Bieber has a history of being accused of profiting off of Black culture, like how his recent Justice album sampled a speech from Martin Luther King Jr. without context before transitioning into a track about how much he loves his (white) wife. But the latest outcry comes from his new, allegedly culturally appropriating hairstyle. Bieber revealed he got his hair loc’d this week, and people are understandably mad about it.
Bieber has been very active on social media this week. He’s currently filming a video for his 21 Savage and DJ Khaled collaboration “Let It Go,” and apparently decided to take on a new hairstyle for it. Bieber shared several photos of his hair in locs, a style that has been very central to the conversation about cultural appropriation in the last ten-plus years. Loc’d hair has cultural and historical significance for Black people, not to mention that it’s an easy way to protect against hair damage.
After showing off his new hairdo on social media, people were quick to call him out for cultural appropriation.
as poc are constantly ridiculed for wearing their hair in braids, white men like justin bieber get away with it (and praised for it). speak up and hold him accountable pic.twitter.com/gQFq0q1lAN
— theo ✶ ︎ (@mademeplay) May 2, 2021
me entering Justin Bieber ‘s house to cut his hair off pic.twitter.com/NuHMoT74Gp
— ⋯justin⁷🧈 (@offmysuga) May 1, 2021
justin bieber dreaded his hair….i’m gonna throw up pic.twitter.com/2nBuof7HZ1
— æńdrę (@undressurgirl) April 26, 2021
Several people drew comparisons to the doll from Rugrats and even movie The Grinch.
Justin Bieber’s hair is giving me these vibes: pic.twitter.com/nRVtnC0Obq
— kelsey (@kelsey_boswell) May 4, 2021
— kealo (@kealygorman) May 3, 2021
Justin bieber's hair inspiration: the grinchs hand😭💀 pic.twitter.com/Yy7IZmIFIn
— Reputation🖤|IFB EVERYONE| (@HoesShaking) May 4, 2021
But this isn’t even the first time he’s received backlash for a similar hairstyle. Bieber first loc’d and dyed his hair back in 2016, which he also drew accusations of cultural appropriation for.