First we heard it by rumour and ignored it, until we saw this post on facebook. Not sure how genuine the image captured below is, as we could not find the product and it’s price on Asos.com. But if so do read below.
As seen the initial complaint made by the publisher was centred around cultural appropriation. From a personal angle, I don’t really have a stand on this as it’s a wide grey area. That raising many questions. 1/ Are Africans totally free from Cultural appropriation. 2/ At which point does something cross over from ones culture to a worldly attribute. 3/ What are Africans doing to preserve this said culture, or establish an industry behind it. 4/ What avenues are African’s creating to assure the avenue to this culture is accessible by its admirers? In this case asides asos, waist beads can only be found on FashionGHANA.com and one other site specifically dedicated to waist beads.
There are many question that makes the context of cultural appropriation a very grey area. However what is astonishing to us is the price. How does one get off selling 1 strand of waist beads for $100 when a set of waist beads are no more than $10. In fact the basic strand of waist beads with no extraordinary design as shown on the Asos picture above can be obtained for $1.
Not to shake another ones business, but this is simply jaw dropping. One can only imagine how those who bought this for $100 would feel after finding out they can get it for $1. This is the most shocking price appropriation since Kanye Wests $100 t shirts.
I’m sure there is some sort of explanation that will put their clients at ease when they find out what they just bought. Maybe it’s made from diamonds or the additional costs for delivery. Maybe they are not even African waist beads, maybe they are not even beads. Maybe they are getting extorted from their supplier as Asos is fairly known for having good prices, who knows?
Right about this would be the perfect time to make a sales pitch, do find links to our waist beads below. And enjoy this article here ‘The Many Reason Why African Women Wear Waist Beads’