Justin Bieber sparks cultural appropriation debate over new dreadlocks

Ellie Abraham
·2-min read
 (Instagram/@justinbieber)
(Instagram/@justinbieber)

Candian singer Justin Bieber has faced accusations of cultural appropriation after revealing he has dreadlocks.

The 27-year-old recently debuted the new look on his Instagram to a mixed reaction from fans.

Some users appeared to be unhappy with the singer for wearing dreadlocks - a hairstyle that has traditionally been attributed and worn by communities of colour.

One person commented on his Instagram post: “DREADS?! today is not the day.”

Another asked: “What happened to your hair darling”

The debate continued on Twitter, where users voiced their concern that the singer had not learned his lesson from the last time he had the hairstyle. Bieber previously had dreadlocks in 2016 and faced similar criticism at the time.

A Twitter user wrote: “Just saw Justin Bieber’s story.... my guy, are you fucking serious?? He learned absolutely nothing, when it comes to cultural appropriation huh?”

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Another said: “Justin Bieber getting dreadlocks after this year of him publicly processing his relationship to cultural appropriation and racism is...... mush for brain vibes. Would say I can’t believe it but I can.”

Others, however, came to the singer’s defence arguing “it’s just hair” and saying the singer is not disrespecting black culture.

Someone wrote: “I think Justin bieber is embracing black culture by his new hair style, not disrespecting it.”

Another argued: “It’s just hair! It’s no different than white women getting braids while on vacation!”

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The debate from 2016 has reignited and, at the time, writer Feminista Jones explained to CNN why cultural appropriation is linked to privilege.

Jones wrote: “Cultural appropriation is about the power dynamic. When people with power and privilege decide to ‘validate’ customs and traditions that oppressed people have long been marginalized for by saying ‘This is the hot new thing,’ then we have serious problems.”

The Independent has contacted Justin Bieber’s team for comment.

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