Music

Adele Is Being Called Out For Cultural Appropriation And Everyone Is Tired

"This year just won't let up."

Adele is being criticised for cultural appropriation

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Adele is being criticised for cultural appropriation for posting a picture where she is wearing a Jamaican flag bikini top and Carnival feathers, and her hair is in bantu knots.

The singer uploaded the picture to Instagram less than an hour ago, writing “Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London”, alongside emojis of both the UK and Jamaican flag.

The Notting Hill Carnival began in 1959 as a Caribbean street festival in response to race riots the previous year where white people attacked and looted the West Indian community over two weeks. It’s now one of the largest street festivals in the world, attracting up to 2.5 million visitors across the last weekend of August, and is one of the leading calandar events for the West Indian community in Britain.

Of course, it’s gone virtual this year due to COVID-19, hence Adele’s seeming throw-back post, which has prompted the inevitable debate about cultural appropriation vs. ‘appreciation’ within the comments.

Given the long legacy of Black hairstyles being ridiculed on Black bodies but celebrated when adopted by white people, many are reading Adele’s drastically different aesthetic here as a ‘fun’ costume — one which she can take on and off without the repercussions or micro-aggressions Black women face for wearing their hair in traditional styles.

Considering we’ve been through this pretty recently with Katy Perry (and she, uh, kind of looks like Katy here, too), the response online seems like a pretty lethargic ‘cancellation’ as people struggle to deal with the fact we’re still having this conversation.

It’s worth pointing out that many Jamaican and Black fans are defending Adele’s hairstyle and outfit in the comments, too.

On Twitter, people have instantly jumped to jokes to cope, with many fearing Adele will drop a reggae album before Rihanna’s long-teased R9.

Find the reactions below.