cultural crossdressing or cultural appropriation?
There was a particular passage that Jill and I were discussing in small group last week that I meant to bring up to the whole class but didn't have time to get to. In the "Representations of Latinidad in Hispanic Barbie" there following sentence about the costuming of Barbie and Ken sparked our discussion:
"Barbie and Ken's cultural cross-dressing metonymically invites the consumer to objectify the exotic other without ever actually invoking the image of the other's body."
Jill argued, and I agree, that to use cross-dressing in this context is not only inaccurate, but takes away from the specific subversive power and political or cultural message that cross-dressing and gender bending have. I feel like the term cultural appropriation would have been more accurate, since Mattel was using these folkloric Mexican designs as a means to financial gain, and was doing so most likely without permission or support from anyone from that specific culture. So I was just putting that out to the class to see if anyone felt the same or differently, and if they thought appropriation or another term would have been better used.