Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson has been accused of cultural appropriation after sharing a photo of herself sporting dreadlocks.
Nelson uploaded the picture to Instagram on Monday night (February 19) along with the caption: “Shootin'”. See the post in question below.
After sharing the snap, some fans accused Nelson of “textbook” cultural appropriation, arguing that her borrowing from black culture is “offensive”.
One fan wrote: “Jesy, hun, I love you, but please take this down or write an apology. It may have not been thought about at the time, but this is cultural appropriation. I’m not hating and you do look beautiful, but this hairstyle isn’t meant for you.”
jesy nelson got dreads cancel her
— bethany FINE LINE (@xhoneybaby) February 20, 2018
Imma keep it real. White people can't pull of dreads and Jesy nelson isn't the exception
— Dert (@Backtrack_Rewin) February 20, 2018
However, others have come out in Nelson’s defence, describing the controversy as “political correctness gone mad” and arguing that the singer was simply “embracing [another] culture”.
“If we are practicing equality then we should be free to do what we like and that includes a hairstyle that is typically known to be worn in black culture,” one commenter wrote.
“Is it right to tell black people not to dye their hair blonde? No it isn’t. Why? Because they can do what they choose.”
— Jade (@Naijella86) February 20, 2018
NME has approached Little Mix’s press representative for a response to the backlash.
This week Little Mix confirmed that they would release a new album this year as well as embarking on a tour.
Member Leigh-Anne Pinnock said: “So we’ve got the new album coming out this year which is really exciting. We start writing it… basically, March, when we get back to work. Then the tour will follow the following year. Basically, we’ve got our lives planned out for the next two years, but it’s great.”