Gwen Stefani cultural appropriation
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Singer Gwen Stefani is finally firing back after years of being accused of cultural appropriation for parading around with a group of Japanese-America women she called “Harajuku Girls.”

In a new interview, Stefani defended herself from the attacks she’s faced for her use of Japanese street fashion and back up dancers on stage. 

Stefani Defends Herself

“If we didn’t buy and sell and trade our cultures in, we wouldn’t have so much beauty, you know?” Stefani, 51, told Paper Magazine. “We learn from each other, we share from each other, we grow from each other. And all these rules are just dividing us more and more.”

Stefani initially began using her Harajuku Girls in 2004. The group of women included dancers Maya Chino, Jennifer Kita, Rino Nakasone, and Mayuko Kitayama.

Around that time, Stefani started wearing fashion inspired by the colorful and outrageous-looking styles that stem from Tokyo’s Harajuku district.

She even launched a fashion brand that sells items in the Japanese style.

Many slammed Stefani for this and comedian Margaret Cho compared Stefani’s performances with the Harajuku Girl to a minstrel show.

“Even though to me, a Japanese schoolgirl uniform is kind of like blackface, I am just in acceptance over it, because something is better than nothing,” Cho once wrote.

Related: Gwen Stefani Refuses To Say Who She Voted For – I’m A Pop Star, ‘Not A Political Science Major’

Stefani Was Paying Tribute To Japanese Culture

However, Stefani said this week that she was only trying to pay her respects to the culture that had inspired her so much when she traveled to Japan for a performance tour in the 1990s.

“I never got to have dancers with No Doubt. I never got to change costumes. I never got to do all of those fun girl things that I always love to do,” she explained. “So I had this idea that I would have a posse of girls — because I never got to hang with girls — and they would be Japanese, Harajuku girls, because those are the girls that I love.”

“Those are my homies,” Stefani added. “That’s where I would be if I had my dream come true, I could go live there and I could go hang out in Harajuku.”

Related: Blake Shelton Explains How Gwen Stefani Led Him To Believe In God

Stefani Blasts Social Media

Stefani also said that she feels social media has made it harder for people to express themselves and share in other cultures like they did before. 

“I think that we grew up in a time where we didn’t have so many rules,” she said. “We didn’t have to follow a narrative that was being edited for us through social media, we just had so much more freedom.”

Here’s one of Stefani’s videos with the dancers.

It’s nice to see that unlike many celebrities, Stefani appears to have a good head on her shoulders.

Good for her for standing by her actions and refusing to apologize to the politically correct mob. 

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