Saturday, March 30, 2013

A White Girl Struggle

I try to be a socially conscious person, and am very aware that I am a privileged upper-middle-class white girl. Because of this, I sometimes stress about situations that maybe I shouldn't stress about, but then again, maybe I should? Today I was walking through the Wilk and the Native American powwow was on. This means there were a lot of people walking around in costume and "Native" tacos being eaten (why aren't they being called Navajo tacos anymore? Now I'm worried to call them that). When I was in Monument Valley last summer, I bought a necklace with a Zuni Sunface pendant, which I wear everyday. People sometimes ask me why I wear it, since I'm not Native American, but I just like it, okay?! I think it's pretty and it reminds me of one of my favorite places. Anyway, walking through the powwow, wearing my necklace and moccasins, I became super self-conscious. I wanted to yell "I'm not trying to commodify your culture!" but then again, maybe I am? But part of the powwow was selling Native American handicrafts, so is it approved commodification?

This happened on the same day as Holi, the Festival of Colors, which is Utah County's favorite profile picture factory. Throwing colored chalk at each other and dancing is great fun, and the point of the holiday is celebration, but should the hordes of BYU students feel guilty that they know nothing about the religion observed by actual attendees of the temple they are running around? Does it matter, as long as they continue to pay for tickets?

On a related note, did you know that the colored chalk will only dye your hair pink if you are a bleach blonde? I know this because one year my two blonde roommates went-one was natural and one wasn't. After a shower, one was a blonde, and one still had pink hair. So if you're ever suspicious of someone's hair color, throw some chalk on 'em!

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