HomeThe Cultural Appropriation in Fashion Issue

Asian Poetry Review

By February 12, 2019 13 Comments
“The Sunflower Girl”
by Thao La
 

Yellow, gentle, pure

She captured the wandering eyes of many

Among the sparse, tall fields

They gravitated towards her

Wherever she turned, so did they

The direction it seemed

Was almost like an endless cycle

 

Or so they thought

Within this girl lied many hidden secrets

She was not who they constructed

The girl was not who they wanted her to be

She blossomed differently

 

Yellow, bold, daring

She was anything and everything

An unrestrained force to be reckoned with

Someone who the girl actually wanted to be

She was after the radiating sun

Even the shadows from her onlookers

Could not stop her from attaining her goals

 

She was vibrant

She was an overachiever

She was a model minority

She was inspirational

She was a sunflower girl

“The Girl In The Mirror”

by Anusha Asim

She looks into the eyes of the girl in the mirror

Makeup-free and bitter

Her flaws becoming clearer and clearer

“The mirror doesn’t lie,” they say

Does she really look this way?

All those remarks echo in her ears

The girl in the mirror is blurred with tears

She wipes her eyes and stares again

The truth becoming clear and plain

Her flaws make her different for each tells a story

For once she notices their concealed glory

She is unique, a masterpiece, an amazing work of art

And love for the girl in the mirror sprouts in her heart

“I Share My Qipao With You”

by Alison Wang

I never gave a second glance
When you asked to wear my dress
The baby pink one that you loved
Pure silk with embroidered flowers and vines
Which hugged my waist and brushed against my neck
Whispering life into my veins
That I blithely wanted for you, too.

I never thought a second time
Until I was told to by those
Entangled in that blindly-spun web
On lines of fallacies
Spinning me into its reach
Weavers who twisted yellow yarn without yellow hands
Wove thoughts into my mind
That I should take offense
At your innocent request.

I stayed in that nest, untangling the mess they warped me into
Until I became a golden bird with the will to fly away
And I wondered if it was too late to return your call
Because you never asked to wear my dress again
For fear that they would cage you, too.


Context: I Share My Qipao With You is written from a child’s perspective and takes an alternative stance on the
victims of cultural appropriation. In the poem, the young girl sees no issue with sharing her
culture to her equally-innocent friend, who wishes to borrow her qipao with no malicious
intentions. Over time, the media feeds the girl mixed messages which cause her to believe that
her friend is trying to appropriate her culture offensively. I presented this nearly satirical
perspective on cultural appropriation to communicate how mainstream media can take cultural
appropriation to the extreme, and how there is actually power in sharing cultures with others.

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