Forever 21 Tweets Their Clothes Are “Straight Outta Compton,” Triggers (Another) Controversy

Popular fast-fashion clothing chain Forever 21 has once again found itself in hot water for tweeting out a photo that some claim is another case of cultural appropriation. On Thursday, the L.A.-based retailer tweeted “straight outta Compton” with a a photo of a white model wearing three different T-shirts referencing the City of Compton as well as hip-hop/rap artists Ice Cube and N.W.A.

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Though the tweet was quickly deleted, it wasn’t long before the image made its way around the Web, eliciting an array of responses. Some were interested in purchasing the clothes:

“(@Kariinaxo) Forever 21 has all these cute WuTang and NWA shirts omg I want them all”

“(@It_Aint__ME) Ooo i want that compton shirt”

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However, such comments were greatly outnumbered by those expressing disappointment and frustration over the new line, being very critical of what they viewed as the inappropriate commodification of African American culture for the sake of business and trend.

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The “Statement Making Compton Tee” and “N.W.A Muscle Tee” are now unavailable on Forever 21′s online retail site, though it is not certain if the controversy surrounding the T-shirts is the reason for their removal.

This is not the first time that the mega-retailer has been accused of cultural appropriation. In 2011, their “Oriental Girl” necklaces sparked a firestorm of criticism.

 

Image of The Day: Kunal Nayyar Supports Miss America Nina Davuluri

There were many reactions to Nina Davuluri winning Miss America. Unfortunately, many of these reactions were not the praise and compliments that are typically showered upon a newly crowned Miss America.

Twitter exploded with racist comments about the first Indian Miss America. Many tweets referenced 9/11, called her a terrorist and even refused to acknowledge her as an American despite her being born and raised in New York. As expected, this gained nationwide attention, though not the attention we would hope for.

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In the midst of all the undeserved hate and racism, some good came from this. Many individuals fought back in support of Davuluri and her well-deserved title.

Among these supporters was The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar. The actor tweeted his congratulations, then quickly commented on the negative reactions to Miss America.

Nayyar, who was featured in our Summer 2013 issue, gives us yet another reason to love him.

Be sure to check out the Top Five Reasons Miss America Nina Davuluri is AWESOME

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World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter

by Ada Tseng 

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1. Indonesian entertainer Agnes Monica (@agnezmo) — 8,326,171 followers

2. Japanese-Swiss-Polish Brazilian TV personality Sabrina Sato Rahal (@sabrinasatoreal)

3. Indonesian singer Sherina Munaf (@sherinamunaf)

4. Indonesian actress Luna Maya (@LunaMaya26)

5. Japanese American artist Yoko Ono (@yokoono)

6. Bollywood entertainer Priyanka Chopra(@priyankachopra)

7. Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone)

8. Filipina American entertainer Nicole Scherzinger (@NicoleScherzy)

9. Indonesian entertainer Aluna Sagita Gutawa (@gitagut)

10. Filipina actress Angel Locsin (@143redangel)

11. Filipina actress Angelica Panganiban (@iamangelicap)

12. Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor (@sonamakapoor)

13. Bollywood actress Preity Zinta (@realpreityzinta)

14. Filipina actress Cristine Reyes (@mscristinereyes)

15. Indian American actress Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) — 2,458,926 followers

*As of August 15, 2013 

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here

Miss America Makes History with First Indian American Winner… But Not Without Racist Haters

On Sunday night, New York’s Nina Davuluri made pageant history by becoming the first woman of Indian descent to snag the prestigious title of Miss America.

But not long after the coveted crown was placed on her head, Davuluri, who performed a Bollywood fusion dance routine for the talent portion of the competition, quickly became the focus of discriminatory and racist comments on various social media platforms. The 24-year-old aspiring doctor was referred to, among other things, as “Miss 7-11,” “Miss Al-Qaeda,” and as a “terrorist.” Some expressed their disappointment that an “Arab” who had performed “Egypt dancing” won Miss America, just days after the 9/11 anniversary. Some even retorted that a Miss America winner “should have to be American.”

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In her first press conference as Miss America, Davuluri addressed the issue, quickly (and gracefully) putting aside the negativity.

“I’m so happy this organization has embraced diversity,” she said. “I’m thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America. … I have to rise above [the comments]. I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”

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Going into the pageant, Davuluri’s platform issue was “Celebrating Diversity through Cultural Competency,” and sad instances such as these prove the platform’s continuing necessity and relevance in the U.S. Thankfully, in about an hour, the Twittersphere exploded with tweets in support of Davuluri, drowning out the small minority of ignoramuses.