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White Woman Balks After White Friend Accuses Her Of ‘Cultural Appropriation’ For Getting Perm


Cultural appropriation is a real thing that does real harm.

But problems arise when the uninformed apply the term to things arbitrarily—especially when the people using the term are not a part of the culture they claim is being harmed.

Stay in your lane, people.

All this just leads to bruised feelings, misunderstanding and delegitimizing real issues.

Case in point…

Redditor Blueredyellow456 wanted to discuss her story for some feedback. So naturally she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for getting angry at a friend because she called me racist for having perm done?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I (F[emale] 22) am white and so is my friend, Emma (F 22).”

“I have this weird hair, where some of it is curly, some wavy and some straight.”

“I have lots of hair (waist length) but it’s also fine hair.”

“Which is why it doesn’t hold my natural waves/curls properly.”

“And even with curly girl method, it only works on half of my hair. It’s weird.”

“For context, my mother and sister have curly hair (3a/3b) but my grandmother on my father’s side has bone straight 1a hair.”

“As far as I know her parents or grandparents were from Ural region.”

“Anyway, I am as white as they come with those weird a** hair that doesn’t want to decide what type it is.”

“I absolutely love curls and I think they suit my face so I ended up getting a perm at the salon.”

“It’s like 2c/3a type of curls and I absolutely love it.”

“And I would never claim those are real, if anyone asks, I absolutely would admit that it’s perm.”

“My friend on the other hand didn’t.”

“She’s well aware of my hair struggles and knows there is curly hair in my family.”

“But despite all of that, she accused me of all bunch of things, including cultural appropriation and racism.”

“I tried explaining myself but she wouldn’t listen.”

“She ignored me and sent me a bunch of tiktok videos about cultural appropriation, etc.”

“I got angry with her and told her to pretty much to f**k off if she’s not going to listen to me.”

“But I now, I am wondering if I was too harsh and should’ve tried harder to explain to her my position.”

“AITA for snapping at her?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA?:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors declared our OP was NOT the A**hole.

It’s a tricky situation.

Let’s hear some thoughts…

“NTA. How dumb is she?”

“The ‘perm’ was invented by a white German and has since been used by white people ever since.”

“Your friend is beyond stupid.”

“Also curly hair is not a non-white people thing.”

“White people can have curls too from small to big. It’s natural.”  ~ LittleNoodle1991

“Red afro here… well, I guess it’s finally going grey recently.”

“Just utterly naturally my hair grows up, in a big round shape.”

“I can barely get it to stop without a buzzcut.”

“My problem is I often hear the term ‘jew-fro’ in reference to white people with afros.”

“Except I wont use that term for myself.”

“I’m neither religiously nor ethnically Jewish.”

“Just a nondenominational Canadian white guy.”   ~ boogers19

“Yes but she quoted TikTok, the cutting edge of modern ethical discourse.”

“How dare OP question her after she so generously provided several 59-second videos.”

“In all seriousness I do find it kind of troubling how some people – if I’m being honest, it’s usually young middle class white women – swing social justice concepts like a hammer to tell the people around them what to do.”

“Like… how do you take a concept thats all about breaking down power structures?”

“And use that to enact power over the people around you.”

“How do you miss the point that hard.”  ~ Neurotic_Bakeder

“My late uncle had very, very curly hair.”

“He had to keep it cut short or it would look like an Afro.”

“One of my brothers had the same problem.”

“All it takes is humid weather for my hair to get curly.”

“My two youngest granddaughters have very curly hair.”

“OP’s friend would be horrified.”  ~ Altruistic_Pen5877

“I feel like there is a legitimate place for caution and concern surrounding cultural appropriation.”

“But an honest to goodness curl just isn’t it.”

“I have naturally wavy to curly hair.”

“And so white it hurts but there are times when my curls just won’t cooperate, usually due to inappropriate haircut – curls need weight!”

“Enhancing what you naturally have though can’t possibly be offensive though.”

“At least that’s my stance I guess. NTA.”  ~ Extension-Term-12

“You know which culture has hair and could potentially get a perm?”

