Adele wore Bantu knots & a Jamaican-flag bikini and it’s ‘controversial’

Adele is still in or around LA, I believe. She’s spent much of the pandemic locked down in California with her son, losing a dramatic amount of weight and watching Black is King on Disney-plus. So, Adele is missing the UK. She’s missing London. She’s missing the Notting Hill Carnival, a festival held annually in London to celebrate Caribbean and Black culture in the UK. The carnival was cancelled this year because of the pandemic, the first cancellation in its 50-year history. The carnival went online and people were apparently posting photos from past years, or photos of themselves celebrating this year. I would assume (??) these are photos from last year, although I have no idea.

It’s not for me to say whether Adele’s Jamaican-flag bikini top and Bantu knots are offensive or cultural appropriation. I do know that people were having a f–king field day with this photo, and some people were offended and some people weren’t. There were a lot of Jamaicans who were like “this is fine, we love Adele.” There were some Black people who were like “nope, this is wrong.” But most people just wanted to make Chet Haze jokes (Chet Haze is a cultural-appropriation king who sometimes speaks in Patois out of nowhere).

Photos, videos courtesy of social media.

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212 Responses to “Adele wore Bantu knots & a Jamaican-flag bikini and it’s ‘controversial’”

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  1. Priscila says:

    If the West Indians of Britain are fine with Adele, then everybody – African americans included- should shut up.

    • DS9 says:

      Was there a vote? Like how do you come to the conclusion that all West Indians of Britain are totes cool…

      • Priscila says:

        I said ” if”…as in, the only ones who can say if Adele is doing something harmful or not are the West Indians…

        As I am not jamaican, I am sitting on this one.

        Hope it clarifies.

    • Mtec says:

      It’s cultural appropriation, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. And @Priscila you came in real strong with that opinion telling other Black people to “shut up” about it when you have no consensus and no idea what this feels like for others’ whose culture she is dressing up as. Many aspects of the culture in West Indies/Caribbean came from different parts of Africa, so African Americans definitely can get a say in this too. So yeah I agree you should sit this one out. Maybe should have thought of that before your first comment.

      • Priscila says:

        @MTEC I really like commenting on here, but I wish people were less harsh when disagreeing about something. I never said anything about shutting up. Black Culture us not the same as African American culture. And we are speaking about cultural appropriation…hence my stance being if Adele is appropriating from West Indian culture, I should trust their opinion on the matter.

        And yes, as a Brazilian very aware of the black Culture of my country and who is obviously very mixed, I am choosing to be generous here and say that it might have been language barrier which prevented you from understanding where I am coming from… because, for the life of me, I do not understand why you have to be so agressive in your condescension.

      • Mac says:

        @Priscila – you wrote that African Americans should shut up. We can all see it. If a Kardashian did this there would be no question that it is cultural appropriation. You can like Adele and still say no to this.

      • Nev says:

        WORD.
        yeah coming in HOT.

      • whitecat says:

        @mac, agree. If a kardashian did this, we would call it cultural appropriation. I like adele but sorry this is cultural appropration (I would say the same if it was a kardashian doing it too).

      • Tiffany :) says:

        WTF?

        “then everybody – African americans included- should shut up.”

        also

        “I never said anything about shutting up.”

        Priscila, you might not have said it but you sure as F typed it!

      • Renee says:

        My thoughts on Appropriation:
        Appropriation – specifically cultural appropriation – is not merely the act of borrowing, participating in or using the cultural styles/symbols/etc of a culture you do not belong to. Artists especially will always do this, have always done this, and it is important to our craft that we continue to do it. More specifically, appropriation has to do with taking/receiving undue credit. Though it is usually the artists we attack, in truth the sin of cultural appropriation should properly fall on lazy and uninformed critics who simply don’t know enough and rush to praise and give credit to people who are just mimicking something else. And even more pertinent is when that word ‘appropriate’ moves from verb to adjective – when a style or symbol which has usually been denigrated is suddenly seen and praised as ‘appropriate’ when someone from outside the culture uses it.

    • Myra says:

      I am of two views on this. I do not mind foreigners dressing up in cultural attires and styles if it is done to respectfully pay homage (especially when visiting the country), to respectfully promote the culture and to promote black/poc and foreign-owned enterprises.

      What I do mind is seeing it done as a costume, promoting it without giving due credit to the artists/businesses/country and to derive monetary benefit from it without drawing attention to the disadvantage faced by people from that cultural background within the appropriators’ society.

      In Adele’s case, maybe her friends (Jamaican or Jamaican descent) wanted to style her that way for the day. Now if she does the Gwen Stefani routine, then yes, there is a problem there.

    • Radioactive says:

      @priscila When someone puts something on social media, we all get to comment on it, just like you did when you wrote that everyone, African-Americans included, should shut up. And please don’t use your heritage and racial makeup to excuse that, as that doesn’t negate your original comment.

    • Lawcatb says:

      Sorry. That’s not how this works. The West Indians of Britain (who all share one collective consciousness?) don’t get to thumbs up Adele’s appropriation all by themselves.

    • Nev says:

      Shut up?!!!!! Whoa.
      Ok exhale there that’s a bit much.
      I am a black Canadian from the Caribbean in background. I don’t care. But definitely other black people care.

    • Gingerbee says:

      Priscilla, seriously, telling African-Americans to shut up. That is not okay. And, not all West Indians are okay with that, and you should look up Windrush.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Lol. Was there a poll somewhere asking all West Indiana there feelings on this??
      And telling African Americans to shut up?! The Karen JUMPED out in your comment.

    • Celebitchy says:

      DON’T FEED TROLLS How many times do I have to say this

    • Sue says:

      Hello. Im a 🇯🇲. Even though I can’t speak for a whole nation, Im completely fine with it. She is celebrating the culture, instead of stealing from it. Adele is not going round try to talk patios for her own amusement. As a person who lives in Britain, im happy she is highlighting black Britian to her huge audience.

      • Moneypenny424 says:

        Jamaican American here. I was fine with the bikini top, as something to wear to celebrate carnival. I’m less positive on the Bantu knots, which seem very unnecessary.

      • Aerohead21 says:

        I’m white so I am trying to listen and learn here. My curiosity is, as long as she is not trying to perpetuate negative stereotypes or come off as black, is it still appropriation to wear the hairstyles or flags/colors/designs? I think wearing a hairstyle or appreciating the fashion is different than appropriating it (taking it as our own). For example, when I see the Kardashians I feel like they are trying to emulate or come off as black, as opposed to appreciating it. In this one image of Adele, aside from her hair and bikini top, what about it is appropriation? Is she trying to be a black Jamaican? At what point is it segregating, and potentially destructive, to separate hair and fashion (or music, etc.) from other cultures because it isn’t your own?

    • kerwood says:

      @Priscilla, well here’s one person of West Indian descent, who was born in Britain (even though I didn’t grow up there, thanks Daddy!) who thinks is fucked up. So, that’s one vote.

      There are a lot of White people who think that if they know and like Black people and culture, if they’ve fucked people or even if they’ve taken a vacation at Sandals, that entitles them to cosplay as a Black person. Imagine what White folks would say if a Black person took to wearing kilts after visiting Scotland?

      It’s probably also not a good idea to tell millions of Black people to ‘shut up’.

      • MB says:

        If a black person took to wearing kilts after visiting scotland there would be zero f’s given.
        I say that not to trivialise your argument, just pointing out that its a poor example.

      • yinyang says:

        @MB “If a black person took to wearing kilts after visiting scotland there would be zero f’s given.” The right-wingers might have something to say about it.

