Ladies, are you tired of staring at the same plain ol’ kameezain in your wardrobe? Well, fear no more, white people are here with “vintage boho dresses” to
steal ideas off people of color and pass them as their own save the day.
After the “dress on pants” look which is basically a second-hand version of our shalwar kameez…
…to passing off the tikka as a “chandelier clip”
…and going as far as marketing dhotis as “check mini skirts…”
…white people are back at it again, trying to sell off kameezain as….vintage boho dresses.
Yes. You read that right. Turns out you’ve been living in the dark your whole life. That lawn ki shirt in your cupboard isn’t a kameez – nope, it’s “vintage boho dress.”
As my amma would say, “ Kameez hai magar tameez nai hai.”
Okay, but no for real, can you imagine if one day you actually showed up to work wearing this? In all seriousness who could ever casually roam around in public wearing this? Where are the vintage pants?! If you’re going to sell a kameez, you gotta sell the accompanying shalwar too.
Sis, this is literally a kameez you wear to someone’s Mehndi.
Tbh, I feel like the whole thing is an elaborate lie being carried out by someone who forgot to wear a shalwar with their kameez in public one day and decided to pass off their outfit as a boho dress rather than coming clean with the truth.
Naturally, the internet had a lot to say about these…vintage boho dresses.
vintage boho dress????? girl u got on a damn kameez with no salwar…… pic.twitter.com/9qJBWfPCMd
— diya (@dxya_d) September 7, 2019
People just couldn’t get over the fact that the model wasn’t wearing a shalwar.
Atleast copy it right lmao where the fck is the salwar 😭😭
— moony🌙 (@MlNCOSMOS) September 10, 2019
The red one is cut from the sides. It's a damn kurta! Where your damn pants!
— MeghaSharma (@crazyabtsrk) September 10, 2019
It looks so…off…without the pants. Like that dream where you get to school & realize you left home in your underwear lol
— ~Bri~ [Hiatus] // ChimChim Cher-ee (@mochimchim10) September 10, 2019
Absolutely NO ONE was willing to fall for this pulling-off-a-kameez-as-a-dress nonsense. Especially in public. Can you imagine what the uncle and aunties would say?
imagine me going to a desi wedding wearing this and all my chachi masi gonna combust
— ruru (@listenbts) September 10, 2019
the "ahai's" of indian auntys being heard from all over the world.
— BTS AU (@BTSau_writer) September 10, 2019
My desi family will combust if they see me wearing anything like this 💀
— sara ☆彡 (@flexbangtan) September 10, 2019
Mostly, everyone couldn’t help sharing how terribly ridiculous they thought the whole thing was.
omg then i already own tons of these boho dresses
— mansi 🌱 (@springtaytaee) September 10, 2019
— Aaminah (@Aaminahissss) September 9, 2019
— Tejasvi Paramkusam (@SideDoorGirl) September 10, 2019
However, a few people were quick to jump on board and decide to use this an inspiration for selling their own ahem – vintage boho dresses from their closets
wait this is genius I’m gonna start selling my used kameezes as $200 vintage boho dresses
— Abby Govindan (@abbygov) September 10, 2019
I'm gonna sell my old kurta I've worn only on weddings as *~boho dresses~*
— tabyy (@Cweeten) September 10, 2019
*starts asking all maids in her apartments for thei old kurtas and garish anarkalis so she can sell them for 50$ on this site*
— PoliticsPeBhasad (@grihini) September 10, 2019
Many rightly called out the website for cultural appropriation.
There's a well established term for this, it's called cultural appropriation.
— ConsciousSara-h (@conscioussarah) September 10, 2019
@onanighttrain This is an example of cultural appropriation. The culture is stolen, the origin erased and marketed as something western.
— Lisa Croft (@LisaCroft) September 10, 2019
Thankfully, the company took note of this outrage and ended up taking down all “vintage boho dresses” (read kurtas) off their site.
Hi @dxya_d – Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We have taken these items off of our website. We bought these from our suppliers as 'vintage boho dresses' and sold them in the belief that they were. We apologise for any offence that has been caused.
— Thrifted (@thrifted_com) September 10, 2019
Tbh, I’m actually really glad that the brand actually took people’s feelings into account and ended up taking the clothes down. While the debate on cultural appropriation is a controversial one, one can’t deny that this blatant erasure of brown culture by marketing desi products as a uniquely western invention is disrespectful, to say the least. It invalidates the history and true identity of these clothing items and basically makes a mockery of desi culture.
What are your thoughts behind this whole debate? Did you just find the whole thing amusing and leave it at that or do you feel it was cultural appropriation? Let us know in the comments below.
Cover image via thrifted.com