Rihanna, faces criticism and accusations of cultural appropriation for her recent “Savage X Fenty” fashion show for having braided hair on non-black models.
The singer’s third Savage X Fenty fashion show premiered Friday on Amazon, where stars like Gigi Hadid, Adriana Lima, Vanessa Hudgens and Emily Ratajkowski walked the runway wearing the brand’s underwear.
However, shortly after the event aired, the debate over the appropriation of black culture sparked as many viewers shared their concerns about the hairstyles chosen for some models, as both Ratajkowski and Hudgens had their hair braided.
One person shared the following statements on Twitter:
Why did Rihanna have white dancers with braids on Fenty X Savage now…
I love the Fenty show, but I think we deserve a trigger warning about seeing so many white women in braids.
“Why did Rihanna let Vanessa Hudgens and Emily Ratajkowski braid their hair on the Fenty show?” she asked. While many expressed dissatisfaction with the choice of non-black models to style their hair with braids, others defended Rihanna and the lingerie brand.
This isn’t the first time Rihanna has been accused of cultural appropriation for her Savage X Fenty fashion shows. The 33-year-old singer apologized last year after criticism over her use of Coucou Chloe’s track Doom, which contains a sample of Islamic hadith. Fenty’s founder apologized at the time for this “honest but careless mistake” and thanked the “Muslim community for drawing attention to the troubling, colossal mistake that was unintentional.” Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber have also faced accusations of cultural appropriation in the past for hairstyles traditionally used in black culture.