Justin Bieber is once again trending on Twitter, and it’s not for his music. Instead, it’s his hair or more specifically the way he chose to style it: Locs. This isn’t the first time he was criticized for culturally appropriating black hairstyles. In 2016, the singer was called out for sporting cornrows.
Justin Bieber wears locs; Double Standard on locs
Justin Bieber wears locs, a black hairstyle, despite message addressing the very thing he is doing, taking advantage of a system that judges and discriminates against his black counterparts. Blacks wearing locs are more likely to be seen as untidy, criminals and treated as such. Yet, whites wearing locs are trendy? The pop star debuted his locs via instagram on Sunday.
Bieber: “It’s just my hair.”
Bieber reportedly responded to the backlash with the comment, “It’s just my hair.” But it’s not just hair. Black hair has a history and has been a source of discrimination. Natural hair is considered messy or not buisness like or locs have been forced cut by disapproving adults. Even the term ‘dreadlocks,’ is rooted in a history of racism. And, Cultural appropriation (regardless) of black hairstyles without understanding the history is a bad move by Bieber who said he would be more racially concious.
History on black hairstyles / Locs
The name for the hairdo, used so commonly, “comes from the negative term ‘dreadful’ which was coined by slave owners and colonisers to describe the hairstyle.” Black Hair styles including locs are rooted in ancestory, have been discriminated against by racism, and is embedded in black’s self worth. So, no, it’s not just a hair style. It’s a long rooted history.
According to Ebony, On Sept. 15, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled it’s nondiscriminatory to ban locs in the workplace giving individuals an opening to discriminate. Yet, that same day, Marc Jacobs was accused of cultural appropriation when his mostly white models walked the runway wearing pastel-colored locs during New York Fashion Week. The message was clear: locs are not welcome unless the person wearing them is white.
Bieber Delivers Mixed Message on racial oppression
The ‘Hold On’ singer took to instagram previously to address how black culture has inspired him. My style, how I sing, dance, perform, and my fashion have all been influenced and inspired by Black culture,” Bieber wrote on Instagram June 6. “I am committed to using my platform this day forward to learn, to speak up about racial injustice and systemic oppression, and to identify ways to be a part of much needed change.”
Bieber Disingenuous By Display of Locs.
Yet, his words and actions do not line up. He profits from cultural appropriation and his style isn’t trendy and new but has been worn by blacks for centuries. Bieber doesn’t really seem to be all that committed in addressing racial and systemic oppression. Instead, it seems he rather use his plaform to continue on profitting on black culture and using black hairstyles without reccognizing the weight of that decision.