Adele is owning up to her mistakes.
The Grammy winner is on the cusp of a new chapter, but before then, she’s addressing some of the issues from the last one. Specifically, she responded to criticism of her infamous Instagram post where she had dressed up for the 2020 Notting Hill Carnival, an annual event in West London celebrating Caribbean culture.
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Wearing the Jamaican flag as a bikini top was one thing, but what most folks found offensive was the Bantu knots she wore her hair in — which came across like Black cosplay. Speaking with British Vogue, the songstress reflected:
“I totally get why people felt like it was appropriating. … I had thought, if you don’t go dressed to celebrate the Jamaican culture — and in so many ways we’re so entwined in that part of London — then it’s a little bit like, ‘What you coming for, then?’”
But she now realizes that was the exact wrong instinct for our current moment:
“I didn’t read the f**king room.”
Hmm… Almost seems like that’s a direct reference to one of the look’s biggest critics, journalist Ernest Owens, who tweeted:
“If 2020 couldn’t get anymore bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for. This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic. Hate to see it… I’m too old and Black to be defending and making excuses for white people who still can’t read the damn room in 2020.”
Well, if she can’t read the room she can darn well read Twitter!
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In addition to backlash, the Hello vocalist also suffered real-time consequences for putting her hair in Bantu knots:
“I was wearing a hairstyle that is actually to protect Afro hair. Ruined mine, obviously.”
So if she’s apologetic, why leave the pic up on her page (above)? She justified that by saying she wasn’t sweeping it under the rug:
“I could see comments being like, ‘the nerve to not take it down,’ which I totally get. But if I take it down, it’s me acting like it never happened. And it did.”
Seems like Adele gained some much needed perspective from this incident. (Although we have to note that this reaction doesn’t include an apology.) Glad she learned her lesson, and hope she does better in the future.
[Image via Adele/Instagram]