Listen As This Latina Explains The Difference Between Appropriation And Appreciation

credit: Instagram / itsmeleaf



“When I was younger, I was constantly mocked for having crazy-thick sideburns. But everything I got made fun of for back then is trendy now.”

TeenVogue recently published a very cool series of videos featuring seven young women talking about their respective cultures’ concepts of beauty, grooming, and adornment. They showed how different styles look when they haven’t been appropriated by others, and what these different looks mean to them.

Leaf McLean, a Puerto Rican Afro-Latina from Brooklyn, talked about her ‘crazy-thick sideburns’ – which she rocks impeccably, btw.

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A photo posted by LEAF?MBM?13 (@itsmeleaf) on

Creidt: @itsmeleaf / Instagram

“Being Afro-Latina, you have a lot of hair,” she tells TeenVogue. “When I was younger, I was constantly mocked for having crazy-thick sideburns. But everything I got made fun of for back then is trendy now.”


Leaf goes on to define cultural appreciation (as opposed to appropriation) as “giving credit to a long line of people who have done this for years,” adding that part of embracing her heritage meant embracing her hair.


Check out TeenVogue’s full post here to learn more about Leaf’s style, from her earrings to her braids, plus gain insight from 6 other young women on the stories behind their looks.


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What’s your relationship to your hair these days, and was it always a good one?