Thursday, February 12, 2015

°˖✧✝ Dollite Wigs: How to Recognize Discrimination When You See It ✝✧˖°

Source: Cropped from Dollite Wigs' website

I've never really been a fan of Behind the Bows. I understand its premise and value its position on giving a mutual platform to differing opinions, but I find many of its participants to be shallow, misinformed and, at times, extremely hateful. And because of that, I don't visit the page as frequently like other Lolitas. I haven't been to the page in awhile, but the urge to do so took the best of me this past weekend, and a kinda wish it hadn't. 

In this bunch of weekly secrets, there was a post about the concerning business practices regarding the company Gothic Lolita Wigs, along with their affiliates like Rock Star Wigs and Dollite Wigs, and its representation of minority customers. There have been many problems with Gothic Lolita Wigs that have been surfacing as of late, all of which includes stereotyping, whitewashing and discriminating among genders and race. For a master post of their offences, please read fukami-in-a-pastel-sweater's post on the subject at her Tumblr. But the current offence that the poster on Behind the Bows was referencing to was the specialized website Gothic Lolita Wigs has created for their African American models and costumers, Dollite. At the bottom if the Dollite Wig page, you can see them tag the website as "African American Wigs" and "Black Women Wigs."

Source: Behind the Bows' secert post #160

As you can see, this Behind the Bows post calls the Dollite Wigs website a "ghetto." Which is exactly what it is, a sectioned off area for the purpose of detaining a certain ethnic or minority group of people from another. In a way to respond to this post, an anonymous commentator left an absurd comment underneath stating, "Honestly, it's cool that they make wigs for African American woman at all. None of the other wig companies make any. It's especially nice for people who don't use their wigs for fashion that have hair loss or going through chemo, they can have a wig that looks natural."

Source: Behind the Bows' secret post #160 comments

And this is were my issue begins. How can someone not recognize such blatant discriminatory actions of another person? This comment is beyond ignorant, and, what's worse, defends prejudices against other people.This person on anonymous is completely oblivious to the problem Dollite Wigs creates, and that's because of the lack of knowledge they have about other groups of people and, obviously, their unfamiliarity with discrimination.  

◊ Why this Comment is Utterly Foolish (and, quite honestly, hurtful)    

"Honestly, it's cool that they make wigs for African American woman at all."

This comment suggest that wigs are not universal, and that for some reason, as an African American/Black person, I would have to have an entirely different wig from people of other races. What does my Blackness have to do with the type of wig I wear? Why does my Blackness stand out as reason to police the type of wig I wear? What's even more tragic about this comment is how insensible it is. With this logic, that means that every race of people would have to have specialized wigs. But lets be honest, that's not going to happen. There isn't going to be a separate Latino website or an Asian one, because this is an issue about the color of a person's skin. The darker your skin is, the more policies and requirements other people want to place on you. Point blank, Gothic Lolita Wigs created a segregated website based on the darkness of their costumers' skin. And the problem with segregation is that it's fundamentally discriminatory. 

"None of the other wig companies make any." 

For those who need any edification on African Americans and wigs- we can wear whatever wig we like! Yes, that includes pastels and mixes of different colors! That means that any wig supplier that sells wigs has wigs for us, just like how they have wigs for all of you. We don't need a specialized tag created by someone, especially someone who isn't even African American, to tell us what we should be wearing. Dollite Wigs is a website that dictates what I'm allowed to wear as an African American/ Black person. And it's absolutely terrifying that they're people who can't understand how demeaning it is. Also, as it has been pointed out, the Dollite wigs are the SAME wigs that are sold on the main Gothic Lolita Wigs website. Why would they create a completely different website to sell wigs that they're already selling on the main website? Why do I have to shop at a different website from others because I am African American? 

"It's especially nice for people who don't use their wigs for fashion that have hair loss or going through chemo, they can have a wig that looks natural."  

The fact that this person feels like a website targeted at African Americans would be great for chemo patients, because they're "natural," is very telling about how Gothic Lolita Wigs, and those how agree with their website, view African Americans. They're inadvertently telling us that, as African Americans, we ought to wear wigs that are deemed "natural," because that's what looks best on us. On the website, there are only shades of black and brown wigs, with a deaden blonde sprinkled here and there. Most of the wigs are short to medium length, stopping around the neck area. That's all. Meanwhile, on Gothic Lolita Wigs, they have models of different races, albeit, with a naturally or edited light skin tone, wearing a myriad amount of wigs with different lengths, colors and cuts. This reeks of the "bright colors don't look good on Black skin" ideology.    

Source: Dollite's "Medium Wigs"
Welcome to the brown rainbow.

African Americans shouldn't have to be pigeonholed to fit the ideals of others. African Americans deserve the right of versatility, and no company should be relinquishing that right for us.    

◊ How is Dollite Wigs Discriminating 

Let's look at what discrimination is. According to the Providence of Manitoba: 

"Discrimination refers to differential treatment of individuals or groups on the basis of prohibited grounds such as race, colour, sex, religion, and other factors. It is the action resulting from stereotypes and prejudice and is usually considered unfair and humiliating. Discrimination may be direct, as in being shunned by schoolmates because of colour; indirect, such as an employment application not being considered because of a personal trait that is not acceptable to a company; or systemic, which is the general result of policies and practices of employers and organizations leading to disproportionate employee representation in relation to the makeup of society as a whole."**

**I do not live in the Providence of Manitoba or in Canada. However, I agree with their definition, and believe it to be comprehensible with concrete examples.    

Is Dollite Wigs treating a group of people differently based on their race?
They have created a separate website for African Americans based entirely around the color of our skin. None of the designs specifically caters to African Americans in any way. Besides from a few added shades, there is nothing different about the wigs they are selling from the ones on their main website, which is directed to all other races.

Is this treatment prohibiting in any way?
This website they have designed for African Americans is disproportionate to their main website in regards to its lack of variety. They have limited the amount of styles, cuts and color combinations we can choose from, which limits our options. Dictating which styles works best for a race of people creates a rigged system where manipulation becomes its framework. Dollite Wigs, don't manipulate me into buying a brown wig instead of a pink one. It's my choice to make, not yours.  

Is this treatment resulting from stereotypes and prejudices that are unfair?
Before I continue, I would like to explain that a person can stereotype a race even if that person had not intended on perpetuating racial stereotypes. Therefore, even if stereotyping was not intended with the creation of Dollite Wigs, their ignorance doesn't negate their prejudice actions.

There is a stereotype about how African Americans ought to look like and what their interests should be, all of which don't include their participation in alternative styles. So you'll hear people say that African Americans can't be Goths, can't wear bright colors and can't be "kawaii," all because of our natural features. In regards to Lolita fashion, you'll hear people say that our features are too harsh, that our skin is too dark and that we can never look like dolls. This is because they claim that our natural appearance go against their ideal of pretty, which is whiteness. This hatred is something that Africans Americans go through a daily bases. So, this "natural" appearance for African Americans that this website dictates is a slap to our faces.

So, let's have a recap. Gothic Lolita Wigs has created a separate website for their African American customers away from their main website, which has a variety of colors of styles. At this new website, there are fewer styles to choose from and a set amount of color choices. Also the wigs aren't different or exclusively designed to heighten particular African American features. They are the same wigs just being sold on a different platform for African Americans to purchase from.

And how is this not an example of discrimination?

°˖✧ 'Till next time


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