Ten years after the release of Love. Angel. Music. Baby., Gwen Stefani is entering the cultural appropriation debate and defending her use of the Harajuku Girls, the group of Japanese backup dancers that accompanied her on tour and throughout the promotion of the album.
As Stefani recently told Time:
"There's always going to be two sides to everything. For me, everything that I did with the Harajuku Girls was just a pure compliment and being a fan. You can't be a fan of somebody else? Or another culture? Of course you can. Of course you can celebrate other cultures. That's what Japanese culture and American culture have done."
Pop stars love to breakdown cultural appropriation arguments this way, as if their only options as "fans" are to include cartoonish depictions of a culture or ignore a culture completely. This is wrong! You absolutely can pay homage to different cultures, but—while you're doing it—maybe consider the implications of assembling a group of Japanese/Japanese-American backup dancers (remember—the Harajuku Girls are something Gwen Stefani created), giving them new names and instructing them to follow you around like silent robot dolls.
"It's like I say in the song ['Harajuku Girls']: it's a ping-pong match. We do something American, they take it and they flip it and make it so Japanese and so cool. And we take it back and go, 'Whoa, that's so cool! That's so beautiful.' It's a beautiful thing in the world, how our cultures come together. I don't feel like I did anything but share that love. You can look at it from a negative point of view if you want to, but get off my cloud. Because, seriously, that was all meant out of love."
Yeah, stop making Gwen Stefani think.
[ Gossip Cop]
Kate Hudson's engagement to Matt Bellamy of
The Muse has ended after three years and the actress is reportedly rebounding with Dancing with the Star's Derek Hough. Hough and Hudson have been friends for a couple years now, though, so any "canoodling" they're seen engaging in could just be the platonic canoodling of friends. [US Weekly]
In devastatingly sad news, dancer and VH1 reality star Stephanie Moseley died after being shot by her husband, musician Earl Hayes, who then committed suicide. According to TMZ, Floyd Mayweather was on FaceTime with Hayes at the time of the shooting. [TMZ]
- Kris Jenner is taking heat from critics after she Instagrammed a lingerie modeling photo of her daughter, Kendall Jenner. [Radar]
- The real reason Mark Wahlberg wants his 1988 felony assault conviction pardoned is so he can become a cop. Just throwing this out there: Maybe a man with a history of race-based hate crimes should ~not~ be a police officer. [Bossip]
- Chris Brown apologized for publicly accusing ex girlfriend Karrueche Tran of "going on dates" with Drake with a morose Instagram photo. Sample excerpt: "I AM APOLOGIZING I live in a glass house and the same shit that makes me great also is my curse." [E!]
- Keisha Castle-Hughes, the little girl from Whale Rider, has been cast in a Showtime pilot alongside Luke Wilson! [EW]
- Weeds actor Hunter Parrish is engaged to girlfriend Kathryn Wahl. Keep him away from Derek Hough, Kathryn. [US Weekly]
- OH, NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Nick Cannon has confirmed his split with Mariah Carey. How will we manage this news (that actually broke months ago)?!?!?! [Cosmopolitan]
- Taylor Swift called the media "thirsty" for speculating that she's dating Karlie Kloss, but—I dunno—I find her use of "thirsty" to actually be the thirstiest thing happening here. [E!]
Photos via Getty, AP.