I have been an active participant in the babywearing community for the past 3 years and received much more than babywearing tips. My closest friends are moms I’ve met through selling woven wraps and sharing knowledge. More importantly, my point of view has been greatly expanded through online community chatter groups started from babywearing specific groups.
This year, the most valuable education I’ve received from the community is awareness of my own white privilege and my own participation in cultural appropriation and erasure.
It’s common western practice to shorten names for ease of use and marketing courses teach branding products with unique names.
This has resulted erasure of Asian cultures while appropriating traditional styles of baby carriers. Onbuhimo is a traditional Japanese baby carrier and has frequently been shortened to “onbu”. This is not a proper use of Onbu, which is a concept for back carrying whereas Onbuhimo is the traditional Japanese carrier as explained in this article.
When I created a pattern for a buckle onbuhimo I marketed it as “Wonbu” for “Wanda made Onbu”. I regret perpetuating cultural erasure and going forward will use the term “Baby Bonda Productions Buckle Onbuhimo.”
Looking for more information on white privilege?
What My Bike Has Taught Me about White Privilege is one of the first articles I read which increased my understanding of my own white privilege.
What’s Wrong with Cultural Appropriation? provides more information on cultural appropriation along with this article discussing differences between Cultural Exchange and Cultural Appropriation.
Inclusivity Basics: Babywearing and Beyond is an education space to provide learning on social justice and inclusivity.