Before posting, I thought about the picture of this sign and was debating if it was cultural appropriation or not. Then I thought about the meaning of cultural appropriation- taking something and changing it, but leaving clues that reference the original piece. Truthfully, I’m not sure this image technically counts as cultural appropriation, but here goes my attempt to justify my post.
By first looking at the piece of metal itself, viewers instantly recognize the shape of it. The rectangular frame with the rounded edges are an immediate signal to viewers that this piece is something official. It triggers thoughts of “No Trespassing” signs. Next, viewers notice the color of the sing. Once again, they recognize the colors of the white background and red letters. These colors are used not only in no trespassing signs but other official signs such as stop signs. Lastly, the viewer reads the words. Walking into many stores, people see the “No shoes, no shirt, no service” signs. People are used to being told what they are not allowed to do when going into certain places; making everything but the last line of this sign normal. The last line however is where I believe cultural appropriation comes into play. While the viewer can recognize the intention of the sign (from the reasons I listed above), the last line makes a joke out of the rule that is being enforced. Telling the person to chug their drink could possibly give the viewer some insight to the culture. Perhaps this is an area where a lot of college students hang out or an area that sporting events occur in. Either way, even with a joke at the end of this sign, viewers still recognize the original qualities but appreciate the new addition.