Mom Accused Of Being Racist For Daughter's Birthday Party - Then Things Take A Turn

Whether it's racially discriminatory language choices or cultural appropriation, many Americans are starting to think that political correctness is going overboard. Now, Heidi, a mother from Utah is being slammed by media outlets and social media users because she hosted a Japanese-themed party five years ago!

The incident was sparked when a Tumblr user discovered an old photo of the party on Heidi’s blog, ‘The Gala Gals’, and immediately accused her of cultural appropriation. The photo, showing a beaming young girl, was taken at the Japanese-themed birthday party for Heidi’s daughter in 2012. Standing in front of a cherry blossom tree and tea set, Heidi’s unnamed daughter was dressed in a kimono (customary Japanese garment) and was wearing white face makeup (similar to traditional Geisha makeup).

Five years later, a Tumblr user, known as ‘ginzers’, stumbled across Heidi’s innocent photo. Unfortunately, ‘ginzers’ was outraged by the innocuous blog article, reposting it on Tumblr and commenting: “Teach children that this is not ok.” Fortunately, another Tumblr user quickly stepped in to defend Heidi, sarcastically remarking: “teach children that there’s nothing wrong with this.”

Unsurprisingly, ‘ginzers’ wasn’t ready to let the issue rest, writing an extremely condescending response: "The makeup is clearly reflective of traditional geisha makeup which is yellowface and therefore racist. Furthermore, the girl is wearing a kimono, a garment that has for ages carried cultural significance. Assuming that she is white how can you think this is ok? And cultural appropriation isn't a thing? What rock do you live under? I suggest you educate yourself on the differences between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation."

As other commenters began to engage in the controversial discussion, a Japanese Tumblr user, ‘cheshireinthemiddle’, stepped in to clear things up, slamming ‘ginzers’ as uninformed and racist. "I am Japanese, in Japan at this very moment. The only people who think culture shouldn't be shared are racists like you. A vast majority of Japanese people actually enjoy other people making an effort to spread and enjoy japanese culture, and encourage it. Many make businesses in deliberately taking pictures of people in kimono. A common omiage (gift) for foreigners from japanese people is traditional japanese things such as kimonos, tea seats, shisa dog statues,” wrote the outraged commenter.

Another Tumblr user, ‘littleblackchat’, also leapt to refute ‘ginzers’, commenting: "This party is an attempt at experiencing and appreciating another culture. Where do you draw the line for who is 'allowed' to learn about Japan? If the girl were of Japanese descent, would that make it OK? If one of the girl's parents were from Japan, then would it be OK? Are you only allowed to make pizza if you live in Italy? If you're an Italian immigrant? How do we decide these things?” Although the incident is beginning to go viral, there has been no further response from ‘ginzers’, who appears to have backed down from the online spat.

The Tumblr feud is not the only controversial accusation of cultural appropriation this year. In an embarrassing incident, Vogue’s diversity issue was similarly accused after details emerged about a photoshoot in Japan - using Japanese clothing and décor – where only white models were hired.

Source: HuffPost
Photo: Tumblr

The thread offers an interesting perspective.

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