A group of Latino women spray painted “White girl, take off your hoops!!!” on a dorm wall at Pitzer College.
The wall at the California college campus is devoted to free speech, per their website. Their “free wall” is the most visible thing for students to partake in outside of the classroom.
“If you ever want to know what’s on the mind of a Pitzer student, the free wall will tell you!” fourth-year Pitzer student Alex Ruiz posted on the school’s website. “You’ll find artistic representations of local and global issues that usually spark educational discussion across campus!”
Evidently many students have racist comments on their mind. According to The Claremont Independent, a West Hall RA by the name of Alegria Martinez emailed the following to the entire student body after a white student expressed confusion about the “art”:
[T]he art was created by myself and a few other WOC [women of color] after being tired and annoyed with the recurring [sic] theme of white women appropriating styles … that belong to the black and brown folks who created the culture. The culture actually comes from a historical background of oppression and exclusion. The black and brown bodies who typically wear hooped earrings, (and other accessories like winged eyeliner, gold nameplate necklaces, etc) are typically viewed as ghetto, and are not taken seriously by others in their daily lives. Because of this, I see our winged eyeliner, lined lips, and big hoop earrings serving as symbols [and] as an everyday act of resistance, especially here at the Claremont Colleges. Meanwhile we wonder, why should white girls be able to take part in this culture (wearing hoop earrings just being one case of it) and be seen as cute/aesthetic/ethnic. White people have actually exploited the culture and made it into fashion.
After Martinez blamed white people for appropriating their style and exploiting their culture, Jacquelyn Aguilera, who also takes responsibility for being apart of the spray painting activity, emailed back by demanding anyone who is not an intersectional feminist to remove their hoop earrings.
“If you didn’t create the culture as a coping mechanism for marginalization, take off those hoops, if your feminism isn’t intersectional take off those hoops, if you try to wear mi cultura when the creators can no longer afford it, take off those hoops,” she wrote. “If you are incapable of using a search engine and expect other people to educate you, take off those hoops, if you can’t pronounce my name or spell it … take off those hoops / I use ‘those’ instead of ‘your’ because hoops were never ‘yours’ to begin with.”
Aguilera attached an image of herself and the others who spray-painted the wall exposing their own hoop earrings.
Martinez and Aguilera claim the winged eyeliner and hoop earring look cannot be achieved by white girls. News flash: many girls on YouTube are sporting this look and that is why it is so widely popular. It is ridiculous to say women with white skin couldn’t be fashionable or favor the style of other cultures. Don’t feminists boast some sort of acceptance and equality rule?
But to those to people who agree with these two Pitzer students, I have news for you.
I didn’t create the culture as a coping mechanism. My feminism isn’t intersectional (because it is non-existent.) I can use multiple search engines and can educate myself, especially while feminists are taking the day off to “strike” against equality. I can pronounce your name and spell it backwards, and I can purchase and wear hoop earrings while strutting my winged eyeliner and bold lips whenever I want to. (My body my choice…?)
But I won’t, because I think hoop earrings look awful anyway.