The highly acclaimed English pop singer-songwriter, Adele stirred a bit of controversy on Instagram last night and firing up many who accused her of cultural appropriation. In a photo upload, the 32-year old singer is seen wearing an African Bantu-knots hairstyle, Jamaican flag bikini top, and a yellow carnival feather backpack.
“Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London
The post has picked up a lot of attention, gaining over 4.5 million likes on Instagram in less than 24 hours. There have been some mixed reactions from fans/followers and fellow celebs, while some love the look on Adele and her repping for Jamaica, others have accused her of cultural appropriation.
Most of the criticism however seemed to have been with the singer’s decision to rock Bantu knots, which is not necessarily of Jamaican origin, but is more so a traditional African hairstyle.
Twitter user, Journalist Ernest Owens wrote, “If 2020 couldn’t get any more bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for. This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic. Hate to see it.” Another quoted the title of one of her renowned songs, “Someone Like You shouldn’t be wearing the hairstyle.”
Drag queen The Vixen tweeted, “Twice this weekend I have seen people do backflips to defend white women in Bantu Knots. If you spent the whole summer posting #blacklivesmatter and don’t see the problem here, you were lying the whole time.”
If that wasn’t enough, the tweets got even more heated, “If you haven’t quite understood cultural appropriation, look at @Adele’s last Instagram post. She should go to jail no parole for this.” Then another user added, “Bantu knots are NOT to be worn by white people in any context, period.”
Many however, cheered Adele for cultural appreciation, especially Jamaicans, those locally and abroad. One of the first to pop in on Adele’s Instagram comment feed was none other than Dancehall artiste Popcaan, who gave his stamp of approval with, “
Another Jamaican celeb, Stefflon Don added, “
Other Jamaicans like, badgyalshanshan commented, “We JAMAICAN PEOPLE LOVE IT
Gabriellesawh also added, “As a woman who’s father is from the Caribbean (T&T) thank you for showing the respect for Caribbean culture. Although you may not be from the Caribbean, you are embracing what the Caribbean stands for. Celebrating diversity, loving all around you, and embracing how to have a good lime!!
Ppl don’t know what cultural appropriation is, she’s obviously celebrating a Carribbean festival, in an appropriate outfit for that festival. She’s not wearing Bantu knots and feathers to go to the beach because it’s really fashionable,” said another Twitter user.
Some of her star supporters including model Naomi Campbell shared some hearts and Jamaican flags: “
The interesting part about all this banter online is that most of the talking is coming from non-Jamaicans. Oliver Heldens KoalaMan pointed this out, “Reading tweets about Adele, it’s so strange seeing lots of non-Jamaicans trying to cancel Adele, while I see lots of Jamaicans actually praising her 4 showing appreciation to their culture. Maybe we should let people decide 4 themselves whether they think something is ok or not?” he said.
Jola who states she’s from Africa, also sees the criticism on Adele as undeserving, “Honestly this is exhausting, I’m a South African from the Zulu Bantu tribe specifically and i didn’t take offence to Adele wearing Bantu Knots, it’s not cultural appropriation and i doubt there was any malice intended by doing bantu knots,” she said.