Cultural Appropriation or No? Opinions Vary About Newspaper’s Image of Woman Wearing Solange-Inspired Hairdo

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Solange's "A Seat At The Table" album cover and a white model wearing the same hair style. (Saint Heron/Evening Standard/Twitter)
Solange’s “A Seat At The Table” album cover and a white model wearing the same hair style. (Saint Heron/Evening Standard/Twitter)

A London-based newspaper drew the attention of angry social media users when it ran an image of a white woman whose hair was alarmingly similar to Solange’s on her newest album. To add insult to injury, the record has been celebrated for celebrating and reveling in Black life — specifically on the song, “Don’t Touch My Hair” — so the picture sparked cries over cultural appropriation.

The Evening Standard published a photo of a white woman wearing hairclips on Monday, Nov. 28. According to BuzzFeed, the image is derived from a high-end clothing retailer called Oasis, which has stores in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia and the United States.

Social media quickly took notice and remarked on the similarities between the model and Solange’s “A Seat At The Table” album cover. Users shared feelings that ranged from humorous to irritated.

@imanilindsay made a pun about the LP’s title.

In similar fashion, DomesticJustice tweeted a parody lyric from Solange’s single, “Cranes In The Sky.”

Facebook users also chimed in. Priscilla Marinas defended the image, noting it was a method of hairstyling.

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Grace Harris expressed exasperation over the controversy and didn’t see any similarities between the photos.

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Kimberly Anderson thought discussing the matter was unnecessary since cultural appropriation is something white people won’t notice.facebook-solange-2

On the same note, Teika Gonzales said issues of appropriation are something white women won’t understand unless they were a different race.

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Instagram user @dimplesncoils threatened to call Solange to discuss the situation.

Elsewhere on the photo- and video-sharing website, @bimbay_tdotlady wondered why Blacks could never be allowed to take ownership of anything.

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But @awakeningmyknowledge saw it as nothing new.instagram-solange-2

This is only the latest instance of the fashion industry stealing Black looks for profit. In September, fashion designer Marc Jacobs styled his all-white models in faux locs. The issue was compounded after his lead stylist credited celebrities like Boy George as inspirations for the style, rather than stars like George Clinton.

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