"Scarves have been worn by all colors for ages," Selma Blair wrote in response to accusations of cultural appropriation

By Helen Murphy
May 30, 2019 10:56 AM
Advertisement

Selma Blair is standing up for herself amid accusations of cultural appropriation after she wore a headwrap in two recent Instagram posts.

The actress, 46, first sported the wrap in a photo taken with Rachel Fleit, a filmmaker known for embracing her hair loss and baldness, caused by alopecia.

“We have one answer to your bad hair days or NO hair days. #alopecia @rachelfleit … wraps! (oh, it’s been around for thousands of years…),” Blair wrote.

The Cruel Intentions star has been open about dealing with the intense side effects of multiple sclerosis, which may include hair loss, ever since she revealed she was diagnosed with the chronic neurological condition in October.

Blair also shared a photo of herself and her son Arthur Saint, 7½, both wearing headwraps.

“See. It’s a thing,” she captioned the sweet snap. “Of love. And warmth.”

Some commenters criticized Blair for wearing the accessory, calling it “cultural appropriation.”

“This is not brilliant and is not cool,” one user wrote. “White people have scorned Sikhs for hundreds of years, and now we wanna appropriate and make it trendy? No. Just no. We dont get to do this.”

Another added: “Cultural appropriation. How can one wear that when the religious people who actually wear it gets so much ridicule.”

“You are so wonderful and I know you mean no harm, but this is serious cultural appropriation,” a third commenter wrote. “I’d be happy to have a private conversation about how this is hurtful to Sikhs if you’re open to it.”

Others took the actress’ side, with one writing, “My God, it’s a wrap not a shot gun. You are as always, beautiful Selma.”

Blair then responded to the criticism by posting multiple replies to different comments on her post.

“This is not at all a Sikh turban or imitating one,” one of her comments read. “And funnily enough, Sikhs absorb negativity, diffuse it. Tolerance. So none of these comments hurt. They may be not knowing what they write. A head wrap can be useful and beautiful in all cultures.”

“Covering one’s head is not appropriating anything but warmth and a wig alternative,” Blair wrote in another comment.

The Legally Blonde actress also said: “Scarves have been worn by all colors for ages. Relax. What do you want a woman with no hair to wear? Just an itchy wig? Why not tie your own scarf and bejewel it. I think it’s a pretty alternative.”

“This is a scarf. A turban. Not a ritualized religious statement,” Blair added. “I will keep on doing what I want to do in this case.”

Earlier this month, the actress revealed she was struggling with the side effects of MS.

“Here’s a truth. I feel sick as all hell,” she wrote on Instagram. “I am vomiting and all the things which are not polite to speak of. My son ran away. From me. I have to get him to school. The medical treatments take their toll.”

But, Blair said she will push past that day.

“I am going to get through this. We do. This will pass,” she said. “And to moms and dads who watch their kids sick on things we take to get better… I hold you. So glad this is me and not my child.”

Over the past seven months, Blair has dealt with various side effects from the chronic neurological condition, from difficulty using her right leg to voice spasms and total exhaustion.

Through all the ups and downs of living with MS, Blair told PEOPLE for the 2019 Beautiful Issue that she’s simply happy to be alive.

“Life is hard, and living with a chronic illness is hard,” she said. “There are things I can’t do at the moment, but things like all these [facial] lines are a luxury because it means I’m still alive and enjoying it.”