There are words that, until you’re given a sort of slap on the wrist, you might be using just because your parents or grandparents did, that happen to be “uncouth” now. Any term of Othering (if you did any human studies at ALL in college you got beaten over the head with “Big-O Other” meaning something different from “us” which is all relative and therefore very impolite), I don’t need to name them for you, but those that might refer sweepingly to a person’s race, color of skin, gender, religion, country of origin — you name it — is to be carefully avoided. Well, that is unless you’re Forever 21.
Urban Outfitters was called out recently on using the word “Navajo” to describe its prints. I think the tribal print should be long gone by now anyway, but alas they decided to shoot themselves in both feet by calling the print something insensitive and marginalizing. (They have since changed the name.) ”Oriental” is a nasty word, too. The implication that something is from the Orient is like saying it’s from “Other-ville.” So you can understand how some people might be upset with Forever 21′s inability to disguise its ignorance to this taboo when it decided to name its geisha-inspired charm necklace the “Oriental Girl Necklace.”
I don’t expect much from Forever 21 in terms of my clothes lasting past one wash, but it’s a company valued at over 1 billion dollars. You’d think they could hire a Sociologist. I know a few who need jobs.
So, Lovelies, thoughts? I think the necklace is kind of ugly anyway, but what’s the deal? Is fashion exempt from being held socially responsible?