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Grown-ish - Strictly 4 My... - Review: Cultural Appropriation

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Grown-ish' most recent episode, "Strictly 4 My...", sparked a strong debate about cultural appropriation. It all started when Doug noticed that Vivek was "a little too comfortable" at Hawkins. From Vivek's constant use of black emojis and Gucci threads to his passion for hip-hop and more, everything about Vivek suddenly seemed to irritate Doug. But was he right?

I think in a way he was right, but not entirely. Borrowing from other cultures is - rightfully - often considered offensive, but I think what truly matters is the intention. For example some celebrities appropriate different cultures to reinvent their own style and take credit for it: they are aware of how disrespectful that is and just won't care. Many other people, though, don't even realize how inappropriate that is until they're called out on it, and that's Vivek's case.

By the end of the episode, we realize that it was Vivek's way to fit in in the only community that ever embraced him. Even Nomi realized that she was unwittingly appropriating Black culture, and she never noticed up to that moment because she spends most of the time with her black friends. I really like how this show keeps exploring current topics in a way that feels fresh and woke.

What surprised me was the lack of Zoey in this episode (we saw her in a couple of scenes while she helped a girl choose her prom dress). Honestly, after all the things that happened with Zoey recently, I think it was a good idea to pause her storyline and focus on the other characters. Did you enjoy this episode? Let me know in the comments!

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