Gwen Stefani Defends The Cultural Appropriation She Was Accused Of Over Harajuku Girls
Gwen Stefani released her first solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. 15 years ago, as previously reported by The Inquisitr. During that album cycle, she introduced the world to her Harajuku Girls who followed Gwen around and who were also her dancers. Over the years, Stefani has been accused of cultural appropriation and in an interview with Billboard, Stefani defends herself against those who felt she was being offensive.
“I think people understood that it was an artistic and literal bow down to a culture that I was a superfan of,” the “Now That You Got It” hitmaker explained to the publication about when her vision first came to life.
Gwen explained that the album was a dream and that she never thought making a dance record would become true.
“When the Harajuku Girls came out, it was like, you’re not even real, you’re a dream. It wasn’t like, ‘You’re not real because you’re Asian.’ Are you kidding me? That would be horrifying!”
The “Used To Love You” songstress expressed that the Harajuku Girls were cast to be dancers and nothing else. She would be asked about them in radio interviews and Stefani would tell them that it was all a concept and that everyone was having fun with it.
They all went to Nobu in London and talked about the concept of the record and she showed them her style bible. Gwen named them after their personalities and called them Love, Angel, Music, and Baby.
“I get a little defensive when people [call it culture appropriation], because if we didn’t allow each other to share our cultures, what would we be? You take pride in your culture and have traditions, and then you share them for new things,” she stated.
On Love. Angel. Music. Baby., Stefani wrote a song about the Harajuku Girls and sang about her love for them. When the “Make Me Like You” chart-topper saw how fashion-obsessed they were, she felt they were her type of people because their style was so unique.
To date, the album sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and has been certified Platinum or greater in ten countries, including the U.S., in which the music achieved 5x platinum status.
The record earned herself six Grammy Award nominations including Best Pop Vocal Album and Album of the Year.
The era celebrated six hit singles — “What You Waiting For?” “Rich Girl,” featuring Eve, “Hollaback Girl,” “Cool,” “Luxurious,” and “Crash,” — and enjoyed a tour, “Harajuku Lovers Live,” which had a DVD release, per IMDb.