    • Storminateacup says:

      This 100% She’’s born and bred in Tottenham north London which is very West Indian. West Indian culture has been integrated into British culture and she is British. She is wearing a carnival costume that celebrates West Indian culture. Notting Hill is a celebration of West Indian culture. No appropriation here.

    • Kitten says:

      @Priscila My culture is not your costume.

    • Jessica says:

      If a Kardashian had done this you wouldn’t have thought twice about it being appropriation…can’t have it both ways. It either is, or it isn’t…..and it 100% is whether you like the person doing it or not.

    • Alex says:

      Wow Priss, weird hill to die on.

  2. Laalaa says:

    I see this as wearing the national football shirt, which is a compliment.
    But the hair… maybe she thinks because Mel B wore it, it’s ok.
    So I agree – as a white woman, I don’t have the right to judge if this is cultural appropriation.

    • Ravensdaughter says:

      I don’t think she know who she is right now, so appropriating another culture fits in with the mix. The top is okay; the dreads are kind of pushing it.
      Is it okay for me to say that I really miss the old Adele?

      • ethy says:

        She’s not wearing dreads, the style is called bantu knots.

      • Yup, Me says:

        They are not “dreads” or locs. They are Bantu knots. And I agree, they’re a step too far. Which makes me wonder what the hell she’s been paying attention to all damn quarantine that she didn’t realize this wouldn’t go over well.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Even she doesn’t know who she is right now she knows she isn’t a black woman or someone of West Indian or Jamaican descent. And she’s wearing African Bantu knots. Not dreads.

  3. sunny says:

    I mean this is fine in my opinion. I generally find it a little strange when people when people wear the Jamaican flag with no real ties to that country. During Carnival and Caribana it is typical to wear the flags of where you are from/where your families are from. I generally side eye people rocking the flags without a real connections to the history or culture. It always feels a bit like cosplay. But this doesn’t read as appropriation in my view just an over the top costume of someone who really likes the culture. I don’t know.

    The bantu knots look great though. Whoever did them did an excellent job.

    • swedish chef says:

      I bet you whoever did those knots was from the culture, and they did them happily. And someone else probably invited Adele to celebrate and gifted her the top. They were inviting her to celebrate and now we are freaking out about it.

      • YesterToday says:

        Yeah. No. The flag of a nation doesn’t belong on a bikini top, particularly if it’s not your nation to interpret. Secondly. The hair. No. Just no. Wearing someone else’s identity for attention in 2020? Yikes.

    • GrnieWnie says:

      Can little black boys and girls wear these knots to school in the UK? Can that one black female MP who is always the subject of the most intense racist vitriol wear them in Parliament without getting mocked in the British press? Could Megan Markle have worn them and not been shredded by the royal rota or whatever that backward institution is called?

      No?

      Okay, then. We have appropriation.

      • Geeena says:

        I would say what you’re highlighting at the heart of this is the white privilege. Her whiteness and wealth, as well as the pop culture space she occupies, all protect her from criticism and consequences.

        I just checked and the petition for discrimination protection for natural hair and black hairstyles in the UK is still in need of signatures. I put the link below for anyone who might be curious to learn more or sign it.

        https://www.change.org/p/uk-government-ban-hair-discrimination-in-the-uk

  4. Elizabeth says:

    Really, people are like, maybe it’s not offensive unless all Jamaicans hold a vote on it?

    Do you literally even hear yourselves?

    • Jules says:

      But what else would people do if they had nothing to argue over, shame people over, and lecture others about because they think they are so perfect?

    • Jay (the Canadian one) says:

      This has been something I’ve wondered about: at what point is it problematic? When one person is offended? 10? 100? Is it by percentage? 0.1%? 10%? 50%? No culture is a monolith. There will be differences of opinion. Plus context matters. She dressed in a style for a carnival in celebration of the culture. Would it make a difference if the person who took the photo was a Jamaican friend who was the one who picked this look for her? That may or may not justify it, but it’s not, say, the same as Chet.

  5. Aurora says:

    PSA for anyone: Just because you date someone of a different culture doesn’t mean you need to mimic that culture. You can respect the other culture while still being yourself.

    • Lavande says:

      Yeah like presumably he dated you/ was attracted to you as you were, no need to appropriate his culture. I bet his family will like you MORE if you don’t copy their styles (unless they want to style you or gift you clothing) so what is the point, there are so many nice styles out there that don’t appropriate.

      • Thelma says:

        As an African, I appreciate it when non-Africans admire African dress/outfits and wear them. We have had many happy family occasions (including engagements and marriages) where a big part was having the Americans – both white and black- getting outfits from my country made. I’m not sure why this is labelled cultural appropriation or seen as negative and I’ve lived in the US for years …smh. I for one am happy when folks choose to do so, just like I enjoyed wearing saris when I had occasion to work and ingteract with Indians.

  6. grabbyhands says:

    My favorite tweet was -

    “2020 does not have the capacity for Adele’s problematic era, please abort”

    Not a good look in any respect. Even her own expression says that, like she knew it was a bad idea.

    • FHMom says:

      Love that tweet! If you zoom in, she looks regretful. I’m sure they’ll be an apology coming soon.

  7. Aoife says:

    Ernest Ownens: “This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic.” Lol. I think we might have bigger problems than this.

  8. Eliza says:

    As the man in the background is wearing a mask, I believe these are current pictures. After 2020, Bantu knots, really? No. Just no.

    • pk says:

      Definitely a current pic. She wasn’t this weight last year was she? Yeah plus people are wearing masks. I find this problematic but hey that’s just my opinion. Adele should know better. It just seems like a lot of White people don’t give a f*ck or seem to think they hold some sort of “pass” that allows them to do this without others being offended.

  9. Veronica S. says:

    Does it hold significant cultural or religious value? Are black Jamaicans who wear these hair styles stigmatized in their own society? Honest questions, not being smart. Because I do think while the optics may have a knee-jerk reaction for Americans with our racial history, there is a distinct line between actual theft of a culture to commodify it while simultaneously degrading it, versus sharing culture in a fun way that’s fundamentally harmless. I’m be curious how native Jamaicans feel about it.

    • Priscila says:

      Yep, I think the only ones who can really say if this is okay or not are jamaicans/ west indians…so, I will sit on this one and defer to their judgment.

    • Snowslow says:

      You can be certain that if you are black and wear that hairdo to a job interview at a bank you will not get the said job in the UK. The Windrush scandal was a terrible problem here in the UK leaving many Caribbean people with no papers and no legal status. and on and on

      • Eliza says:

        This is an London festival though. Yes, this hair style would be policed on a black woman in the UK in some way (ie bank job in comment above) She wore it as part of a costume. Can we not make excuses because up until this point Adele has been good? Let her learn from this, giving excuses won’t allow that.

      • Mac says:

        @Eliza – The hairdo is an excellent example of putting on someone else’s oppression for fun. At the end of the day, Adele can take off that oppression while Black women cannot.

    • Mtec says:

      The hairstyle definitely holds cultural weight and is stigmatized in places like Britain, which is the setting in which this carnival is being celebrated, and the States, where Adele is. She’s picking and choosing parts of styles Jamaican And other Black people wear, to dress up for a party. Afterwards she can take off that style and go back to being the acceptable white woman “in their society” but any Jamaican in Britain or US who feels like wearing it in their everyday don’t have that privilege. It may be fun for Adele, but it’s no joke to that culture where there can be real consequences and stigmas for wanting to stay natural and show their culture in their everyday.

      • Veronica S. says:

        Okay, thank you and Snowslow. That does change the context and is a disappointing lapse in judgement on her part. I just didn’t want to assume off the bat that the same racial dynamics here in the States were necessarily mimicked to the same extent in Britain. Americans have a bad habit of projecting our issues elsewhere when sometimes population and power dynamics are significantly different, and I wanted to make sure.

