Justin Bieber is facing accusations of cultural appropriation after he shared photos of himself sporting dreadlocks. Cultural appropriation refers to the adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity. Recently, more than not, it can be controversial when high-class of a dominant culture adopt from disadvantaged minority cultures like people of colour.
The singer debuted the look in a picture shared to Instagram on Sunday, April 25. The next day, Justin shared another photo of himself in a checkered shirt and a pink pearl necklace.
After Justin shared the photos, fans voiced disapproval of the hairstyle, with one Instagram user writing, “This is not it Justin.”
Another person remarked on Twitter, “so @scooterbraun you and your client @justinbieber post BLM for days and talking about being an ally or educating y’all’s selves but turn around to do this foolery very performative i’m sick of y’all.”
Dreads, also known as locs, are historically worn by members of the Black community, who have faced discrimination for the hairstyle.
And this isn’t the first time Justin has been called out for wearing locs.
In 2016, Justin faced heavy criticism for wearing his hair in dreadlocks at the iHeartRadio Music Awards. Shortly after, he shaved his hair down to remove the dreads, but not without issuing a statement.
“‘Dude, are you gonna do anything with your hair or are you just gonna leave it like that, dude?’ Yeah, some girl came up to me, like, ‘I love you Justin, but like, that’s like my least favorite of yours,'” the singer said in a Jeff Spicoli-like surfer accent.
He captioned that video, “Being weird is fun’ if u r not weird I don’t like you.”
This accusation is coming right after after Mr Beiber was criticized for using the Black Lives Matter movement to promote his album, Justice. Justin opened the project with a recording of Martin Luther King Jr. saying, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” before an instrumental song titled “MLK Interlude” plays.
Listeners of the album struggled to connect the civil rights leader’s message to the lyrics of the other songs, particularly the song “2 Much,” which is about his love for his wife, Hailey Bieber.
However, King’s daughter Bernice A. King said that she supports the singer’s message of solidarity, writing on Twitter last month, “Each of us, including artists and entertainers, can do something. Thank you @JustinBieber, for your support in honor of #Justice, of @TheKingCenter’s work and of our #BeLove campaign, which is a part of our global movement for justice #MLK #EndRacism.