PopUps: Bieber Comes Under Fire for New Dreadlocks

Tuesday April 5, 2016

Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber  (Source:Instagram)

We all knew this wouldn't end well.

Justin Bieber is being dragged on social media this week after showing up at the iHeartRadio Awards with a new hairdo - dreadlocks. The "Sorry" singer is drumming up controversy and is being accused of cultural appropriation, the Independent notes.

Bieber, 22, posted a few pics of his dreads on Instagram as well, which sparked some fans to argue about his new hairstyle.

"People are annoyed cause when black people wear this style they are stereotyped as druggies and are 'unkempt' look at Zendaya for example. She had fake dreads and she was stereotyped, But when people such as JB [...] wears them its suddenly 'the latest trend,'" one Instagram user commented, according to the Independent.










"Justin Bieber got dreads. There's your (unwanted) daily dose of cultural appropriation," a Twitter user commented, the newspaper reports. Another reportedly wrote: "Dreadlocks are cultural appropriation. we've taught u this before. Your hair is fine as it was."

Charlamagne Tha God, host of New York's popular radio station "The Breakfast Club" also tweeted to Bieber:


The New York Daily News reports Bieber defended the new look to his friend, rapper Big Sean.

"[People say] you wanna be black and all that stuff, I'm like 'its just my hair,'" he allegedly told Big Sean.

The NYDN spoke with Noliwe M. Rooks, associate professor of Africana Studies at Cornell University, who explained the impact of Bieber's dreadlocks.

"White people seemingly have so much at their aesthetic and economic disposal, I think some Black folks just feel like we should at least get to own, or claim dibs on hair styles long associated with Black people," she said. The newspaper writes Rooks added that dreadlocks were embraced in the 60s by hippies and have popped up in different aspects of culture, fashion and entertainment for white people to get "cool points for 'rocking' the aesthetics of groups who are poor and marginalized."

"We in Black communities have entirely too many examples we can point to that exemplify playful innovation regarding texture, color, weaves and wigs ... to believe that wearing one type of hairstyle amounts to love, and another amounts to theft," Rooks continued. "Fashion and hair can be political, but they can also just be play sometimes."

Earlier this year Bieber, who is known for frequently changing up his hair, almost found himself in a similar situation: He as on a tropical vacation with model Hailey Baldwin and the pair got matching cornrows. But even the Biebes knew it was a bad idea and in an Instagram photo wrote: "Hailey made me get corn rows like an absolute douche bag, these will be off tomorrow trust me Danny."


PopUps

This story is part of our special report titled PopUps. Want to read more? Here's the full list.