Gwen Stefani hits back at cultural appropriation claims

Gwen Stefani has extended taken heat for parading about with a group of Japanese-America females she termed “Harajuku Girls” — but she insists she has no regrets.

The “Hollaback Girl” singer defended herself in a new interview towards extended-standing expenses that her use of Japanese road vogue and back up dancers on phase and in media appearances is an offensive act of cultural appropriation.

“If we did not obtain and promote and trade our cultures in, we wouldn’t have so considerably magnificence, you know?” Stefani, 51, instructed Paper Magazine in an article printed Wednesday.

“We understand from just about every other, we share from every other, we increase from each and every other. And all these policies are just dividing us extra and additional.”

The No Question frontwoman first started out showing with the Harajuku Ladies — a group that consists of dancers Maya Chino, Jennifer Kita, Rino Nakasone and Mayuko Kitayama — early in her solo occupation in 2004.

She also started sporting trend inspired by the colourful and outrageous-seeking kinds popularized in Tokyo’s Harajuku district — and even created a manner model that sells things in the Japanese design.

Stefani’s selection to income off of Japanese tradition, even so, has gotten slammed by critics, like comic Margaret Cho, who in contrast her performances with the Harajuku Girl to a minstrel present.

Gwen Stefani and the Harajuku Girls
Gwen Stefani poses with the Harajuku Girls whilst carrying the renowned Japanese avenue design
WireImage

“Even nevertheless to me, a Japanese schoolgirl uniform is kind of like blackface, I am just in acceptance over it, because anything is greater than very little,” Cho had published.

But Stefani asserted that she is only paying regard to the society that had impressed her so considerably when she was on tour in Japan in the ’90s.

Gwen Stefani wearing a bindi in 1996.
The No Question singer, witnessed listed here in 1996, frequently wore a bindi
Getty Visuals

“I never ever bought to have dancers with No Question. I never ever bought to alter costumes. I by no means got to do all of those people enjoyable girl matters that I constantly adore to do,” she stated. “So I experienced this thought that I would have a posse of ladies — for the reason that I by no means received to dangle with women — and they would be Japanese, Harajuku girls, simply because those people are the women that I enjoy.”

She extra, “Those are my homies. That’s where I would be if I experienced my dream come true, I could go reside there and I could go cling out in Harajuku.”

Many others have pointed out that Stefani experienced appropriated Indian lifestyle back in the ’80s when she was component of the band No Doubt. But Stefani stated that she wore bindis and saris on phase as a image of cultural trade with her bandmate Tony Kanal, who is Indian-American.

Gwen Stegani wearing a sari and a bindi in 1997.
Gwen Stefani wore a sari, a bindi and bantu knots in her hair in 1997.
Ron Galella Collection through Getty

The “Just A Girl” singer also believes that social media currently has hindered peoples’ flexibility to specific themselves and share in each other’s cultures as they applied to before.

“I believe that we grew up in a time wherever we did not have so quite a few regulations,” she claimed. “We did not have to follow a narrative that was currently being edited for us via social media, we just had so considerably extra liberty.”

The singer expressed that she doesn’t think that anything wants to be a statement, even saying that she under no circumstances established out to get started a feminist motion but just direct by case in point.

 “I never have to have to go on Instagram and say ‘girl energy.’ I just have to have to dwell and be a superior human being and depart a trail of greatness at the rear of me,” she said. “Stop chatting about it and quit trying to bully all people about it. Just do it. And which is how I experience like I’ve lived my daily life.”