To The Beat Of My Own Drum

I recently came across a discussion on a fashion blogger’s social media page that sparked a very unexpected reaction within me.  It was based around a person from one ethnic background wearing an accessory that is traditionally worn by those of a different ethnic background.  The comments ran the gamut from people being totally offended, saying she should not wear that item to others embracing her expression through her fashion.  The whole idea of wearing something from another culture and whether that is socially acceptable really got me thinking.  Am I being inappropriate when I wear items from other cultures?  Am I unknowingly offending others?

I have always worn what inspires me and makes my heart happy.  I happen to have traveled to various different countries and with each destination, I learn something new, am exposed to different ways and each experience is then folded into the fabric of what makes me, me.

I wear Masai bangles from Kenya, mixed with earrings from Spain and a bag from Mexico.  I wear Indian tikkas on my forehead and proudly wrap my head in a turban.  I wear a coat from Egypt and a handmade vest from Romania.  I wear Moroccan slippers and rings from Turkey.  I am a global citizen and my self-expression through fashion and accessories is a reflection of that.  It is one way I tell my story and my journey.  When I wear something from another country and culture I wear it in respect of that place, in honor of the people who crafted it and the traditions they hold dear.  My fashion is a celebration of all cultures.

I am marching to the beat of my own drum (heart), waving the flag of all nations, down my life’s path.

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{Pants/Forever 21, Tank/Shoes/Target, Jean Top/Marc Ecko, Bangles/Necklace/Thrifted, Earrings/Clutch/IAMSHEGLOBAL}

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16 thoughts on “To The Beat Of My Own Drum

  1. My gosh. I think this is one of the best things I have read so far this week. I love your take about celebrating other cultures and being a global citizen. Irrespective of if we like it or not, everyday we use products and materials from various parts of the world. We may not see it or acknowledge it but we do. The cotton used to make the awesome 600 count sheet you sleep on came from somewhere. The beads sewn on your $300 BCBG handbag came from somewhere. The leather on your shoes came from somewhere. We all wear and use things from near & far. The only thing I don’t like is when people take it from other cultures and exploit it without regard to the source or honoring them.
    Everyday the world is becoming smaller and smaller and we have to celebrate it, respect all people and make the most of the connections we make. Whether it is through fashion or products.

    I love this whole outfit! Love how you put it together.. Awesome job.

    1. You are so right! It’s funny how we selectively choose what we think is borrowing from another culture. I loved how much response this post received and I am glad you appreciated it! Thanks for taking the time to read it and share your thoughts.

  2. People are hypocritical – most places around the world that still have strong cultures will still commonly wear western wear alongisde traditional wear and on the flipside with greedy capitalism at work will often produce goods for the western countries. Even if everything was fair trade we’d still all be wearing and using things from each other, like the poster above said. Only on exceptional occasions like someone purposely taking something to wear in an offensive way or something for special occasions and wear it like it means nothing or twists the meaning/significance – at times like that I’d say that’s out of order.

    1. I completely agree with you that it’s unacceptable to purposely wear something to intentionally mock another person or culture. I really appreciate hearing your opinion and you taking the time to share your thoughts. Glad you appreciated the outfit as well.

  3. In regards to your outfit – you look stunning, it’s very nicely put together and your awesome hair really sets the tone with the complimentary Red in the clothing!

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