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Writers, Pundits, and Tweeters Ask ‘Is Justin Bieber’s New Hair Racist?’

Cultural appropriation is one of those topics that it feels like everyone with an Internet connection has an opinion on and everyone with a life in the public eye has goofed up on. When the latter happens, the people with the Internet connections come out in full force to talk about it and argue over it.

Young Justin Bieber has gotten flak for cultural appropriation in the past. His style of clothing has come under fire, as have music videos that feature white dancers doing traditionally black dances with nary a person of color in sight. It is his recent adoption of dreadlocks that has him in hot water this time, though, which is interesting considering his pal Kylie Jenner was facing the online appropriation committee over the exact same thing in February and July of last year.

Here is the Biebs with the hair:

A photo posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

And here are the people with the opinions:

And here he is with his defense:

Finally, here is a succinct refresher on perceived cultural appropriation — especially as it relates to the co-opting of traditionally black hairstyles — courtesy of Amandla Stenberg:

Pay attention to this part:

The line between cultural appropriation and cultural exchange is always going to be blurred but here’s the thing: Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalizations or stereotypes where it originated but is deemed as high fashion, cool, or funny when the privileged take it for themselves.

So, what do you think? Racist? Not racist? Appropriation? Not appropriation? Let us know!

[image via Instagram]

For more from Lindsey, follow her on Twitter.

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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