Culture Stealing and the Aftermath

Joey Westhoelter, Staff Writer

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You lace up your jet black pair of Vans, only knowing that they match your outfit. You slip on your cherry Converse because they are trendy. But what is their purpose? None other than skateboarding. As a skateboarder, I have torn apart several pairs of shoes from the coarse griptape. Vans, Tri-Leaf Adidas, Nike SB’s, and Converse are some of the best skate shoes that money can buy, but it appears that a large amount of sales originate from people that simply wear them for fashion. This may not be a problem to many, but to some it is a threat.
To start off, if consumers purchase them for an opposite purpose, then the company becomes lazy with their design process and builds their shoes less effective. Skaters tear them enough as it is. They will deteriorate even faster if they are cheaply made. So, when the corporation tries to make a profit by using weak materials, it will take most of skater’s funds because we purchase shoes every few months, only to be torn apart again.
At Festus High School, the majority of people that own these shoes are not skaters at all. The available student body was asked, “Do you own any of these shoes (Vans, Nike SB, Adidas Tri-Leaf, Converse), and if you do, do you skate in them?” Out of the students that were interviewed, which included 484 people total. 82 percent own a pair but do not skate in them, seven percent do skate in them, and 11 percent do not own any of the shoes mentioned. If a greedy businessman saw these statistics, they would notice the majority is not concerned about durability. Their focus would switch from skater based, to fashion based design. These mega-corporations earn the respect of skaters with well-built shoes, but when their priority changes, so does their durability. This might not bother the fashion conscience, but to the ones that skate, it means a lot.
To get the story straight, I am not saying that everyone that has a pair is evil. I understand that they are stylish, or “cool”. But consumers are ultimately hurting the skater. This is killing the heart of skateboarders. In skateboarding, one can dress or act however they like without being judged by their peers. The creative possibilities are endless. Society tries to take the style of skateboarding and define an average skater. But there is no such thing. Each and every one of us express our own style. Please respect that.

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Culture Stealing and the Aftermath