The singer also revealed why she didn’t remove the picture of herself in Bantu knots from her Instagram.
Adele said she “totally gets” why fans called her out for cultural appropriation over her Notting Hill Carnival post.
In August 2020, to mark the annual West London event celebrating Caribbean culture, the “Hello” singer posted a photo of herself wearing a Jamaican flag bikini with her hair in Bantu knots. She immediately faced backlash.
“I totally get why people felt like it was appropriating,” Adele told British Vogue. “I had thought, if you don’t go dressed to celebrate the Jamaican culture – and in so many ways we’re so entwined in that part of London – then it’s a little bit like, ‘What you coming for, then?’”
Despite the massive criticism, Adele has not removed the controversial pic from her Instagram. “I could see comments being like, ‘the nerve to not take it down,’ which I totally get. But if I take it down, it’s me acting like it never happened. And it did.”
She added, “I didn’t read the f—— room. I was wearing a hairstyle that is actually to protect Afro hair. Ruined mine, obviously.”
At the time of the posting, journalist and CEO, Ernest Owens tweeted, “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.”
He later tweeted: “I’m too old and Black to be defending and making excuses for white people who still can’t read the damn room in 2020.”
American Vogue: Alasdair Mclellan/British Vogue: Steven Meisel
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“If you haven’t quite understood cultural appropriation, look at Adele’s last Instagram post,” another critic posted. “She should go to jail no parole for this.”
However, Adele had her fair share of supporters as well, with Naomi Campbell and Zoe Saldana liking the post.
And X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke wrote at the time, “I see the pic. She looks hot. She’s obviously been working on her body, that for me is a big deal. She’s looking good.”
“As a Jamaican girl myself, my girl has grown up in Black culture. Let her live her best life, leave her alone. We love Adele.”
Speaking of “working on her body,” Adele also opened up about her incredible weight loss in the interview — and the ensuing “brutal” comments from women that “hurt” her. Read below.
British Vogue: Steven Meisel
Adele Says She was ‘Hurt’ By ‘Brutal’ Comments from Women About Her Weight Loss