Justice

The "Dear Fat People" YouTuber Just Made "Dear Black People"

November 5th 2015

By:
Diana Crandall

A few months ago, YouTuber Nicole Arbour made a widely criticized viral video called “Dear Fat People.” Now, Arbour has a new audience she wants to address: Black people. This time around, people are unhappy again.

Arbour opens “Dear Black People” by rapping a parody of Biggie Small’s “Juicy,” and then starts to discuss cultural appropriation.

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“I see y’all using pickles at your barbecues, on your hamburgers. Yeah. That’s appropriating Polish culture.”

What is cultural appropriation?

As ATTN: has reported before, cultural appropriation occurs when a person adopts parts of a culture that isn’t their own. This usually happens when a dominant majority group takes elements of culture from a minority group without comprehension of the appropriated culture’s background, life experience, or traditions.

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This is not the same as a cultural exchange, Everyday Feminism points out, in which people mutually share elements of culture.

Arbour's perspective

"Dear Black People" Screenshot

In what she says is an attempt to start dialogue about the topic through humor, Arbour says that cultural appropriation occurs because “Black people’s shit is just cooler.”

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“Can we talk about your nails for a second? I’m not trying to “appropriate” and “steal,” Arbour says, using air quotes. “I just really fucking like it.” Then leaning in, she says: “When your nails are this big, how do you wipe your ass?”

Arbour invites a Black friend to join her on the video as well.

“To act as my insurance policy on this video — I mean, to join me on this video — my friend, LaToya.”

"Dear Black People" Screenshot

Arbour says that she makes jokes and pokes fun at these issues because she wants to make people laugh and start conversation.

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“I am fucking sick of hearing that I don’t know the struggle, because you’re right. I don’t. And I’d really like you to explain it to me so I can help,” she says. “I’m making jokes and making light right now because that’s what I do in awkward situations, but I find what I see happening to the Black population disgusting. I don’t even know how to pretend slavery doesn’t still exist because it does.”