It never ceases to surprise me anymore, how we’re always so eager to judge something without fully understanding the situation. Why does that happen? our information age gives you every possible anecdote you need to know before you should even begin to assess the situation.
But somehow it always surprises me when it comes to music.
And we’re talking Black Eyed Peas level of Let’s get Retarded here. Where they let you know at the very beginning of the song “In this context, there’s no disrespect.” (It always seems to be one of my favourite examples to bring up. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the word, retarded.) You could argue a point and you may not be wrong, but they knew what they were doing when they wrote it.
I’m getting side tracked, so I’m just going to show you Xzibit A:
Hello Kitty is a song that was released, produced and accepted by a wide range of people because Avril Lavigne absolutely enjoys Japanese culture. She wanted to do something fun (even if it’s stupid) for the Japanese fanbase that absolutely adores her.
To the hundreds of people that are not her Japanese fanbase seem to think of it as nothing but racist. Bright bubbly colours, running around in a candy store, over enthusiasm for sushi and expressionless backup dancers are an inherent recipe for insensitivity for the japanese people.
But in the reality of the situation, the only thing it’s guilty of, is being not that great a song. I mean lyrically it’s kinda weird. But I suppose you have Avril Lavigne’s husband, the unsung Hero of Nickleback to thank for that (he co-wrote the thing.)
It makes me ask why people think it’s racist. Is it because of the imagery? I can tell you with authority that Hello Kitty doesn’t even scratch the surface of what japanese music videos even do. A culture that gets away with the craziest things, and we’re quick to judge Avril because of what? Should I say it?…
Then something about it reminded me of this little gem, Xzibit B:
If you know what the problem with it is, then you’ve probably already complained about it before. Katy Perry’s ‘kimono’ isn’t accurate, and is therefore culturally insensitive. Infact everything else about this performance’s amazing spectacle was ignored because of what she wore.
Is Katy Perry the only one not ashamed of Katy Perry’s boobs?
I know I’m not talking from a place of ignorance, because I know what it feels like to be inspired by something. A person will have various moments in their lifetime where they will experience a culture, book or artwork, and an activity comes to you as a result of it. As a means of paying back the thing that you enjoy. At most the inspiration will happen in their own style that makes them unique, which results in a finished project that just comes off as different.
The point is, there’s no wrong way to be inspired by something if you enjoy it. Even if you’re a little boy that has a serious amount of adoration for Martin Luther King Jr. In our future, our cultures are going to be homogenized. Everyone will take inspiration from everything until the very act of that becomes the one thing that our planet Earth is known for.
We’ve come along way from places of discrimination, that if you start calling fowl to people that love other people and cultures that aren’t their own, then maybe racism truly has lost it’s meaning.
Also, If you’re worried that Hello Kitty is a poor interpretation of Japanese Culture, it could always be worse.