      • Snowslow says:

        I can give some sense of nuance re: the Notthing Hill carnival: it is a celebration of Caribbean culture incredibly popular where I live (West London). Lots of people go and a Caribbean acquaintance told me she’d love me to go and would style me. I must say I was a bit worried about appropriation (she would typically be one of those thinking about reverence rather than appropriation). Then Covid19 happened so I never got to go.
        Adele mentioning the festival is nice for the Caribbean community because the festival is a big identity affirmation and has gone online this year which is unprecedented. Should she be wearing bantu knots? I know I wouldn’t even if a black friend would have incited me. I am too conscious of the fact that this is a hot topic of pride/discrimination. Should Adele have? I don’t know what the story is and who styled her but I agree it is quite tone deaf knowing she lives in the US,

      • Myra says:

        @Snowslow I think your position is a safe one to take. The festival takes place in the UK, a society where people from the Caribbean would be discriminated for these same styles. Even if a friend asks, perhaps it’s better to decline, respectfully explaining why.

      • Megan2 says:

        She was at a carnival celebrating this culture (or something close to this annual carnival event I guess), so I don’t entirely understand why this is appropriation? If this had been an actual “costume party”, I would understand. If she had done blackface, I would understand. But if the whole point is a celebration and appreciation of another people’s culture, it seems (to me, a White woman) like it is more about appreciation than appropriation?
        I don’t know. If people are bothered by it I don’t think anyone can tell them not to be. I just wonder where the line is; to me this is very different than rocking up to a party full of only White people wearing a costume. To participate in what I am assuming was a cultural celebration it seems like she wore this respectfully; she’s not in full African regalia, she’s not darkened her skin, and it’s not really a costume. I think context should matter.
        And mostly, I really think people saying that “if some Black people are ok with this everyone should shut up” are just terrible. To me, this seems like a respectful way to participate in and enjoy and support a Black cultural event. HOWEVER, if I am being told by some Black people that it is hurtful and causes pain to them and their communities, I wouldn’t do it again because I’m not an a$$hole who brings out a few of my Black friends whenever I want to silence dissenting Black voices. Just… listen to people around you and try not to hurt people if you can. Not wearing your hair like this is not a hardship, honestly. It costs nothing to be respectful.

      • Blondems says:

        @Megan2 and Snowslow; Being white (but not from the US), I’m not in a position to judge, but when I lived in Holland Park I used to go to Carnival every year. To me, in those days (like 15 years ago) it felt a lot like a Pride event or something out of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. You know? Like everyone was there to mix and participate and celebrate and get into the spirit of things. I’d see people running around in Jamaican flags as capes and that kind of thing. At the time, I always felt that the Notting Hill Carnival was a wonderful, inclusive way for people to celebrate respectfully together.

      • Aoife says:

        But does the fact of Adele wearing that hairstyle for an event, yes, and being able to undo it, make the situation worse for Jamaicans in Britain or the US? Or could it have a positive impact in terms of a popular singer celebrating it and the culture?

  10. Eleonora says:

    It’s not that great

  11. Cassandra says:

    I think the thing that pushes it over the edge for me is the fact that she obviously shared this post mostly to highlight her weight loss-not to celebrate Nottingham Carnival.

    It’s an excellent thirst trap, and she should totally celebrate her hard work. But, it’s pretty obvious what her real intentions were in posting the pic

  12. Lala11_7 says:

    It’s SHOCKING that a 🌟 of her statute can NOT read…the room.

  13. Jen says:

    If a Kardashian had done it, I feel like it would be a clear cut consensus that it is cultural appropriation. Adele gets a pass because she’s a fave?

    • El says:

      Or because she hasn’t done anything problematic before and earned the benefit of the doubt, whereas Kim has been cosplaying black culture for at least a decade?

    • julia says:

      I came here to say the same thing.

  14. Levans says:

    Oof Adele…baby whatcha doing?

    Not a good look and I think she knows it…

  15. Snowslow says:

    Are we sure that’s Adele?

    Kidding but I really don’t even see Sarah Paulson anymore, she is unrecognisable to me.

    • Vavavoom says:

      I thought it was Katy Perry as I scrolled through my feed. Definitely something she would have worn at some point too.
      She looks great, I’ll give her that. That was a lot of hard work.

  16. Michelle says:

    I don’t see her bathing suit top as being all that offensive. To me it’s just like folks wearing the American flag or Union Jack on their clothing. Maybe I am dense and this is offensive as well. The hair…well…maybe that wasn’t the best idea to do.

  17. Tiffany says:

    If she wore this at one point, what the hell was she gonna wear to Essence Fest if it was happening this year?

  18. Mtec says:

    Seeing the comments here today makes me highly disappointed. It feels like many are trying to give Adele a pass because we collectively like her. IMO if it had been someone like Miley or Katy Perry doing this it would be a very different reaction and we would all be calling it for what it is: cultural appropriation.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      You’re right, and it would be used as an excuse for other things, even by people outside of the community that gets to make the call on how damaging it is or isn’t.

  19. emmy says:

    What the…. Okay, first of all, I’m having the worst day (involving hospitals and care homes) so thank you Adele for making me laugh. This looks hellacious. Second, this isn’t good. And just because some people might be too exhausted to get truly upset (or not, I don’t know), it’s still not okay. Sometime a guy says something horrendously misogynistic and I’m too tired to fight so I just order more wine. Still not okay.

  20. Girl_ninja says:

    Surprised at this and I do wonder what she is going through.

  21. Joy says:

    When Kim K does y’all drag her for filth in the article. Adele deserves the same.

    • Michelle says:

      Yes, I admit a side eye Kim K on her hairstyle choices because it doesn’t seem appropriate and I agree that Adelle’s hairstyle choice is not good either. I personally am fine with the top. People wear the American flag and Union jack symbols all the time on apparel and very few say anything about that. JMO

    • Queen Meghan's Hand says:

      Well, KKW would attempt to rename Bantu knots as curly cues or Chicago buns or something. That’s cultural appropriation.

  22. Lucy2 says:

    This is not good. I can’t believe she, or no one around her, thought hey maybe don’t do this, or at the very least, hey maybe don’t put this on the Internet.

  23. Whiskey Juliet says:

    Holy cow, Adele is just about unrecognizable. I thought this was Katy Perry at first glance. Not the best look.

    • ChloeCat says:

      I was going to say the exact same thing! Adele used to be so pretty. Since the weight loss she looks like Katy Perry — not a good thing!

  24. Mrs. Peel says:

    Guess her boobs stayed large and perky throughout the weight loss journey? Also, I would never have known it was Adele – she has transformed into another person entirely. However, her body looks amazing.

    • greenmonster says:

      The boobs (and the guy in the background wearing a mask) are telling me, that this is a recent picture. There were photos of her In January (maybe) that showed of her weight loss and you could clearly see that it had affected her boobs heavily. So I guess, she had some plastic surgery in the recent months and wanted to show off her new figure.

      • Janet says:

        Um what…
        You can clearly see that if she were to take off the bikini her boobs would be pretty saggy. She has no cleavage, even with the bikini.

        When someone gets their breasts done they look like actual barbie doll boobs. ROUND as can be while hers are pointy af

  25. Caramel says:

    I am a black Jamaican and I don’t see anything wrong with it. I have worn a sari and have borrowed from other cultures. That’s the beauty of diversity, we are exposed to and should be encouraged to try different foods and fashion. It’s all about context and who and why. Kardashians steal black culture and act like they invented it, that’s appropriation. When you genuinely enjoy a culture and indulge a little I don’t see a problem. I love many accents and try them out for fun, I visit places and immerse myself in the culture while there. That is the beauty of this beautiful world coloured with beautiful people. I obviously draw the line when it comes to religious symbols as it could be considered disrespectful.

