It’s the questions on all our minds: are Justin Bieber’s dreadlocks offensive?
From Kylie Jenner’s cornrows to Dolce & Gabbana’s “slave sandals,” decoding various forms of cultural appropriation has been one of the Internet’s favorite pastimes. So when Justin Bieber dropped a couple selfies in which he appears to have dreadlocks, commenters and journalists alike had to decide if the hairstyle was offensive (you may recall Bieber trying out cornrows while on vacay with Hailey Baldwin. That was offensive).
Bieber’s new lewk couldn’t come at a more heated time for white people with dreads: just a few days ago a video taken at San Francisco State University of a black student calling out a white student for inappropriately sporting dreadlocks went viral. “It’s my culture,” says the woman. “It belongs to me.”
Ok Twitter serious question was it ever that serious that now no one can wear dreadlocks unless you black?https://t.co/L5Cm4hI6LD
— danielgotskillz (@danielgotskillz) March 29, 2016
But does it? According to CNN, historians and archeologists have discovered folks in “ancient Egypt, Germanic tribes, Vikings, Pacific Islanders, early Christians, the Aborigines and the New Guineans as well as the Somali, the Galla, the Maasai, the Ashanti and the Fulani tribes of Africa” to sport dreadlocks. So it would seem as though that ugly ass hairstyle belongs to all of us, though I’m not sure why anyone would want to claim it.
It is, however, worth noting that it was Rastafarians coined the term; they saw the hairdo as a sign of their African identity, differentiating themselves from Babylon, an imperialist structure made up of white-Europeans.
Back to Bieber. If dreadlocks (nomenclature aside) belong historically to just about every person regardless of race or religion, should we find the pop star’s look offensive? The answer is, of course, yes, because he looks dumb af.