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Is Justin Bieber's new hairstyle racist?

Justin Bieber is now sporting dreadlocks, a look some critics have blasted as culturally insensitive. Is it racist or just the Biebs expressing himself?

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Bieber's new 'do


"It's troubling as yet another instance of a white celebrity appropriating a traditionally black hairstyle," wrote Fashionista, which wondered if "celebrities and designers need to start hiring cultural appropriation consultants to advise against things like dreads and cornrows."

“Justin Bieber is one of the lieutenants of the cultural appropriation army. He outdid himself this week by rocking dirty a$$ White guy dreads," Bossip wrote. "Not only do they look dirty as hell but he’s just doing it because they look ‘cool’ without any understanding of what he’s doing.”


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Then there was this succinct commentary:

The issue has been in the news recently. A viral video of a black woman confronting a white man about his dreadlocks has sparked an investigation at San Francisco State University. In the video, the pair argue near a set of stairs in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.

"You're saying that I can't have a hairstyle because of your culture?" the man asks in the video.

"Yeah," the woman responds, "because it's my culture."

The pair argue over the origin of dreadlocks and she blocks his way as he tries to get past her and up some stairs. Read more about it here.

Last year, Bravo host Andy Cohen took heat after inserting himself into the feud between "Hunger Games" actress Amandla Stenberg and reality show personality Kylie Jenner over Kylie's cornrows. Amandla blasted them as culturally insensitive and later posted this video to further express her views.

"I want to apologize to Amandla," Andy later posted. "I didn't understand the larger context of this cultural discussion and TRULY meant no disrespect to her or anyone else."

Bieber's one to trot out new looks via his social platforms, so maybe this one will pass soon. Many fans weighed in on his Instagram page. What do you think?

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About the Author

Jennifer Brett is a multiplatform journalist and digital coach. She writes The Buzz blog for

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