Adele Accused of Cultural Appropriation for Wearing Jamaican Flag Bikini and Bantu Knots
By Antoinette Bueno
Not everyone was pleased with Adele's head-turning look in her latest Instagram post on Sunday, which featured her wearing a Jamaican flag bikini top, tie-dye pants and putting her hair in bantu knots, a traditionally African hairstyle. The singer was paying tribute to the canceled Notting Hill Carnival in London -- which is led each August by members of the British West Indian community and is a major event in Black British culture -- that was supposed to take place over the weekend but couldn't because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Adele captioned her photo, "Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London."
The post has already received over four and a half million likes and received over 95,000 comments, though not all of them are positive. Some Instagram users accused the 32-year-old singer of cultural appropriation with her look.
"Dear white people, please just be yourselves and stop it for good with cultural appropriation," one comment reads. "Adele the bantu knots were unnecessary. The Jamaican flag bikini top was unnecessary... Please just stop it."
"Notice how it's a whole bunch of WHITE people telling her she looks good with those AFRICAN bantu knots in her head, and those are the people she's going to listen to instead of the BLACK people who are saying this is culture appropriation," another comment reads.
One user replied back to the latter comment, "*appreciation. She never said or did anything disrespectful to Jamaicans or the culture."
Some had a particular issue with the double standard when it comes to bantu knots, which involves sectioning the hair with square or triangular parts and fastening it into tight buns.
"She could've educated herself about it first," one comment reads. "Some hairstyles are cultural and it's just odd seeing someone do this hairstyle and getting praised and loved for it, but when a black girl does it it's ghetto and unprofessional?"
Still, Adele had her fair share of defenders, one fan writing, "MANY of you don't understand the difference between APPROPRIATION and APPRECIATION. Adele, sweetie you look amazing 💕."
Another comment reads, "Imagine getting mad over someone embracing your culture and showing it off to millions of people 🤡🤡. Ya'll gotta stop."
"Be righteously angered but be focused!" she wrote. "Keep listening, keep asking and keep learning! It's important we don’t get disheartened, hijacked or manipulated right now. This is about systematic racism, this is about police violence and it’s about inequality. And this isn't only about America! Racism is alive and well everywhere. I wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with the fight for freedom, liberation and justice ♥️ #blacklivesmatter #georgefloyd #saytheirnames."