One of the primary reasons that Bieber received backlash is the cultural significance dreadlocks have. For Rastafarians, dreadlocks are symbolic of coming to the understanding that vanity and appearances are unimportant. Also, if the hair is dreaded (or knotted), there’s a belief that “the energy remains within the hair and the body,” which correlates to wellness.
Bieber is not the only celebrity to be accused of cultural appropriation. In 2018, Zac Efron revealed that he had gotten dreadlocks ‘just for fun’.
“Why is this still up 🙄. Now it’s a thing cause a white man does it but black people can’t have their hair like that?! A girl was kicked from school because she was a Rasta, but this guy who we all grow to love post it and is getting great applause for how good it looks 😬,” someone commented on Efron’s photo.
Kendall Jenner recently faced accusations of cultural appropriation as she launched her 818 tequila brand with a campaign that showed her in Mexico, donning braids, an oversized shirt, and a cowboy hat around her neck.
Since then, she disabled or limited some comments on her company’s Instagram page.