“All of them. OP, you are literally appropriating ALL the cultures at once.”

“You monster! Lol. NTA.”  ~ Stoat__King

“Basically this. I already knew what was happening even before this very telling line:”

“[She sent] me a bunch of tiktok videos about cultural appropriation, etc.”

“This girl has been sucked into a woke social justice warrior echochamber and is being passively fed righteous indignation in every moment of her spare time.”

“The very fact that she can’t actually articulate the problem that she has, and instead relies on other people to articulate it for her, smacks of the same sort of brainwashing as far right people on TikTok.”

“And Twitter who they just retweet and share the same misinformation, memes, gifs, and doctored video clips about socialism and election fraud.”

“The algorithms and polarization affects both sides of the political spectrum.”

“There are people on BOTH sides who don’t have the necessary critical thinking to determine nuance, context, and mitigating factors.”

“Everything has to be broadly painted with the brush of ‘appropriation,’ or ‘socialism,’ or whatever so that they can know whether they are supposed to accept or reject it outright.”

“Her unwillingness (or inability) to even listen to or process OP’s description, despite being friends, without giving the benefit of the doubt or accepting the possibility that there might actually BE valid reasoning.”

“Is a sign of how far into the positive feedback loop of confirmation bias she is.”

“And how little critical thinking she’s practicing when processing and interpreting what is happening in the world around her.”

“If I were OP, I would simply say:”

“I understand, I think even better than you do, what cultural appropriation is, and why it can be harmful.”

“I also understand that it is a very complex and broad term that must be considered carefully, considering all context and variable factors, on a case by case basis, before being thrown about as an insult.”

“I understand why you are upset.”

“I, in turn, am upset that you have not given me the benefit of the doubt here by even attempting to consider the context.”

“Or the specific circumstances under which I made the decision to change my hairstyle.”

“You can keep sending me other people’s videos about other people’s reactions to other people’s decisions.”

“But all that this tells me is that you aren’t actually sure enough about why you should be angry to actually have a conversation with me about it yourself.”

“I am not willing to keep going in circles about this.”

“But if our friendship matters enough for you to sit down and hear me out, by all means let me know.”  ~ mthldrscng

“NTA that is ridiculous.”

“People from many different cultures and ethnicities have curly hair.”

“This sort of situation sucks, because cultural appropriation is a real issue and problem.”

“And when people pull shit like this it makes it harder to deal with real instances of it occurring.”  ~ poeadam

“This post reminded me of the time one of my older brothers was having similar issues with his hair.”

“So he shaved it all off and it regrew into the tightest macaroni spirals I have ever seen.”

“You’re NTA by the way.”

“And if your hair weren’t so long, and no doubt beautiful, I’d recommend trying the ‘shave it all off and see what happens’ method.”

“Just to see what comes out because apparently sometimes your hair doesn’t know what it’s doing and you have to reboot it like a computer.”  ~ ManicMadnessAntics

“Wooooooowww wait until she finds out that every culture can get different styles of perms.”

“Her mind will be blown. It’s almost like anyone can do it!! Shocking.”

“You are NTA but you don’t need her negativity.”

“It’s one thing to hold people accountable for actual racist issues.”

‘But getting a perm is the stupidest thing for someone to become a social justice warrior over.”  ~ AirAggravating8714

“NTA – your friend is brainwashed.”

“We eat many different types of food.”

“We listen to many different types of music.”

“We watch movies and read books written by people from different cultures than our own.”

“Those are all good, but we’re going to draw the line on hairstyles?”  ~ foolfortheblues

“NTA. So I’m a white chick with curly hair and have been working towards getting my hair more curly through products, would she consider that cultural appropriation too????”

“Sheesh, she’s ridiculous and doesn’t actually understand what cultural appropriation is.”  ~ Brief_Economist5642

Well OP it seems like Reddit wants you to just do your hair as you please.

Your friend may need a few lessons in culture class.

Hopefully y’all can get past this moment.