Kylie Take Note: Zendaya Explains Cultural Appropriation

From Kylie Jenner’s hair to the whole Rachel Dolezal debacle, there’s been a lot of talk surrounding cultural appropriation lately, which is why Zendaya is stepping in to explain what it is and how it differs from cultural appreciation.

Cornrow Backlash
Kylie Jenner's cornrows spark controversy.

In an interview with Nylon magazine, the 18-year-old (!!!) explains, “You have to be very careful. Some things are really sacred and important to other cultures, so you have to be aware, politically, about those things before you just adopt them.”

She continues:

“In order to appreciate something, you have to know about it and understand. You don’t just wear something just to wear it—you have to understand the history behind it. I urge people to take the extra step of knowledge and learn about things.”

So how does she make sure to adhere to her own advice? “I’m someone who feels uncomfortable with things unless I know [about them],” she reveals. “I’m not going to try something unless I’ve taken the time and effort to learn about it. I just think with the Internet and the resources we have, you should do a little research.”

However, she also realizes she’s not perfect either. After visiting Africa recently, she became aware of how little she knew about it – how disconnected she’d become from her own roots.

“We don’t think about it as much as we should,” she admits. “Partially, it’s not our fault, but now that we have the resources and the ability to find out where we’re from, we should… It’s a process for everyone and now with social media, I suggest that people try to become more aware and learn. I’m learning just like everybody else. “