Tory MP says Adele cultural appropriation criticism is 'doing my head in'

Victoria Bell
·4-min read
(Photo by Luca Teuchmann/WireImage)
Adele has been hit with accusations of cultural appropriation over an Instagram picture of her wearing bantu buns. (Getty)

Tory MP Ben Bradley has defended singer Adele amidst backlash over her recent Instagram post for which some critics accused her of cultural appropriation.

The singer, 32, posted an image of her hair styled in Bantu knots, a traditional African hairstyle, and wearing a Jamaica flag bikini top while marking Notting Hill Carnival, which took place online this year due to the coronavirus.

Alongside the image, she captioned the post: “Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London.”

Adele was clearly keen to celebrate the event - which takes place annually on the August bank holiday - from her home in LA.

But some accused her of cultural appropriation because she wore her hair in Bantu knots – small coiled buns typically associated with people of African descent.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson door knocking in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, with the party's candidate Ben Bradley while General Election campaigning.
Ben Bradley, pictured left, door knocking in Mansfield with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, while he was a Tory candidate in Mansfield. (PA)

Many have high-profile figures have come forward to defend the singer, including Ben Bradley, the Conservative MP for Mansfield, who said the issue was “doing my head in”.

Tweeting a link to a piece from Glamour magazine which appeared to suggest that her choice of hairstyle was cultural appropriation, he wrote: “This is doing my head in.

“Apparently your body and how you choose to look is no longer your own choice, particularly if you might think something from another culture looks quite good! Maybe white folks just shouldn't be allowed at the Carnival in future?”

Many others have have defended Adele saying that she was showing appreciation for Carnival and Caribbean culture with her look following an onslaught of comments from people who accused of cultural appropriation for using the hairstyle.

One Twitter user said: “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.”

Another said: “If you haven’t quite understood cultural appropriation, look at @Adele’s last Instagram post. She should go to jail no parole for this.”

Read more: Adele accused of ‘cultural appropriation’ over Instagram picture

David Lammy, the MP for Tottenham, where Adele was born and raised, tweeted: “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. Thank you Adele. Forget the Haters.

Singer Alexandra Burke told the BBC’s Carnival tribute show: “As a Jamaican girl myself, my girl has grown up in black culture. People forget she’s from Tottenham. She probably eats jerk chicken all the time like all of us.

“All I’m saying is the girl looked good, leave her. Allow her man.”

Supermodel Naomi Campbell, whose mother was born in Jamaica, commented with two love heart emojis and two pictures of the Jamaican flag.

Adele has yet to comment on the matter.

Naomi Campbell walks on the runway at the Kenneth Ize fashion show during Fall / Winter 2020 / 2021 Fashion Week in Paris, France on Mar. 25, 2020. (Photo by Jonas Gustavsson/Sipa USA)
Naomi Campbell, whose mother was born in Jamaica, defended the singer. (Getty)
Alexandra Burke shocks fans by cancelling entire UK tour citing 'scheduling issues'
Jamaican singer Alexandra Burke also defended Adele. (PA)

Ben Bradley has already hit out at so-called “woke society” in the past.

In February he called to address the “taboo” subject of white working-class boys being hit by “inherent disadvantage”.

He told MPs at a Westminster Hall debate: “By age five, already, white boys from disadvantaged backgrounds are 13% behind disadvantaged black boys or 23% behind disadvantaged Asian girls. Only around a third of white working class boys pass their maths and English GCSEs, they are 40% less likely to go into higher education than disadvantaged black boys.

Read more: Adele and grime star Skepta rumoured to be dating

“These white working-class boys are being let down by an in-built and inherent disadvantage. I am concerned this is being brushed under the carpet, not by government necessarily… but by modern society which refuses to see the plight of young white males, even those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“I am concerned that in too many places, this is a taboo subject, it’s something we can’t talk about, the fact that white boys need more help.”