If some white guy from Utah wants to dance a bhangra, what is the problem?
Because for the most part, it's rooted in Orientalist bullshit, that's why. And exoticism is already a big enough problem for Asian and other non-white cultures without Mr. Mormon adding to it. Let's look at Derek's Bollywood with Maria. That wasn't genuine Bollywood, that was Derek throwing in a Bollywood theme for no good reason just to make the dance more ~exotic. And it was bullshit.
I have less issue with a couple like Gilles and Peta, who were actually *assigned* a Bollywood dance...they weren't just doing it to add some exotic flavor. They screwed up a bit, but at least they tried.
(I realize that Derek was actually assigned the bhangra, which is why I have less of an issue with that than I do with his Bollywood routine or that hot mess of a tribal samba he did with Shawn and Mark.)
Okay: A non-Indian learning elements of Bollywood (e.g. the complicated hand motions) and making a genuinely respectful attempt at learning the dance.
Not okay: A non-Indian slapping on a bindi and waving their arms around and going, "Lookee, it's Bollywood!" (See also: Selena Gomez)
It's a compliment, if anything.
Yeah, thanks, but I think I can do without white people "appreciating" Asian culture that way.
No more black contestants appropriating white culture, right?
Because black people have such a history of marginalizing white culture, right?
In other words: Not anywhere close to the same thing. We do not live in a vacuum, so we should not treat these situations as though they do. History and context matter, a lot. The Western world has spent years imposing their culture upon the rest of the world and basically being imperialist dicks, so yeah, white people can put up with non-white people wearing jeans and dancing the foxtrot.
Edited by tip and fall, Apr 24, 2013 @ 4:57 PM.