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 Would you consider it cultural appropriation to wear fashion surgical masks in America?
ShaddupWesley
 Posted: Mar 7 2018, 11:47 AM
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So, this is something that's been on my mind; I've listened to k-pop and j-pop since middle school (I'm 21 now) and watched anime since then as well--luckily, I managed to avoid going through that weeb phase where everyone says "kawaii" in normal conversation and whatever xD That said, I have always really loved looking at Japanese and Korean street fashion, though I've never really considered actually wearing any of it, mostly because I knew people would call me a weeb and also because it's expensive and I also prefer not to wear things that draw attention to me.
Anyways, the bottom line of this post really about face masks though. Because we don't really "need" them here in America, but isn't it true that they don't "need" them in Asian countries, either? Because my understanding of the topic is that people started wearing them after a flu outbreak, then broke them out again after an earthquake that caused poor air quality for an extended period of time, then again during a SARS outbreak, and then they kind of just became a year-round thing that people wear during allergy season, to keep from spreading disease when they're sick, and to protect their lungs when the pollution is bad. And then, from that, people just kind of decided that if they're going to wear them, they might as well be stylish.
Correct me if I'm wrong on any of that! All that being said, it's my understanding that the masks don't actually prevent anyone from catching colds or anything like that. And even if they did, it's not like we don't have diseases in America, like the flu, that we would like to not spread. Plus, I kind of feel like face masks are the perfect accessory for me because I have anxiety and I love an accessory that hides half of your entire face and makes people less likely to talk to you at random xD
Okay okay okay. This is a long, rambling post but here's the tl;dr--would it be cultural appropriation for Americans to wear fashion face masks as an accessory?
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MichaelSaunders
 Posted: Apr 26 2018, 02:49 AM
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I wouldn't, but most here would just assume you have cancer, some auto-immune type illness, or are wearing them because the pollution in the area you live in, among other use based reasons. The reason why I don't think it would be considered "cultural appropriation" is because they don't hearken back to the country's history in how someone, somewhere designed something unique to that country's culture. They're just surgical masks, nothing special other than their derived function.

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