Adele sparked a cultural appropriation debate after she wore a Jamaican flag bikini and her hair in Bantu knots.
The award-winning singer took to Instagram on Monday to share the image, showing off her recent weight loss in a bikini top and leggings, with her locks styled in the traditional African style, and yellow feathers on her back.
“Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London,” Adele captioned the image, as she celebrated the annual event with her friends and family at a socially distanced party at her home in the U.S.
However, Adele’s post sparked outrage with some of her followers, who accused the Hello hitmaker of cultural appropriation.
“Bantu knots are NOT to be worn by white people in any context, period,” one comment on her Instagram post read, while American journalist Ernest Owens wrote on Twitter: “If 2020 couldn’t get any more 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.”
Despite the backlash, Adele also received an outpouring of support from famous faces, including Naomi Campbell who posted two heart emojis alongside two Jamaican flags in the comments.
Piers Morgan has also passionately defended the singer, who hails from Tottenham in north London, and British MP David Lammy called the criticism “poppycock”.
“This humbug totally misses the spirit of Notting Hill Carnival and the tradition of ‘dress up’ or ‘masquerade’ Adele was born and raised in Tottenham she gets it more than most,” he wrote alongside a damning opinion piece on Twitter. “Thank you Adele. Forget the Haters.”
The Notting Hill Carnival usually takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend in London, but was moved online, with live-streamed and pre-recorded performances, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.