Adele’s Bantu Knots Spark Cultural Appropriation Debate

what the hell are you tryna protect karen? It’s like your white friend you grew up with that you need to pattern once in a blue moon, not the same as Pandora from Hertfordshire gentrifying Notting Hill— Jason Okundaye (@jasebyjason) August 30, 2020 Adele has yet to respond to the discourse.Photo via Getty This humbug totally misses the spirit of Notting Hill Carnival and the tradition of “ dress up” or “ masquerade” Adele was born and raised in Tottenham she gets it more than most. “If you spent the whole summer posting #blacklivesmatter and don’t see the problem here, you were lying the whole time.”pic.twitter.com/jlW5N7r66U— The Vixen (@TheVixensworld) August 31, 2020 certain “Black hairstyles” are PROTECTIVE HAIRSTYLES, not a trend/aesthetic to make you look more ethnic. pic.twitter.com/N9CqPqh7GX— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) August 30, 2020 That said, a vocal contingent of Twitter defended the star’s look by arguing that it was an appreciative gesture done in “the spirit of Notting Hill Carnival and the tradition of ‘dress up’ or ‘masquerade,'” per British Parliament member David Lammy.Poppycock! This seems a strange thing for Americans to now get offended about— NLIO (@OCSpurs1882) August 30, 2020 The thing is you can tell Adele actually grew up around Black people and is respectful that’s why no one’s too mad. Forget the Haters. However, her decision to a don a traditionally Black hairstyle has since incurred a fair amount of criticism from commenters arguing that the look was appropriative. Adele grew up in Tottenham, one of the largest Jamaican diasporas in the UK. By the same token, others argued that she was just being “respectful” of the carnival’s tradition as someone who grew up in Tottenham, which is home to “one of the largest Jamaican diasporas in the UK.” Wearing a Jamaican flag and bantu knots to celebrate Jamaican carnival ✅Wearing Jamaican flag and bantu knots to a costume party ❌— Ozzy Etomi (@ozzyetomi) August 31, 2020 The Notting Hill Carnival that takes place at this time of year is a celebration of West Indies heritage in London/UK. https://t.co/sabpPPRtID— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) August 31, 2020 “The point of appropriation is adopting something and using it for something other than in the way its unintended to the culture or offensive to the culture,” as another person wrote, explaining that it would’ve been problematic if she wore the Jamaican flag and Bantu knots to a costume party instead of a carnival celebrating Caribbean culture. This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic. View this post on Instagram Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London :gb::flag-jm: A post shared by Adele (@adele) on Aug 30, 2020 at 3:17pm PDT After all, as many pointed out, Bantu knots originated as a protective hairstyle from the Zulu people of South Africa and, therefore, shouldn’t be treated as “a trend/aesthetic to make you look more ethnic.””Twice this weekend I have seen people do backflips to defend white women in Bantu Knots,” Drag Race alum The Vixen wrote alongside a screenshot about the hairstyle’s history. Thank you Adele. pic.twitter.com/9SkIJpyQkG— SCOTTIE 💸 (@eyeofscottie) August 30, 2020 Meanwhile, others criticized Adele for being yet another white woman trying “to participate in Blackness but without the burden that comes with Blackness,” with commenters like journalist Ernest Owens writing that “this officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic.”You want to participate in blackness but without the burden that comes with blackness, if you don’t get lost— ThatPortharcourtBoy Aka Obiageliaku (@ThatPHCBoy) August 31, 2020 If 2020 couldn’t get anymore bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for. Adele’s Bantu knots have sparked a fierce online debate about cultural appropriation.On Sunday, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter shared a photo of herself dressed up to celebrate what would’ve been Notting Hill Carnival, an annual London festival honoring Caribbean culture. Hate to see it.