Appreciation vs. Appropriation: What’s the Difference?

Many people are confused about whether something is appropriation, or appreciation.  Appropriation is stealing something from another culture and wearing it as a costume, while appreciation is respecting the good qualities of another culture.

Celebrities such as Gigi Hadid are examples of cultural appropriation. For years, muslim girls have been mocked, harassed, and even assaulted for wearing the hijab. Some people argue that Hadid is half Palestinian. This isn’t about race; this is about religion. The hijab is from muslim beliefs, not middle eastern countries. According to Harper’s Bazaar, Celebrity singer Zendaya Coleman added her two cents; “You have to be very careful. Some things are really sacred and important to other cultures, so you have to be aware, politically, about those things before you just adopt them.”


At the same time, Angelina Jolie wore the hijab to Afghanistan, but she wasn’t appropriating the culture. She wore the hijab to respect the local customs and traditions. This is appreciation.

There is a HUGE difference between appreciation and appropriation; the difference is the intention. Hadid wore it as a fashion statement, while Angelina Jolie wore it as a sign of respect to local people of Afghanistan.

It’s culture, not a costume.