Adele Faces Backlash for Wearing Jamaican Flag Bikini, Bantu Knots in Tribute to Canceled Carnival
Adele is facing backlash for the bikini and hairstyle she wore in an Instagram post marking the canceled Notting Hill Carnival festivities.
On Sunday, the British pop star, 32, shared a photo in tribute to Notting Hill Carnival, which celebrates Caribbean and Black culture in the U.K. In the photo, Adele wore a Jamaican flag bikini top and Bantu knots, a traditional African hairstyle.
"Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London 🇬🇧🇯🇲," she captioned the post for Carnival, which is being celebrated virtually this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Adele came under fire after posting the photo, as many on social media accused her of cultural appropriation.
One follower commented, "black women are discriminated against for wearing cultural hairstyles like bantu knots and locs but white people are not, that’s not fair and that’s why people are pissed off."
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Others took offense with Adele's Jamaican bikini top.
"Dear white people, please just be yourselves and stop it for good with cultural appropriation. Adele the bantu knots were unnecessary. The Jamaican flag bikini top was unnecessary... Please just stop it," another follower wrote.
However, other followers came to Adele's defense.
"WE LOVE SEEING OUR FLAG EVERYWHERE!!!!" one person wrote in the comments. "This made me smile . It shows the impact my little island has on the whole world. How influential we truly are."
Another commenter added: "This is cultural appreciation not appropriation."
On Saturday, the carnival’s executive director, Matthew Phillip, spoke to The Guardian about the significance of the event in 2020, despite it being held online.
“For more than 50 years carnival has been a statement that Black Lives Matter,” he said. “That’s normal practice for us, it’s not something that we’re just jumping on now because of the current global climate and what’s going on. Carnival has been making these statements for 50 years.”
“In a year when people have been protesting against the treatment of black people I think this is a good way of showing that we have something to contribute, something that is positive,” he added, referencing the worldwide unrest over racial injustice and police brutality that ignited in May with the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.