I'm a new reader, and what drew me to Offbeat Bride was how wonderfully inclusive it was. You feature LGBT+ couples, plus size people, people of color, and people of different religions (or no religion at all).
I'm honestly a little surprised to see you feature non-black people sporting dreadlocks for their wedding day. I won't go into why this is racist, but let there be no question that it's racist no matter the intent. I just wanted to express how jarring it was to see on such a progressive site.
Thank you for your time and understanding, I look forward to reading your response.
Thanks so much for emailing. You're absolutely right that we work hard to be inclusive on Offbeat Bride, and we've been talking about cultural appropriation since 2011:
So while we're super familiar with the concept of cultural appropriation and share your concerns, we're also extremely cautious about playing Internet cultural appropriation police, for reasons covered in this post.
That post details a situation when an Offbeat Bride reader tried to call out one a featured bride, who the reader felt was culturally appropriating Native American culture. The reader contended that the bride “looked white,” and shouldn't be featuring Native practices in her wedding.
In actuality, the bride was a member of the Lanape tribe.
You can read the full post if you want but the tl;dr is that we don't see it as our place to look at a picture of a person and assume we know their cultural or ethnic background.
This issue is complex, and we remain conflicted as to whether the choices we make are best. Our editorial policies may evolve.
Most importantly, thank you for taking the time to contact us. We love having readers who are invested in Offbeat Bride, and who share our values around inclusivity and socially-progressive politics. If you have further thoughts, we'd love to hear more.