10 Jan

How to Spot a Culture Vulture

8 characteristics of the culturally insensitive

Written By Amina Kaabi

Despite being vaguely defined, the term culture vulture is one we’ve all come to know over the last few years. No one really knows where it originated, which means it probably got its start in the dark depths of Twitter. Unlike actual vultures, the human variety does not serve any positive function.

 

We’ve started using the term to describe cultural appropriators, i.e. people who create entire identities made up of cultural characteristics that aren’t theirs. If you haven’t met a culture vulture, you’ve probably seen one online. They’re the people weirdly attached to our cultures, often leaving a bad taste in our mouths.

Here MILLE gives you 8 tell-tale signs that the person you’re following on Instagram is actually a culture vulture.

 

They post photos of freshly applied Henna, complete with the hashtag #FESTIVALREADY.

 

Courtesy of @gopihenna

 

They like to take photos with labour migrants in Satwa, just for the aesthetic.

 

Courtesy of Francesco Scotti

 

For Halloween, they dress as an ‘Arab Sheikh’ and caption their photo #ArabMoney.

 

Courtesy of @khloekardashian

 

They try to pass off complete gibberish as Arabic text.

 

Extract from Lil Uzi Vert music video XO Tour Llif3

 

 

They once wore a Keffiyeh they bought from Urban Outfitters to ‘spice up an outfit’.

 

Courtesy of @sophiejolieblog

 

They want a pat on the back because they used the word ‘shisha’ or ‘argeeleh’ instead of ‘hookah’.

 

 

They throw an Arab-themed birthday party with a witty name like “A Night in FABU DHABI”.

 

Courtesy of @myfabolouslife

 

They ride camels wearing niqabs and abayas for music videos because “who talks money more than Dubai?”.

 

Extract from Cardi B Music Video Bodak yellow