    • Snowslow says:

      May I ask where you are writing from? I think we have a bog difference here between Europe and the US with highly different contexts, that is why I’m asking if you don’t mind answering.

      • Caramel says:

        I am writing from Canada where I currently live, I also lived in South East London for over a decade.

      • Caramel says:

        @snowshoe I am writing from Canada where I currently live, I also lived in South East London for over a decade.

    • Nev says:

      this is my attitude too. thanks for spelling it out.

    • Pauline says:

      Love this! 100% co-sign!

    • cherriepie84 says:

      Thank you Caramel. I am a black Jamaican as well living in Jamaica all my life (35 years) except for a little travelling now and then. I have been reading and commenting on CB posts for over ten years and I am a bit confused by the reactions. For one, I love and respect the difference of opinions on this site however, it feels a bit to me as if everybody else except Jamaicans get to decide whether what Adele did was offensive/cultural appropriation. I am in no way speaking on behalf of all Jamaicans but within the context of the Nottin Hill festival I do not find Adele’s attire offensive or cultural appropriation (I will not speak on the Bantu knots and will be guided by the experience of other cultures in this regard…for the record I wear Bantu Knots to work on the regular and it is no issue. Natural hair is very common here and is generally accepted although we recently had a very controversial ruling from the Supreme Court regarding dreads). I must also point out that as a nation with an economy heavily dependent on tourism, it is the norm for us to see white visitors to our island dressed up in our national colours and its often thought of as a compliment so to speak.

      In this instance, as a Jamaican, I appreciate the support from the CB commenters but at the same time how different is what Adele is being accused of from a situation where every other nationality and race find it appropriate to speak on behalf of a whole country and make a decision as to THEIR own views on what constitutes cultural appropriation? Its a thin line…..but I also accept that we are now living in “global” times and I may not be as exposed to these instances of cultural appropriation whereas other nationalities would be quicker to identify such instances.

      Sorry for the long post but its lot of mixed emotions…hope I was able to clearly bring it across and as I said, I am not speaking for all Jamaicans but generally we see this done in our country by the white tourist on a daily basis and it is never considered offensive bit quite the opposite. We also need instances like this where celebrities and others are reminded that the world is looking at them and they need to know that not everything is acceptable to everybody.

    • Scotchy says:

      I am Nigerian Canadian and while I get really tired of white woman rocking our hairstyles, Adele appropriates from black culture all the fricken time, so to me this isn’t the most offensive thing she has done.
      HOWEVER, I think the outrage might be due to the general global climate. Now is NOT the time where this black person and clearly a lot of black twitter want to see a white woman in Caribbean Cosplay. Do it just maybe don’t post the picture. Just my personal opinion.

      • Snowslow says:

        I have just finished Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah about the difference between being black African (Nigerian in her case) and Black American. Very interesting points she brings up through a character so there is not generalisation. I preferred Half of a Yellow Sun but found Americanah very informative regarding the different kinds of race issues in different contexts and the thoughts about appropriation that came up when the character had already adapted to America and suffered American racism and/or benevolent segregation.
        I will say though that there is a part about London / UK that is staggering inasmuch as at least the American character found a voice, whereas in the UK the other character was just crushed by the dichotomy belong or go away. There is a lot of ignorant racism in the UK that goes unchecked imo.

      • Circe says:

        Yup, you said it. Why are we pretending Adele’s whole career hasn’t been her appropriating from black women/culture?

    • RoyalBlue says:

      @caramel i share your thoughts too: i am a black woman originally from the caribbean. for carnival i have worn native costumes, and for divali wore saris. adele looks beautiful and i see nothing wrong with it. i remember when kendall kardashian wore her hair in corn rows the article called her edgy in her i forget the name braids. now that is cultural appropriation. obviously the full diaspora does not feel the same about it. i am not here for dragging her.

      • lanne says:

        ah, the famous “bo derek” braids–so EDGY when white women wear cornrows! Maybe in 1979 but not now!

      • RoyalBlue says:

        lanne, that was IT! bo derek braids. you could tell a black person did not write that article.

  26. Charlie says:

    Bikini top – sure (?)/ passable but the Bantu knots are just appropriation. I don’t understand at this point why she would think this was a good idea? Even if she or her friends were like “your outfit is objectively cute” given the wider context there had to be a better, less polarising and more sensitive way to express her appreciation for Notting Hill culture. SIGH.

  27. Rose says:

    I am Jamaican! While we obviously have issue with British colonialism and racism and colorism this is not an issue!

    And as a black woman I feel so annoyed that African Americans think their narrative is universal for the entire world.

    We love when people do a public display of love for our culture it is one of the most emulated in the world. Stop trying to make this a universal bad thing. There are plenty of other things to be upset about. I am liberal and proud to be but this is why people have issues with the left and their outrage about every single thing. This Does Not Help Anything.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      👍

    • Jules says:

      Well said! Right now everyone is so conditioned by their own ideological structures, and think they can police and shame everyone into believing what they believe. As if that has ever changed anyone’s mind.

    • MrsBump says:

      +100
      As an African woman, i also feel like the African-American narrative is overwhelming and fast erasing the voices of other Black people from different cultures or countries. The US is still the global superpower, so the events happening there, resonate around the world in a way that our struggles and our voices cannot. The BLM movement wouldn’t have reached the significance it has , had it not happened in the US and I’m grateful for that. However, when our voices are shut down by American POC because it doesn’t align with their american centric experience, then we need to draw the line.
      I’ve been told here, that i had “internalized racism” for disagreeing with the American POV.

    • cherriepie84 says:

      Agreed with your post Rose. You expressed it better and shorter than I did above! :)

    • RoyalBlue says:

      co sign on this. 👍🏼

    • Marty says:

      LOL!
      Well let’s see why the African American experience is so prevalent, shall we?

      *100s of years of slavery
      *Segregation
      *Jim Crow Laws
      *KKK
      *Voter Suppression
      *Police brutality
      *Systematic and institutionalized racism

      So maybe you can see why this is just a tad bit irritating to us “African Americans”. Good thing black people aren’t a monolith and you don’t get to dictate what every black person feels about stuff like this!

      • David says:

        She clearly stated that as well.

      • MrsBump says:

        The African American experience is prevalent not because you have had it worse – slavery and its aftermath isn’t a competition ffs, but because as Americans you are heard louder.
        Please do not use your voice to drown out ours.
        I’m starting to feel like outrage is an appropriation of American culture

      • Marty says:

        Baby girl, no where in my comment did I say worse. Please comprehend what you are reading before coming at me sideways.

        I am pointing out the historical significance that makes the Black American experience unique and why they may feel some type of way about what Adele did. Can people not appreciate that during this social and political climate, this was just a dumb picture to post? Can you sympathize with the fact that Black Americans have a different experience and therefore a different reaction?

      • yinyang says:

        @Marty +1000

      • Ange says:

        It’s not your experience that makes it irritating, it’s that you’re constantly deciding for others that your experience should colour their opinion about it. I’m sure all of the outraged commenters here haven’t even seen the festival or have the slightest idea of how its run or what it represents yet you feel you have the authority to speak over everyone about it.

  28. Anna says:

    Kill me. I thought that was Katy Perry

  29. Lindy says:

    I’m a white woman, and I’d never do this. Granted, I’m not a massively talented and famous singer, but it shouldn’t matter who you are–if you’re white there are tons of ways to express your admiration for Jamaican culture, history, food, and music. This is not the way. If we’re rightly going to drag Kim Kardashian for this nonsense then why wouldn’t we criticize Adele, just because she’s generally a decent person and actually talented.

