Adele has been accused of cultural appropriation after sharing an Instagram picture showing her wearing a traditional African hairstyle while marking what would have been Notting Hill Carnival.
The chart-topping superstar showed off her slimmer figure in a Jamaican flag string bikini. Adele, 32, also wore her hair in Bantu knots – small coiled buns typically associated with people of African descent.
The Tottenham-born singer captioned the post: “Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London.”
However, Adele was quickly accused of cultural appropriation for using the hairstyle.
A Twitter user said: “If 2020 couldn’t get anymore bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for. This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic. Hate to see it.”
Another said: “If you haven’t quite understood cultural appropriation, look at @Adele’s last Instagram post. She should go to jail no parole for this.”
Writing in the comments section of the Instagram post, a user said: “Bantu knots are NOT to be worn by white people in any context, period.”
However, many social media users have come to Adele’s defence, arguing she was free to wear her hair however she liked.
David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, dismissed the allegations of cultural appropriation as “poppycock”.
He tweeted: “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. Thank you Adele. Forget the Haters.”
Claudia Webbe, Labour MP for Leicester East, said: “Carnival is a contested event in which either the usual order of things are overthrown, unhinged and disturbed, or it can reinstitute and reinforce the very order its meant to overthrow. In this sense Adele embraces the spirit of carnival as an event which is qualified to do both.”
The singer’s celebrity friends also appeared to approve of the look.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell, whose mother was born in Jamaica, commented with two love heart emojis and two pictures of the Jamaican flag.
Jamaican musician Popcaan also appeared to be a fan, sharing a fist emoji and a love heart.
And actress Tessa Thompson, who stars in sci-fi TV series Westworld, commented with a flame emoji.
The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that celebrates black culture, but this year it moved online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Adele, who has attracted attention for her weight loss, shared on Instagram earlier this month that reading Glennon Doyle’s third memoir made her feel as if she “flew into her body for the very first time”.
The singer shared a recommendation for Untamed: Stop Pleasing, Start Living with her more than 38 million followers, saying before she read the book she “thought we were meant to be stressed and disheveled, confused and selfless like a Disney character!”
Adele, who split from husband Simon Konecki last year, also recently shared a snap celebrating “Queen” Beyonce, following the release of the visual album Black Is King.
Adele was pictured with her curly hair down while raising her hand in tribute to Beyonce.