Timeline: white celebrities and black hairstyles
Once again, the ongoing and dreadful conversation about celebrities sporting culturally appropriate hairstyles is back, and this time in full force.
Justin Bieber posted a series of Instagram movies in April with his hair in dreadlocks, followed by a selfie of the pop singer sporting his new look the next day. Of course, this reserved a throwback to the infamous debate about white celebrities – and whites in general – appropriating hairstyles outside of their race.
However, the pop singer is not the first, and unfortunately the last, to be found guilty in a controversial debate over wearing traditionally black hairstyles.
With this recent dispute, here’s a timeline of just a few times celebrities wore controversial hairstyles.
Juliette Lewis – 1992
Actress and singer Juliette Lewis wore her “ rather striking ” cornrows, as the red carpet hosts called it, to the 1992 Academy Awards. Meanwhile, Juliette was praised for her hairstyle to be ” haute couture ”and“ gangsta ”.
Vintage thrift store dress and gangsta braids. She looks amazing, such achievement and work ethic should be appreciated more by people, ”commented Anna L. Vajda in the Youtube video.
However, when Zendaya wore her dreadlocks to the Oscars, she was criticized by many, including Giuliana Rancic who said she smelled “patchouli oil and weed” a lot. Double standard?
Jared Leto – 2001
Juliette wasn’t the only one wearing cornrows to reward shows as Jared Leto sported his at the 16th Annual IFP / West Independent Spirit Awards on March 24, 2001. And again, few people had a lot of negative to say about the hairstyle of this actor.
Lady Gaga – 2013
Lady Gaga is known for her high-end outfits, so it was only a matter of time before one of them became controversial. In 2013, she wore her long bleached white dreadlocks to the Capital FM Jingle Bell Ball in London, which caught the attention of some even in a more comical way rather than undoing the crop.
“I don’t remember there being a lot of backlash for the Jingle Bell Ball (first) or second look, I’m pretty sure everyone was just gagged by her beauty,” one commentator wrote. on Gaga Daily while another wrote, “I think they look good but also cheesy when it’s about someone who is not into hip hop / reggae or Rastafarian culture.”
Kendall Jenner 2014
The magazine, Marie Clarie, complimented Kendall Jenner on her “bold braids” through a tweet that was not liked by many, causing debate in the comments section.
“New? Never heard of black people,” @ askedthe city of Jules on Twitter.
After receiving the backlash, the magazine excuse on Twitter saying, “We didn’t mean to offend or imply that cornrows were new. Our tweet was poorly written. We thought her hair looked great and recognize women have been doing their hair like this for ages.
Kylie Jenner – 2015
It’s hard to count how many times Kylie Jenner has worn traditionally black hairstyles. However, one of her most controversial moments came in July 2015 when she took a photo of herself wearing cornrows.
Actress Amandla Stenberg called Kylie saying “when [you] appropriate black characteristics and culture but do not use [your] position of power to help black Americans by calling attention to your wigs rather than police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter.
Ironically, Justin Bieber came to Kylie’s defense saying, “Guys leave her alone, [we’re] all are trying to figure it out and it just happens to be under a microscope! I am the first to know. But to say that she is racist because she wants her hair in braids is ridiculous. Let’s focus on the big picture and instead of fighting over something stupid let’s do something for equality, but it doesn’t start here to blow up a 17 year old for wearing smh braids ( shaking his head). “
Miley Cyrus – 2015
Apparently, following in Lady Gaga’s footsteps, Miley Cyrus also jumps on the blonde dreadlock band during her red carpet appearance at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards. However, unlike Lady Gaga, Miley has received a lot more negative reactions from this style.
Again, actress Amandla Stenberg had something to say: “Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes at its origin, but is considered high fashion, cool or funny when privileged people take it for themselves.
Miley didn’t stop at VMAs as she then went to Saturday Night Live in its Season 41 premiere and still wore her infamous dreadlocks.
Marc Jacobs – 2017
During his Spring 2017 show, Marc Jacobs had his models wearing rainbow dreadlocks. The American fashion designer has been in controversial situations before, but his responses only made matters worse.
A month after his dazzling show, Jacobs took to Instagram to say “and all those who shout ‘cultural appropriation’ or anything nonsense about a race or skin color … funny not to criticize them. women of color for having straightened their hair “, according to Raffinerie 29.
After deleting this post, he posted on Instagram again apologizing, “Sure, I ‘see’ the color, but I don’t discriminate. IT’S A FACT!”
Kim Kardashian – the list goes on and on
Last but not least, Kim Kardashian has worn traditionally black hairstyles in the past, present, and quite possibly the future. In 2013, Kim was seen sporting her Fulani braids but she didn’t receive as much of a backlash at the time. She was later seen wearing the same Fulani braids again at the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards.
She wore the hairstyle because her daughter, North, wanted to wear braids and her mother wore them with her. Unsurprisingly, this caused an uproar on Twitter and all other platforms, as people recalled when Kim referred to Fulani braids by the wrong term, “Bo Derek braids”, claiming that she did not respect not the black community. “
“I [do] remember the backlash when I had blonde hair and called it ‘Bo Derek braids’. But obviously I know they are called Fulani braids and I know where they came from and I am totally respectful of that. I am not deaf where I do not understand. I understand, ”she told Bustle.
Ultimately, most people are “ fed up ” with Kim and other celebrities taking black hairstyles for themselves.
“For the thousandth time, what makes us angry is that when Kim [or any white woman, for that matter] wears styles like these… they get praise for it, ”a Twitter user wrote according to Glamor. “But when black women do it… we’re told it’s unprofessional, or that we look poorly maintained. Or that we are a distraction. Not to mention the fact that they don’t even consider giving credit where credit is due… It’s honestly a triple slap in the face. This is what we are crazy about, no more and no less.