    • Myra says:

      The Kardashians have made a career out of cultural appropriation, including blackfishing. Gwen Stefani also received backlash (years after the fact) for cultural appropriation as she derived monetary gain from it. This is the first time (?) Adele is seen styled as such, and it was for a specific festival which a friend could have proposed to style her this way. Jamaicans currently in Jamaica might not see a problem with Adele paying homage; Brits (of Jamaican descent) might see this issue differently as they are the one facing discrimination in UK for the same style. It’s a sensitive issue which we can all discuss without painting Adele as a Kardashian. Or like Chet.

  30. carnivalbaby says:

    Meh. I think she ran into hot water when she tried to do a little bit of everything and call it an ode Nottinghill. The bikini top is fine and cute, but if you’re going to celebrate…go all in..either for the Jamaica homage or the Carnival costume. So get the whole Carnival costume not just the feather backpack, or do your JA bikini bottoms or even boy shorts too not random tights. I would have left the bantu knots at home – braids would have been just fine. She doesn’t look comfortable. She should have followed her instincts. Disclaimer; I am not Jamaican – I am Trini, but I can see my Jamaican peeps or even other Caribbean peeps getting a little fun out of this – which is what I saw from Caribbean peeps on my Twitter. The ones who were really upset were the Caribbean peeps who born and grow out of the Caribbean. Take care and stay safe people. She looks like a tourist in any Caribbean island for Carnival.

  31. February-Pisces says:

    People outside of the uk might not realise that the Notting hill carnival is a big deal in the uk every year, where we celebrate black culture with amazing costumes. All Adele was doing was paying tribute to the festival that shows appreciation to Jamaica culture. She wasn’t ‘cashing in’ or ‘mocking the culture’, if she was then it would be inappropriate, I think she was just showing appreciation. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing clothes from other cultures as long as it’s worn in a way that is loving and respectful.

    So I think people need to save they ‘outrage’ because right wing outlets are using this ‘outrage’ to belittle genuine racism, by making out liberal people are ‘crying racism’ over every single thing. The fail are all over this, so right wing a**holes will say, I can’t believe they are complaining about this. The only people I see complaining are the ones who don’t know about the Notting hill carnival and don’t understand the context of it.

    • lucy2 says:

      But maybe a better way to celebrate it would be to share photos of the event itself, or some of the performers from previous years (with their permission of course)? Pay tribute by promoting those who work to make it happen, rather than putting on a costume herself.

      It looks like an awesome event. I’ve been to London several times and have stayed in Notting Hill the last few visits. I’ve never seen the carnival, but I can imagine it’s a great and fun event.

      • February-Pisces says:

        I don’t think she would have thought that deeply about it, it looks like she was at some sort of mini carnival type of event and got into the spirit of the occasion be dressing up. The costumes are incredible and it does make you want to dress up just because they are so stunning.

  32. Bananas says:

    Love Adele. But. Culture is not a costume.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that if ever in doubt on if it’s cultural appropriation or offensive, DON’T DO IT.

    There are better ways to celebrate a culture:

    - never do an accent or affectation

    - show up and participate while wearing your regular clothes and styling, hold a sign and wave a flag if you must

    - don’t use a culture that isn’t yours to look cool, woke or compassionate

    - if you really need to post on socials about a culture, pass the mic and attention to someone from that culture as their words are best

    - advocate for that culture in your daily life, even if no one sees it

    - put your money where you mouth is, always

    - ensure you are making room for people from that culture, in any way you can by buy buying from them, hiring them, insisting on greater parity and stepping aside wherever possible

    - vote and rally to get people from that culture into positions of power and management, as decision are best made by those most affected by them.

  33. SJR says:

    Adele has huge singing/songwriting talent. Period.
    She looks great after her weight loss.
    But, and you know I will have a but, what is it about her look/style that is so very off?
    Not this picture only but she always looks a bit wanting somehow.
    She needs her own look, now that she is so thin and she can afford the best hair, makeup, clothing why doesn’t she look better?

    Get some better stylists Adele!
    Stop the heavy caked on foundation and wide dark eyebrows for a start.

  34. Case says:

    If a Kardashian did this we’d all be upset by the cultural appropriation on display. Let’s not change the standard just because we respect Adele’s talent.

  35. Barbiem says:

    She did this at the fest, she is fine to me. Im one of the folks ok with it. Everyone has an opinion and mine is she looks stupid but not appropriation

  36. Melissa says:

    Do we know that she is currently IN LA, because these pics look like she may actually be in Jamaica — currently those coming from the US can enter with a negative Covid test prior to travel. Those swimsuit tops are literally in every single souvenir shop every ten feet.

    I don’t know if it makes a difference whether she is in her backyard in LA or actually attending some type of local celebration — not my call.

    ETA: I make it to the island at least once or twice a year and while I realize it is a ‘resort’ thing there is always a day devoted to local food, dance lessons, hair styles and local artisans and clothing. I get that it is promoting tourism and there is probably another discussion to be had there. My point (if there is one) is that there may be more context than just the photo. (also those pants are horrid)

    • MF1 says:

      To me, there’s a difference if she was in Jamaica. I don’t have a problem with someone participating in the culture that they’re visiting as a way of appreciating and celebrating it.

      • Melissa says:

        Same. There is a lot of context missing.

        From the looks of the grass, the background and other elements in the photo, it looks like she is at a resort around the Rose Hall area.

  37. Tired and Messy says:

    Sigh. No culture owns a hairstyle. Wear your hair any damn way you want people. Wear whatever you want. We have to stop being so critical and “woke”.

    • Nic919 says:

      Sigh. No culture owns a hairstyle that white women cant wear. White women wear your hair any damn way you want. White people wear whatever you want. Non whites need to stop being so critical and “woke” because white people should be able to do whatever they want without being called out as being insensitive or even racist.

      There. Fixed it for you.

    • val says:

      Nope, nope white people certainly cannot wear their hair with any black hairstyles they like. Until we don’t need laws prohibiting discrimination from wearing hairstyles that are from THEIR culture, you CANNOT either. Period.

  38. Daphne says:

    Genuinely asking, is it appropriation if you name who you are paying homage to outright? I am not defending her. I am trying to understand if this is different than say, when Kim K wore braids on the red carpet.

  39. mew says:

    If it’s not ok for Kim K, it’s not ok for Adele.

  40. Lunasf17 says:

    If she paid someone from that cultural to do her hair and bought the swimsuit from someone and they benefited from her financially then IMO it’s not appropriation because she didn’t benefit from it and others did. I get that I as a white woman shouldn’t set up a shop and do traditional braids for other white People in Jamaica but if I paid an actual Jamaican woman to braid my hair in Jamaica and she supports herself that way then I don’t see a problem.

  41. I pet goat 2 says:

    Does nobody else feel like she looks a little … cray here? Like she could roll up and try to sell me her pyramid scheme shampoo or essential oils? 😳

    • Elisa the I. says:

      hahahaha, you’re spot on! her body is banging but the weight loss had quite a negative impact on her face. She was stunning before, now not so much, especially her eyes look scary!

  42. Amber says:

    On Instagram I follow a Black writer in the UK named Ateh Jewel (she’s a great follow and is a skincare, makeup, and hair expert). She has Caribbean and Nigerian lineage and she says yes, this is appropriation. I don’t need a consensus from loads of people in order to accept that it’s offensive. As a white woman myself I will always defer to others on these matters. The hairstyle in particular seems to be the bigger problem from what I have read. And yeah there’s definitely a double standard being applied here because if Kim Kardashian or one of the Hadid sisters did this people would be mad. Adele is basically universally beloved and respected (and I understand why!) and so people are going easier on her.

