British singer Adele is being accused of cultural appropriation for a new look she sported on Instagram Sunday.
Adele was celebrating the Notting Hill Carnival, an annual London event promoting Caribbean culture and interracial tolerance. The event went virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Adele posted a photo to mark the occasion.
The photo shows the singer wearing a Jamaican flag bikini top with her hair tied in Bantu knots, which are traditionally won by Black women.
The hairstyle drew criticism on social media.
One accused her of normalising “cultural appropriation” on a “massive platform.” “I strongly advise you to educate yourself and check your white privilege,” the commenter wrote. “And to clarify what I’m referring to, it’s the appropriation of a hairstyle which does not belong to white people. It is not yours to wear.”
Another said: “With the increased racial tensions going on right now, I have to ask, whyyy ?? ... Why did Adele, a smart, young, educated woman such as herself, post this obviously cultural appropriated outfit/look while tensions are so especially high. Does she not understand what she’s doing?”
One angry viewer even called the outfit “sick and racist.”
Some commenters were supportive, and the photo received more than 4 million likes. The 15-time Grammy winner has not responded to the backlash.