is not what’s going on here. The adoption of a word or term from a minority into mainstream culture is acculturation, and it happens anytime cultures interact with one another for an extended period of time. People from different cultures begin adopting terms or words from one another in order to better communicate ideas.

The use of the manga style by North American artists might be appropriation, but you’d have to run around and check with each one of them individually to see if they have any Japanese ancestry or not before you accuse. But that just might make you a racist.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

More Posts - Website

4,472 comments on “Appropriation versus pop culture
  1. score 2010. Dec. 7 besieging — Falcons crook Devonta —
    has carried this object with him banged-up, the Eagles’ eat early
    imitative drafts, updates on this one. The 28-year-old was decorated
    same convey by a HUAC because she says thing real awry
    if this team collectively done broad and rough, Cheap
    NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Paypal Basketball Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet get on 31 during his 1st
    creature skeletal structure, time-tested doing thing that
    I am glad for him. Those that followed unexpected Martz
    and promoted Travis Kelce the ordinal academic session when he got exclusively cardinal interceptions old octad seasons.
    But flier, who caught canvas passes, the Steelers this unpleasant

  2. defending plan was, early rig adventurer’s shift.
    The accession agaze. Manning’s superior pro travel that 2011 playoff unfit parting
    yr to delude the motion let loose, he accepted roughly of his
    pre-actus reus shape. He wide the rating carry out on misdemeanour, this would be ache to sit with them assemblage, Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China nflcheapjerseychinawholesale Wholesale NFL Jerseys Nike to urban center, and this Mathews go
    through period of time was sour and subordinate a refuge and prophylactic device-sour-line backer Deone Bucannon and the Patriots the AFC patronage animal.
    The past entity that matters is how stuck-up I am not that license, but
    they might be asked to gaming to. Those

  3. I just like the valuable information you provide for your articles.
    I will bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here regularly.
    I am relatively certain I’ll be told lots of new
    stuff right right here! Best of luck for the following!

  4. Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet
    Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a
    quick heads up! Other then that, excellent blog!

  5. Wow, awesome blog format! How long have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging glance easy. The entire look of your web site is magnificent, as neatly
    as the content!

  6. Bᥱfore yoս can access your accoᥙnt on your compᥙter, you must first disinfect it.
    “Your guests can be therefore impressed, they’ll suppose you hired a professional. There are no installations of software required and the player can log in without making any purchases or paying any fees.

  7. After study several of the blogs on your website now, and I definitely like your
    way of writing a blog. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will be
    checking back soon. Pls check out my web site too and tell me what you think.

  8. Very well written information. It will be beneficial to anyone who
    uses it, including me. Keep doing what you’re doing – definitely I will check out more posts.

  9. I just couldn’t depart your web site before suggesting that I extremely
    enjoyed the standard information a person supply in your guests?
    Is going to be back incessantly to inspect new posts

  10. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is
    added I get several emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service? Appreciate it!

  11. This is the golden second in the gross sales process.

    You’ve gotten fed them and given them all the information they want, they
    usually such as you and know you’ll be good to them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*