I love looking back at my high school days.
Not because I was a drinker and had hundreds of friends, but because I recall moments of discrimination or stereotyping that at that moment didn’t feel like it.
Story Of The Day
To the Hubert girls that had a “ghetto” themed night at their shore house, this is for you.
This memory isn’t fully tied to the Bamboo earring, but more on Latinx and African American culture.
For those who aren’t enlighted on the “Northeast” culture in Philadelphia, high school kids normally live and work down the shore in the summer.
It is here where all of the juicy drama happens, everybody would know why so and so weren’t friends anymore by the first day of class.
A lot of fun nights take place as well. Most of these nights are normally themed.
I remembered this while I read an article about cultural appropriation and whether or not the door knocker earrings fall in that category.
As I read I just kept getting flashbacks. White girls in wife beaters and….yup Door-Knockers.
This post isn’t about cultural appropriation, but more on the significance of the Door-Knocker/Bamboo earings have in our community and how it is used to stereotype against us.
Centuries ago people from all walks of life wore hoop earrings, the same as today. The oldest earrings archeologists have discovered belong to Sumerian women who lived in 2500 BC, However, the bamboo has a special place in the Latinx and African American culture.
The Bamboo’s – especially with the nameplate – is traditionally gifted to you on a birthday, Quinceanera or if you’re Catholic, the day of your Holy Communion.
Many of us didn’t get cars or had trust funds but we got these beautiful hoops that identified us and made us proud of who we were.
I don’t think I know a Dominican or a Puerto Rican from my youth who didn’t have a pair. The day I got mine I felt like a GROWN woman. Super hype.
It’s so easy to categorize our clothing, hairstyles, and accessories as “unacceptable” or “ghetto” – but as soon as a white woman or someone in the fashion industry wears it or incorporates it into their work it’s “the new trend” or a “sensation.”
That is my issue.
My issue is that sadly, we live in a world where we have to act like something we are not in order to be taken seriously.
We have to straighten our hair, code switch and not wear our hoops so that we don’t appear to ethnic or promiscuous aka the saying “the bigger the hoop the bigger the hoe”
We have to sit back and watch as groups mock our existence by the way we dress. When in reality our culture has flavor, it has swag…there’s a reason why the fashion industry loves it. They know it.
These earrings symbolize Latinx and African American culture from coast to coast, it takes you back to the birth of hip-hop and has been making chicas feel like bosses way before the 80s.
Wearing hoops have always been a form of resistance and activism. Wearing them in places that restrict women of color from these styles sent a message out loud and clear.
Edgy. Classic. Bomb AF.