I have a complicated relationship with Forever 21. I don’t like their marketing practices and their creepy proselytizing so I stay away. but sometimes I get the urge to go in because things seem so impossibly cheap. So I go in, get overwhelmed by a sea of synthetic fabrics and aggressive teenagers, then hate myself for getting interested in their products in the first place.
Sounds like a healthy relationship, no?
The other day, the Urge struck as I was walking on St-Catherines street. But my guilt/interest quickly turned into something else as I saw this:
Cute Oriental girl on a chain! How hip and ironic! These don’t seem identical to the “Oriental Girl” necklace that got the chain in hot water awhile back, but the concept seems to be similar enough.
Honestly, I don’t know what to make of these. I don’t want to wear something like this. It also seems wrong that they would single out and reduce certain cultural identities — like the “Native American Girl” as well as the “Oriental Girl” — to be worn like decoration (at a bargain price of $3.99 CAD or $1.50 US, nonetheless). But of course, a Huffington Post poll on the very same subject seems to reveal that I am yet again the humourless and sour person who takes everything too seriously.
In the end, I left the store empty-handed as I should’ve, and bought this cute zebra necklace instead, from the great Mary Jane, whose online shop is full of quirky vintage goods. Support local business, don’t contribute to questionable business practices, and don’t own a weird jewellery depicting stereotypes. Win-win, right?