Singer Adele returned to Instagram with the first new photo of herself in almost a month, sharing her sadness about the Notting Hill Carnival being virtual this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The photo shows Adele wearing a bikini top with the pattern of the Jamaican flag, as well as a yellow feather boa around her neck. The post instantly got a discussion about cultural appropriation going due to the way Adele wore her hair in Bantu knots.
"Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London," Adele wrote in the caption. It was the first photo of herself she shared since Aug. 1, when she celebrated the release of Beyonce's Black Is King. Several of Adele's celebrity followers loved the new picture. "You just broke that internet Henny," Lisa Rinna wrote.
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There were some critics accusing her of cultural appropriation. "If ONE Black person says no, then don’t do it. All these non-Black ppl tryna argue with Black people about appropriation. The clownery," one person wrote. One person accused her of "cosplaying" as a Black person during the racial unrest in the U.S. "Instead of donating any real wealth to help solve the issues, is just cosplaying as a black person on her Instagram," one person wrote.
Many of Adele's fans came to her defense though. One person noted that the Notting Hill Carnival is a celebration of Caribbean cultures. Others said they did not find it offensive at all or accused people of just trying to find something to complain about. "As a woman of Caribbean descent myself (Trinidad) I think she looks great," one person wrote. "Too many people in the comments demonstrating that they still can't differentiate between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation."
On Twitter, social media users compared Adele to Chet Hanks, the rapper and son of actor Tom Hanks. Back in January, Hanks shared a video of himself talking in a fake Jamaican accent on Instagram at the Golden Globes. While some found it offensive, Hanks explained he was only joking and he loves Jamaican culture.
"One thing I'm not joking about is my love and appreciation for Jamaica and the Jamaican culture. That has been incredible, all the love I've been getting from Jamaica ... it's touched me deeply in my heart, so thank you guys so much," Hanks said at the time, reports Entertainment Tonight. "I just wanted to say thank you. You know it's all in good fun. I'm a goofball, I goof around, but that's one thing I'm not joking about is my love for the Jamaican people and the Jamaican culture."