A few months back, I covered the new look Adele had donned, having lost a considerable amount of weight. However, this time around, the controversy is over her outfit.
In celebration of what would have been the Notting Hill Carnival, the star adorned a Jamaican flag bikini top and Bantu/Zulu knots in her hair.
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The carnival first started in 1966 in Notting Hill as a celebration of Caribbean culture and traditions. Coming off of a period of high racial tensions and rioting in the 1950s, the celebration is designed to showcase Black culture’s vibrance and richness in the UK.
Put on by activist Rhaune Laslett, one of the founders of the London Free School, the fest has been a yearly staple ever since. Included in the festivities are a massive street party throughout London, costumes, vendors, and live traditional Caribbean music.
Clearly, Adele was in the spirit. This is where the controversy begins, however.
That fun, fun term… ‘cultural appropriation’
This is where people have started to take aim. Because Adele is not Black, some have said she doesn’t have the right to do her hair like that. Others have said she is in a costume and for Black people, it’s their culture.
Adele was in celebration of these things and was in costume as are countless others in attendance.
The common argument in terms of hair and cultural appropriation is that while whites can wear a traditionally Black hairstyle and be complimented, Blacks get shamed for wearing it the same way.
Ok since Adele is wearing bantu knots and no one cares, can we stop discriminating against black women who wear protective hairstyles. Because it's BS that a hairstyle becomes less "ghetto" when a white lady starts wearing it.
— Groovy Tasia (@GroovyTasia) August 31, 2020
What may be seen as funky or bold on a white person would be seen as dirty or unkempt on a black person. This notion has been a source of contention for a long time in the Black community.
So what’s the verdict? Does hairstyle truly belong to anyone? Or is it our society that informs how we see these cuts that needs the adjustment?
This is a multi-layered and complex issue that does not have one simple answer.
Wear what you want, but be mindful, friends.