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Appropriation Or Appreciation?
In light of the recent BLM protests, caution has been the number one word on many people’s lips, before posting on social media especially. This week, Adele was in the firing line after posting a picture of herself with a Jamaican flag bikini and Bantu Knots on Instagram. With Notting Hill Carnival cancelled this year, the singers’ post was a tribute to the annual multi-coloured Caribbean street fest.
Backlash quickly ensued, with many accusing Adele of cultural appropriation but celebs like Naomi Campbell and Zoe Saldana jumped to her defence deeming it cultural appreciation. The argument was made that because the singer grew up in Tottenham, surrounded with Caribbean culture, she was exempt and was celebrating a culture she’s always had close ties with.
Adele all dressed up for Notting Hill Carnival in London’, Picture: Instagram/@Adele
At the centre of the argument was Adele’s hair being styled in Bantu knots, as many Black women have suffered and been reprimanded for wearing these protective hairstyles. This includes regularly being fired or sent home from jobs and school due to their hair being considered inappropriate. There has been split opinions on the matter but the question of ‘intent’ has been raised, and that it is the intention of Adele’s post that should be recognized. Thoughts on this topic vary from person to person.