Jackson Wang of GOT7 garnered a lot of hate comments after he was spotted sporting dreadlocks on a recent Pepsi ad. As of now, Jackson’s Instagram account is flooded by people opposing him as well as those who are defending him.
Allkpop reported international fans are involved in a heated debate about Jackson’s dreadlocks. Many netizens overseas are outraged seeing Jackson’s attitude who thinks he did nothing wrong for exposing dreadlocks, which deemed as one of the most common aspects of African-American culture.
In Jackson’s defense, dreadlocksare a form of his admiration towards the culture. On one of his Instagram post, he wrote: “I made the decision (to wear dreadlocks) because I was too in love with the culture. No matter if it’s music wise, people, background or anything, and I truly respect it with my heart. It’s a complete misunderstanding.”
According to Koreaboo, Jackson is not the first public figure who sparked criticism for cultural appropriation. Demi Lovato was recently accused of cultural appropriation after she styled herself with dreadlocks for her new music video.
Jackson’s bandmate, Bambam, has previously received backlash after he was caught saying the N-word in a video. Even with Bambam’s severe backlash, it appears that Jackson hasn’t fully understood about the consequences of outing such sensitive matter. Meanwhile, Jackson has removed the controversial photo to reduce the amount of hate he’s been receiving.
Dreadlocks can be considered as the signature style of the African-American community. The cultural appropriation problem arises when people outside the community wearing it without being aware of the cultural meaning attached to the fashion choice.
African-Americans wore dreadlocks in the past as a part of their identity as Rastafarian, and a symbol of solidarity within the community. However, when white people wear dreadlocks, the meaning and philosophy behind the style get reset to hippy symbols or high marijuana subcultures.
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