  43. Le4Frimaire says:

    At first I thought it was a bit weird and random, just an excuse show off the new body. She looks awkward.Was loving all the jokes and patois. Not bothered about the outfit but the hair seemed a bit much. She sometimes seems to stan a bit too hard for Beyonce,like she’s overcompensating. Are they even friends? I get why some people were offended and see appropriation and also why some were not and see her as being extra and dorky. Lots of funny tweets from this.

  44. Giddy says:

    Unfortunately I do agree that this is cultural appropriation. I do not think however, that her intention was to insult or rile up anyone. I think she was showing her affection for Jamaica and for the festival she was missing, and that her intention was to compliment that culture.

  45. Suz says:

    I thought it was Katy Perry when I first saw the photo on my phone last night.

    • L4frimaire says:

      This is definitely something Katy Perry would do, and Perry would do it to be deliberately obnoxious. Adele was just being dim.

  46. detritus says:

    Eh. She’s not presenting it as a new trend. She’s not changing her skin tone (hadids and KsI’m looking at you), doing surgery to make her features more ‘ethnic’ (Hadids and Ks again), or monetizing it.

    It’s not great, but she’s involved people of that culture (by looking at the photo), and she is genuinely celebrating the culture. The jewelry is probably the most offensive thing about the look.

    On a scale of zero to Kardashian I think she’s about a four.

    • v says:

      Hadid’s father is Palestinian, quite tanned-dark skinned. Kim is part Armenian also, her father had dark skin also. They are ethnic. Google a bit before being so sure of you self.

      • Ange says:

        Kim is also a helluva lot whiter than she portrays herself. Check out old photos of her then see what colour she made herself to attend 2 Chainz’s wedding.

  47. Valiantly Varnished says:

    I take no issue with her attending Carnivale. It’s open to all. But the Bantu knots. No Ma’am. It’s absolutely cultural appropriation and Im disappointed that Adele wouldn’t know better .

  48. nicegirl says:

    Wow, I thought that was a pic of Katy Perry!

  49. Linda says:

    I am Nigerian and I do not feel that her putting her hair in Bantu knots on this occasion is cultural appropriation. I see it more as an appreciation of the culture than appropriation.

  50. Queen Meghan's Hand says:

    I understand where the Celebitches who say this is cultural appropriation are coming from. As a black Haitian woman, I do not think this is cultural appropriation and I find it amusing not offensive.
    I don’t feel comfortable saying that Bantu knots should only be worn by Black women because once you follow that logic you have to define who is Black enough to sport Bantu knots, what defines a Black woman, and then you invite conversations about which hairstyles Black women should not be wearing because those hairstyles aren’t inherently Black.
    Culture is consumed, remixed, blended. No culture is pure. There is no cultural purity. Black American culture has influence from European culture. Caribbean culture is not African culture-lite but something entirely different yet with similarities.
    Caribbean and Black American culture have shaped Adele and her sound. She did not rename Bantu knots, she didn’t show up in this outfit to an award show, she didn’t hire petite Jamaican girls to follow her around and call them her Kingston Girls. She’s not coming out with a line of Jamaica-inspired bikinis. Cultural appropriation is tightly coupled with exploitation. And I don’t see that here

    • stinky says:

      Thank you for stating some heartfelt and thoughtful commentary. Everything you said makes sense to me.

    • Val says:

      Except many of us still don’t feel comfortable wearing these styles to our corporate jobs. So while I’m glad Adele loves black culture, this is not okay. Until black people stop being judged for wearing the same styles and called “ghetto” when others are cool and trendy, then no, this is unacceptable. I’ve got nothing against Adele, but someone of her caliber and status cannot afford to make these type of judgment calls.

      • Queen Meghan's Hand says:

        Absolutely, good point. The 1920s flapper style was actually fashion’s appropriation of Black ‘ghetto’ girls style. Styles of the Black diaspora have been consumed by a white fashion industry and stripped of their citations since the modern era.

        When we have these conversations about race, the power dynamics Black womxn in particular experience in imperialist countries are glossed over or ignored. I was too subtle with this but: Because Adele wasn’t at “work” and doesn’t seem to be profiting from this style, I’m not offended by her Bantu knots. But I understand the reasoning that simply because Black womxn are not afforded the same freedom, this is cultural appropriation.

        I’m not sure if we’ll ever live to see a time when specifically Black hairstyles and beauty are respected as their gentrified versions. I really appreciate how Lupita N’yongo dresses on the red carpet. She presents an explicit Black African beauty-style.

  51. stinky says:

    And how about drag queens – Anyone wanna go there? … … i’ll wait.

  52. val says:

    Adele did not intent to culturally appropriate, but unfortunately she did without malicious intent. We are living in a world where laws had to be passed to not discriminate against black hairstyles. There is a high probability that I would not be hired at the law firm that I applied to for my first internship, had I shown up wearing Bantu Knots. So yes, it is cute, but no it is not okay. Until black women are accepted for their blackness, and their culture, others cannot use it as fashion to be cool or trendy. Also, Bantu is a South African tribe, so there is no education as to the culture that she is was “appreciating”. I am not saying cancel Adele, I hope that this is a learning moment, and she takes the time to learn from this, but as a Haitian-Nigerian woman, this is a no no for me.

    • Goldie says:

      You make a fair point Val. So many people are saying “If Jamaicans don’t care, why should we?” When Bantu is not even Jamaican.

      • Bohemian Angel says:

        @Val and @Goldie, Thank you! Also can I also point out that Notting Hill Carnival is NOT about Jamaican culture but ALL the Caribbean islands! Coming from a Londoner of Caribbean Creole descent who spent every August Bank holiday throughout my childhood being dragged around Notting Hill following the carnival and visiting numerous family in the area!

    • Mtec says:

      @Val
      👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 THANK U

  53. Maria Lujan says:

    she looks like kathy perry..that´s all i have to say XD

  54. sassafras says:

    I get cultural appropriation, I really really do. But I’m from an international third culture background where we celebrated multiculturalism regularly. Slipping into a sari or a Dashiki or a keffeiyah to celebrate other cultures was something I was taught was positive and unifying. Is the context of this not important? If she was out there, as a white Englishwoman, in a cultural festival telling her community that she thought Bantu knots and Jamaican symbols were positive and beautiful, isn’t that different than her putting on Bantu knots and twerking in a music video?

  55. Joanna says:

    I am so confused on what’s cultural appropriation and what’s not. I’m white. I think what Kim does is wrong but my mixed ex husband had no problem w it? I don’t copy AA women hairstyle because I think it might be offensive but other people do? Re Adele, I would imagine the locals do their hairstyle for tourists for money. If they’re not bothered by it, then I think it should be ok. It is so hard to know where to draw the line imo. Especially as there are many more mixed races with cultures overlapping already. What used to be taboo is not anymore. For example, white women wearing weave and wigs. I don’t think it’s an easily defined thing imo.

  56. TeamAwesome says:

    The one thing that sticks out to me on the comments over on the original ‘gram is the number of people saying they are tired of America/Americans.

    • Jules says:

      I have traveled around the world quite a bit, people are always lovely and welcoming. And for sure Americans have a reputation of being loud, obnoxious, entitled and thinking they know everything. And it’s only gotten worse. Western thinking is too in the head and not enough in the heart.

    • Ange says:

      Honestly it’s been an ongoing discussion lately on my social media. I saw an absolutely revolting discussion in a FB group recently where a bunch of American women (BIPOC but still) told an indigenous Australian woman she had white privilege because she was fair skinned. The woman tried to tell them that being lighter skinned in Australia actually led to more trauma due to the Stolen Generation and the ongoing internal struggle from not quite fitting in with either group. Not to mention you’d still face discrimination because your local area still knew you were indigenous and had their own prejudices about that. The way this poor woman was belittled, insulted and flat out told she was wrong about her own lived experience was a really good microcosm of why we’re all a bit sick of hearing from Americans who can’t accept that their lens isn’t the only lens.

