Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Problem With Igloo Australia

I am quite invested in pop culture and current events, so I'm closely following what's going on in Ferguson (and all over the US), and I find it interesting to see where celebrities fit in to certain discussions relating to social justice issues.

Iggy Azalea has received a lot of backlash in light of the protests going on in the United States regarding police brutality in the black community. You may be thinking, what the heck does Iggy Azalea have to do with that? Well, the criticism she has been receiving is due to the fact that she is willing to dip her fingers (so to speak) in black culture when it suits her purpose - i.e. within the rap/hip hop scene, but when it comes to real and hard hitting issues surrounding blackness, she remains silent. She appropriates the aspects of black culture that further her career and denies any sort of responsibility that comes with the tough parts of being black. This is the epitome of white privilege: being able to pick and choose the stylish aspects of other cultures for your own benefit. I would also argue that her success is maybe due to the shock/difference in hearing a blonde white girl rap (but that's a different topic entirely).

Many people have called her out on her hypocrisy, her main opponent being Azealia Banks. See below.

To which Iggy responded:

Iggy and Azealia Banks have a longstanding feud, but that doesn't discredit Azealia's argument. Many people in the black community have voiced their issues with Iggy and other celebrities who appropriate black culture, but Iggy truly believes these criticisms only exist to fuel celeb feuds and petty Twitter trolls. She's misinterpreting these arguments against her as personal digs rather than larger racial issues.

I think the problem here is that Iggy, and other celebrities, receive so many personal attacks on the daily that actual, relevant criticisms get mixed in with stupidities. They can no longer discern between what is simply trolling and what is constructive critique. Her attitude is a product of her inflated ego and her thinking that she is somehow separate from the universe she is entangled in. She lives in her own Iggyverse, where she exists in a vacuum of self-absorption.

I imagine that part of forging a name for yourself and creating your own personal brand can be very self-involved. I'm sure everyone she surrounds herself with are "all Iggy all the time". I guess it's also somewhat of a prerequisite for all pop stars to have a certain degree of narcissism. But, that's no excuse. Even Macklemore, the king of piggybacking off the realities of others, showed up to protest and spread the good word.

I don't think it's ridiculous or misguided to hope that celebrities might use their platforms for good. A tweet about Eric Garner or Ferguson from Iggy Azalea would reach a whopping 3.38 million people... If that's not power, I don't know what is. But she just throws it away and pretends these issues aren't her problem. I've always been a firm believer that silence is ignorance. I don't think she's racist, but I do think she's ignorant.

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