The singer's new hairstyle has sparked quite a bit of anger online...
Less than a month after Kim Kardashian West caused widespread internet outrage by crediting her cornrows to a white actress, we’ve stumbled across an Instagram picture of Little Mix’s Jesy Nelson rocking dreadlocks.
Now, it has to be said, the 26-year-old pop star was on set of a photo shoot and might not have had control over the creative direction or the styling of the images.
But, understandably, many have been quick to point out that people of colour have, historically, experienced discrimination for sporting similar hairstyles. It would therefore be insensitive to ignore the fact that there would be a certain level of frustration felt when a white woman (especially one whose influence could spark ‘new’ beauty trends) wears them – and gets positive attention for it.
‘It is a real issue, because several black children are getting kicked out of school because of his hairstyle. Yet here it is being praised on a non-black person,’ one user explained on her post.
Another added: ‘…many women and men have dreads and are fired, expelled from schools and shamed for having dreads. but when someone white has them they are praised and told how exotic it looks, hardly fair is it?’
A third explained: ‘All of the people in this comment section are really uneducated about culture. Some black people wear weave because we were told our hair was ratchet, and ghetto. Some wear weave because they want to feel beautiful in their own skin. And when whites wear dreads or braids etc, they don’t get made fun of. Thats the difference. Its called culture appropriation [sic]’.
We do, of course, think that Jesy looks beautiful. And we would feel the same regardless of the ethnicity of the person wearing locs.
But white privilege is alive and well. And we should all be more open to understanding the foundations that put it there in the first place.