Coco Austin channeled her inner "Bahamian spirit" while on vacation.
While enjoying a relaxing vacation in the Bahamas with Ice-T and their 2-year-old daughter Chanel Nicole, Austin decided to channel her inner Bahamian by putting on traditional garb.
Posing on her tiptoes, the 38-year-old wore a colorful feathered headdress with a matching tunic for a series of photos she shared with her 3 million Instagram followers. "Channeling my Bahamian spirit..." she captioned the images.
It didn't take long for the comments section to erupt with accusations of cultural appropriation, though Austin was quick to get ahead of the claims with a tongue-in-cheek response.
Instagram user, Chita Martinez who goes by the online moniker, babysila_07 wrote that Austin was being "disrespectful" to the native people.
"In our culture, the women don't wear head dresses or the clothes are always to ankles and never exposed... it's very sacred to my people. Each feather is earned and usually are given to our men because they protect our families," Martinez wrote.
The comment was followed by another comment from user kyraxmelia replying to someone by the name of mamma_martinez, writing, "She's appropriating your culture, something that's very important to you. You shouldn't have to worry about hurting someone with your opinion on your culture."
"Excuse me but u weren't here when I took this pic.. The Bahamians came up to me with this outfit while I was eating lunch and they asked me to put this outfit on to take a pic.. It would be disrespectful if I said no.... Jeeze," Austin wrote in response to one commenter accusing her of cultural appropriation.
While there were several users commenting with similar accusations, many fans came to Austin's defense.
"People are sooo sensitive over some festive fun vacation pics! the outfit is colorful and it shows her interest in the culture, not just the beach and the bar... people turn everything into a debate," one person wrote.
"She's not appropriating culture she's in the Bahamas and wore cultural garb as a sign of respect and admiration y'all hear a term and run with it [oh my God] it's so annoying," wrote another.0comments
Austin faced criticism earlier in her Bahama's trip when she shared a short video of her 2-year-old daughter swimming with sharks. Some fans claimed that child protective services should be called, some appalled by the apparent danger that the toddler had been put in.
Fortunately, the sharks were nurse sharks, a species that is known for being docile and being a popular tourist attraction in many parts of the Caribbean.