Singer Justin Bieber’s latest Instagram post has not gone down well with his fans. The Canadian singer recently styled his hair to cornrows and soon people accused him of culture appropriation. In a report in The Guardian, Stephanie Cohen, co-founder and legal and political organiser at the Halo Collective expressed dismay.
“When I see a white person in mainstream media sporting a black hairstyle, it makes me angry… I’m angry because this standard does not exist when a black person simply wears their hair in this way. You can’t just wear something so historically significant and ignore the struggles behind what the hairstyle purports.”
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“My reasoning and understanding of someone wearing something not specific to their culture or ethnicity is that if they cannot speak for black or minority rights [and] be a consistent ally – then they have no right to wear something like locs,” Cohen added.
“People still face hair discrimination and stigma for their hair choice. … You can face discrimination by your employer or school. [Bieber] is seen as a dilettante, a person who’s dipping his toe in the culture, without any real commitment or knowledge of the style’s history,” Irene Shelley, editor of Black Beauty and Hair magazine was quoted as saying.
“It is said that East African Mau Mau warriors wore their hair in a matted style that British colonialists found ‘dreadful’.” Shelley added.
Even comments on the post included criticism. “AREEEE YOU KIDDING ME??” one user wrote, while another wrote, “JUSTIN PLS STOP.”