Adele sparked a lot of social media chatter Monday morning for a polarizing photo she posted over the weekend.
The British pop star posted a picture to Instagram of herself wearing a bikini top with a Jamaican flag printed on it and she was also sporting some Bantu knots for her hairdo. Adele captioned the photo, “Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London” along with emojis of the Jamaican and British flag.
Adele immediately received pushback for her look, considering she’s a white woman wearing a traditionally Black hairstyle. The Jamaican bikini didn’t help matters either, but for the most part, people were upset about the Bantu knots. Many people accused Adele of cultural appropriation considering she can get praised or promoted for such a hairstyle due to her whiteness while Black people risk being overshadowed.
“Twice this weekend I have seen people do backflips to defend white women in Bantu Knots,” tweeted celebrity drag queen The Vixen. “If you spent the whole summer posting #blacklivesmatter and don’t see the problem here, you were lying the whole time.”
“What made Adele think she would post that and it be okay. Now my fav is being draggedddd,” wrote Twitter user @MojoPotatoo.
Some of the commentary was less critical and more ridiculing, with folks imagining a Jamaican Adele.
“Streets saying Adele dropping a reggae album before Rihanna,” wrote Twitter user @vloneshaz.
“Adele’s outfit was really ugly and I wish that was the discussion,” wrote another Twitter user @ginandtectonica.
Despite the jokes and the criticism, some people seemed to approve of the 32 year old’s outfit and hairdo.
In Adele’s comment section on Instagram, British model Naomi Campbell shared some hearts and Jamaican flag emojis.
Actress Zoe Saldana wrote, “You look right at home guurrrl”
Meanwhile, “Creed” star Tessa Thompson shared a fire emoji.
Some people even tried to defend Adele based on where she grew up. The songstress spent her early years in Tottenham, London, which has a significant Afro-Caribbean community. Certain fans argued that the culture of her environment probably rubbed off on her.
“The thing is you can tell Adele actually grew up around Black people and is respectful that’s why no one’s too mad,” wrote Twitter user @jasebyjason. “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.”
When Black Americans downplayed Adele growing up around Black people, this started a whole new Twitter debate on what it’s like to grow up as a Black person in England vs. Black in America — or what it’s like to grow up Jamaican or African vs. Black American.
“In london white and black working class people share space and grow up in the same blocks,” added @jasebyjason. “My next door neighbours are white.”
Adele’s look was definitely the debate to start the week. Check out more responses below.
Lol ppl are really mad about Adele? Omg save y’all energy. You gone need it for the rest of 2020 🤦🏾♀️ https://t.co/79oO1iWJXE
— ROLLS INCLUDED (@blaccWHOAman) August 31, 2020
a white girl with bantu knots looks silly. why lie? no one is gatekeeping blackness by laughing at adele.
— zae (@ItsZaeOk) August 31, 2020
Im late…but wishing everyone and Adele..amazing carnival weekend.
— Patricia Bright (@PattyOLovesU) August 31, 2020
Dear Black Americans, y’all are not the the spokesmen for the black race, ethnically, Adele outfit and hairstyle is none of your business…pay attention to the shitt y’all got going on in the US #Adele 🇯🇲 pic.twitter.com/LryoKcfsDy
— 🍉ZOË LOVE BREAD 🍞🌴 (@moonfuckedd) August 31, 2020
Poppycock! 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. https://t.co/sabpPPRtID
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) August 31, 2020
Not an American telling us that Adele, who’s from Tottenham, didn’t grow up around black people.
— dollabilz⚡️ (@bilzyb) August 31, 2020
Well then this just means you know very little about Adele and that’s okay. When you know very little about something or someone, you ask questions or sit it out. Adele is from Tottenham, she has also lived in Brixton pre-gentrification. https://t.co/LR4NK0lKHZ
— Abroad Wife. (@findingmalo) August 31, 2020
There is a difference between appropriation and appreciation. Adele was raised in black culture. She’s a Tottenham girl. She has ALWAYS been for us. Notting Hill Carnival is about CELEBRATING Jamaican culture and that is exactly what she’s doing 🇯🇲
— Vas J Morgan (@VasJMorgan) August 31, 2020