  57. Sorella says:

    I never recognize her anymore. I’ve never seen anybody look so drastically different with weight loss, like her face is completely different. And I hate to say it, but not as attractive – she’s all sharp and angry and huge eyes but overall the effect on her face – she now looks mean. So odd how it could affect a face this much!!

  58. February-Pisces says:

    There does seem to be mixed views here about this. I think there is so much racism out there especially during these times that has to be fought. Cancelling Adele for a costume even though she meant no malice and was only showing appreciation to the Notting hill carnival isn’t one of them.

    And the reason I say that is it weakens the liberal, left wing , BLM argument against racism. The daily mail has blow this out of proportion for a reason. They want to make people who are anti-racism look irrational, crazy, and that we will ‘cry racist’ over every little small thing. That we will attack someone who was innocent and potentially ruin their reputation by labelling them a racist, over any little thing. If a ‘centrist’ white person reads that they will think ‘gawd what if I’m accused of being a racist next’, and then will slip towards to right. Right wing media are determined to make left wing people look like the irrational ones, so don’t fall into that trap.

    Being outraged over the little things like Adele’s hair, will make our voices less impactful when it comes to the bigger things. And bigger things are to come unfortunately. And that’s exactly what the right wing media wants to do, lessen our impact and voice.

    There are so many racist public figures that need to be cancelled first, so focus of them, not Adele’s outfit.

    • drea says:

      Good post. It’s frightening how many people don’t seem to grasp this concept.

    • val says:

      We have billions of brain cells, and most of us do not use them nearly enough. So we can call Adele out and cancel racist figures, march, write, watch the news, vote, etc etc. Some of us know how to multitask!

      • February-Pisces says:

        I don’t think you seem to understand my post. I’m not calling out your multitasking skills.

        The right wing media have take a couple of tweets and made it a huge deal, by claiming we are the ones ‘cancelling adele’. They are using this to make white people feel under threat from those who oppose racism, making them feel like we will attack them for even the slightest thing. All this has done is make ‘centrists’ think we’ve overreacted, potentially jeopardising our credibility for our future battles against racism.

      • MB says:

        My interpretation of February-Pisces comment was that as a movement it is important to decide which hill you are prepared to die on for the cause. When we act with the same rage at the smaller stuff as we do with the bigger stuff, the message gets really diluted.

    • Jules says:

      The media controls all the information, so who are you going to trust. And yes, the media manipulates all of this.

  59. Katrine Troelsen says:

    Its not offensive when you are not mocking, making fun of, doing a bad accent or profiting from it. Adele is doing none of that.

    I fear that the PC is going to go to a point where all of us who march in BLM etc are gonna be pushed towards the centre of the political spectre, bc we think its just too much to have to deal with these insane “offenses” and if we join the policital middle instead of left, there will be less offended people there
    Im not there yet, im just warning you. I see a lot of this with my friendgroup atm. We are tired of attempts at saluting or helping or just admiring being called appropriation.

    • February-Pisces says:

      If you read my comment above, that’s exactly what I fear when small things are over blow and that exactly why certain media outlets have made this a huge issue. When I went on twitter most of the people were laughing off the outrage cos there wasn’t any, other that a select few.

  60. Villanelle says:

    Well, as a side comment, can we at least stop saying she had Bariatric surgery? No scars, skin is taught. I’m a surgeon and sitting with my Bariatric surgeon colleague who agrees. As a side-note: I don’t care what she did, truly.

    • AppleTartin says:

      You do know that there is bariatric surgery with single incision hidden through the belly button right? Which her leggings conveniently cover.

  61. Deedee says:

    In my opinion there is nothing wrong with paying homage to another culture. I think the issues start when you are using appropriation in order to benefit financially from a culture other than your own without taking up the social justice causes of said culture eg. Kardashians… If you want to immerse yourself in a culture, learn it don’t just display it. Dont do it for clout. My two cents.

  62. phlyfiremama says:

    My Husband and I travel a lot. We were in St. Kitts, and this red-haired, blue-eyed white guy started scolding someone who deserved it~in the island patois. Turns out, he was born & raised on St. Kitts, and had joined the British Navy and was back on vacation. He didn’t appropriate the culture or the patois, IT IS WHAT HE KNEW. It WAS, in fact, part of HIS culture as well. So who the heck do any of us think we are to judge this? Cultures have been mixed for so long (ie, the “melting pot”) that some aspects of culture belong to all of us at this point. Those aspects that still remain specific to a certain culture should remain in the milieu of that culture, and not be further infringed upon~but who makes that decision?? I think she looks awful, but again~who am I to judge if she is ok with this? Who gets to be the “cultural appropriation police??

  63. Tpoe says:

    If you don’t like the person doing it it’s “cultural appropriation”. If you do like the person it’s “a respectful homage”.

    My kingdom for some consistency from all the people claiming the moral high ground.

  64. lanne says:

    I don’t know what to think–it’s not a great look for Adele.

    I attended an Indian wedding in India (I’m African-American), and all of the guests wore saris. I wore one, too. I explain that it wasn’t appropriation because I was a guest at a family wedding (I have a multiracial family), and it was a celebration of culture. Same with my mother wearing a Hambok (sp) at my brother’s wedding in South Korea. She and my brothers MIL walked down the aisle together looking adorable . Appropriation would be me wearing the sari or a hambok for Halloween. Then, I’m using someone elses’ culture for my own amusement and gratification. That would be really shitty of me, and I would never do that.

    As for Adele, attending a Jamaican festival? I don’t know. Maybe it’s how blacks in whiteface isn’t as offensive to me as whites in blackface. Blackface is corrosive because there’s a whole culture of demonization and caricature through blackface–white people profitted by making and then perpetuating horrible stereotypes that directly harmed black people and demeaned black culture. It’s the same thought that bigotry by itself isn’t racism–black people can be bigots but not racists because racism equals intolerance plus power. Blacks in white face has been used as satire–which is offensive to some, but satire is critical of society, where black face is just punching down. good satire punches upward.

    Is Adele punching down? I don’t think so, but I just don’t think she deserves the benefit of the doubt here. White people appropriating and profiting off of black culture is an old story, and she knows that. She has a career because of her black-influenced voice. And the entire conversation benefits her because it gives her visibility. So no dice for me. In a more just world this would be perfectly fine, but we aren’t there yet. We don’t all get to do what we want all the time. And what really sucks is that there are sororities full of white girls who will style themselves like this and think it’s cool cuz Adele.

    She should know better. There are other ways to celebrate Jamaican culture than what she’s done. She can’t just be a girl at a festival because she has a public profile.

    • MrsBump says:

      So it’s ok for you and your family to
      “embrace” other cultures but not ok for her because she is, white and famous?
      So if she was white and poor it’d be ok?
      Should we also be outraged at any singer singing in a “black influenced” voice?
      This constant outrage, mostly from (American) WOC, is diluting the real issues. Sure, you can be outraged about plenty of things at the same time, but it’s the racial equivalent of the boy crying Wolf.
      We need allies, which pointless outrage over Adele’s hairstyle, is losing us. Let us pick our battles wisely so we can win the bloody war, so other WOC women like me with a “funny name” dont have to struggle so hard to get their foot in the door, so we aren’t paid less, true power is economic power.
      When we achieve economic power, then we can impose whatever the hell hairstyle we want, because right now, saying adele cannot wear her hair this way until a black woman can wear her hair in the same way at an interview achieves the grand total result of 0, i.e. nobody wearing the hairstyle, and we are no closer to even getting the bloody interview in the first place- whatever our hairstyle

      • lanne says:

        Well first of all, my comment had no outrage either stated or implied. I said quite clearly that I had mixed feelings. Like most people, I’m looking at the situation from multiple angles as I try to make sense of my own thoughts on the matter. I didn’t mention Adele’s wealth. I don’t get your anger here. My point applies to you—you should be able to live authentically and have your “funny name” valued and treasured, as it was bestowed on you by people who value and treasure you. You should be able to wear your hair however you want to without it being called disrespectful. You put your own frustrations onto me when my comments didn’t warrant them. No outrage from me. Nor from many other women here. We all know Adele isn’t the fight— give your fellow celebitches more credit. It’s perfectly fine to question the choices of a public figure who posted an image of herself on a public forum. It’s perfectly fine to acknowledge that Adele wearing Bantu braids will be treated differently by our western societies than black women. And acknowledging that she’s benefitted from black influence doesn’t make her evil or wrong—much of European and American popular culture comes from black tradition. A simple fact. While you accuse people questioning her of playing outrage politics, isn’t that what you’re doing here? The only outrage I read here on this post is coming from you. I say that gently. It’s fine to disagree with my points—But it’s not really fair to project emotions on them that weren’t explicitly or even implicitly expressed. African American culture dominates the discussion of blackness, and I can certainly understand being frustrated by that as a non American black person. My guess is that your exasperation toward me stems from that. I just hope you know that I see myself on the same side as you, and that were fighting to achieve the same inclusion, equity, and opportunity. Questioning Adele’s choices doesn’t dilute, negate, or obfuscate that. She, likely unwittingly, has given us an opportunity to question what appropriation means, what it’s effects might be, where we stand individually on this particular topic. There’s no answer book to consult, nor is there any one arbiter for the answer. Public figures get public scrutiny.

    • Bohemian Angel says:

      Can I just say, the Notting Hill Carnival is NOT a Jamaican festival, it’s a Caribbean carnival celebrating Caribbean island culture which is more than just Jamaica!!!

      • MerryGirl says:

        More specifically, Carnival originated from the islands of Trinidad & Tobago and spread throughout the Caribbean, so no it is NOT a Jamaican festival. It is a Caribbean festival for all.

  65. Natters5 says:

    Adele wear your hair anyway you want to. There is no law against it, and your intention was to honor the Notting Hill Carnival and Jamaicans. I will wear my hair the way I want to just like Beyonce wears her hair the way she wants to and no one says anything about it. If Jamaica is fine with it the rest of the people who have nothing better to do than think they have a paying position as the Politically Correct Police can just have a tantrum on their own.

    • val says:

      Too bad we are talking about her hair and not that Jamaican print bikini top. We have every right to speak against that hairstyle. Especially, when we are still unable to wear that type of style in our corporate office today. How about you be quiet and listen to BLACK WOMEN for once and keep your dismissive comments to yourself. It may have been an innocent thing, but Adele is appropriating, plain and simple.

      And @priscila, you shut your mouth up and don’t you dare tell black women to be quiet. The time for that is over.

      • Natters5 says:

        Cancel Culture is….Cancelled. I’ll have any opinion I want as its my first amendment right. You are better off complaining to your corporate office and changing their policies.

      • Linda says:

        @Val
        I think you need to take your own advise and listen to what some African and Caribbean women on this post and all over the internet are saying that this is not cultural appropriation.

  66. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    What first jumped out at me is how much hair she has LOST. It’s that malnourished receding hairline look. I am not sure Adele “takes care” of herself. It’s not just the poor nutrition (yeah, I know she is recently dieting and that’s probably the cause, but you can still get proper nutrients on a diet if you try hard enough), but she also lost her voice because of smoking and/or poor technique, She’s still a good songwriter though.

  67. Storminateacup says:

    Even in the Caribbean (which is where Notting Hill carnival originates from) Specifically Trinidad, masqueraders of every race, White, Chinese, Syrian, Indian wear corn rows without any fear of anyone accusing them of appropriation. Black masqueraders wear Indian jewellery, mehendi and sometimes Indian wear as part of their costumes.Trinidad Carnival consists of So many elements of Indian, Amerindian, African and Chinese culture that are a part of the celebration itself. This gets exported to Notting Hill, Caribana and other countries. It’s a celebration of West Indian culture, nothing to do with appropriation. Appropriation is Kim Kardashian renaming African braids and Ariana Grande darkening her skin to make her appear more credible and fashionable.

  68. Yonati says:

    GAWD, how embarrassing to be Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. They’re great but their son dove into a shallow pool.

  69. chitowngal says:

    My thoughts: if she wanted to celebrate the culture itself, why not post pics from previous years, or do something else that ACTUALLY highlights that culture? What she wanted was a twofer-she wanted to be seen ‘highlighting that culture’, while at the same time, flaunting her bikini bod. On a completely unrelated note, I think she needs to change her look. Every time I see her now, I think, ‘when did Sarah Paulson start wearing Cara Delevigne’s eyebrows’?

  70. Wendy says:

    African Americans in 2020 were not born on the African continent their ancestry is African they are American hence African American. African Americans need to stop fetishising Africa, if you wear a weave or straighten your hair you are appropriating European culture, and nobody ever complains about it. African American is completely different to being African and from the continent. African Americans are not the gate keepers of culture nor do they have a moratorium on feeling offended they do however seem to believe it’s their god given right to tell the rest of the world how to behave and what to think. We need to stop importing America’s drama and start ignoring it, it is damaging to social cohesion.

  71. Mirage says:

    Cultural appropriation is the act of exploiting another culture by adopting the appearance, dress, culture of said culture.

    Adele is just an English girl celebrating the cancelled Notting Hill Carnival, like many , at home and showing her appreciation for the Caribbean culture.

    People get so confused about the concept of cultural appropriation. This is not it.
    Everyone’, from every background celebrate the Caribbean culture with flags, feathers and hairstyles at Notting Hill Carnival.

    And I’m Caribbean.

  72. Wondering says:

    Isn’t the blending of cultures the accepting of cultures?

  73. Laura says:

    My opinion – wearing a bikini that incorporates any country’s flag as decoration is tasteless. It can easily be interpreted as disrespectful or mocking. As a white woman, I don’t feel like I have a legitimate role in the hairstyle/cultural appropriation argument. That said, it’s a hot-button issue, and why do something that you HAVE to know is going to upset or hurt some people, maybe a lot of people. There are lots of other styles that are cute and inoffensive.

  74. Yinyang says:

    I think African Americans view this differently than say… Africans or African Brits or even West Indian, because some of those countries never had to deal with in your face everyday racism and bettling of your race by white ppl as AA did. I remember Kate Middleton wore Pakistani outfit for Pakistani tour. The Pakistanis thought it was awesome, but to pakistani Brits it was bad taste and fake. I guess when you’re not certain if your going to offend someone err on the side of caution. Trudeau did the same with brown face to him it was fun and new but some people thought it poor taste and were uncomfortable.

  75. DahliaDee says:

    Man, Bjork would be eviscerated if she did her 90s hairstyles now.

  76. Bananas says:

    Among the list of faux pas, she’s wearing a SLAVE CHAIN around her NECK as a COSTUME. Come on. Do better. All of us.

  77. Alex says:

    They often ask tourists if they can do their hair. Like you get asked that A LOT, regardless of your race. How do we not know that she just didn’t say “sure, why not?” Optics still bad but again, this is the main question female tourists are asked, all the time.

  78. marni112 says:

    I don’t have a comment on what she is wearing but I do think she does not look well . I think I would describe her look as gaunt .