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Adele shows off 100-pound weight loss, sparks cultural appropriation debate over Bantu knots

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Phil McCarten/CBS via Getty Images

“Hello” singer Adele gave fans another glimpse of her incredible weight loss journey on Sunday when shouting out the cancelled Notting Hill Carnival.  It’s believed the singer has lost close to 100 pounds.

The 2020 Carnival was called off due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but that didn’t stop Adele from dressing up to mark the occasion.  However, her outfit of choice triggered an intense debate over cultural appreciation versus appropriation.

“Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London,” Adele, 32, captioned the photo of her rocking watermark print leggings, a Jamaican flag bikini top and a yellow carnival feather collar  However, when it came to her hairstyle, which was styled in Bantu knots, fan reaction was intensely divided.

Bantu knots, which is a series of small coiled buns, originated in African culture.  

Within minutes of posting the snap, fans were begging Adele to delete it over concerns over cultural appropriation.  “Oh, not the hair.  We love you babe but this is not the way,” one fan gently urged while another bluntly remarked, “This is not culture appreciation because Bantu Knots originate from South Africa, by the Zulu tribe. This is not acceptable.”

However, other fans came to the “Rolling in the Deep” singer’s defense, saying she was engaging in cultural appreciation — as the festival would have been celebrating — and not appropriation.  Others also brought up the fact that outfits, much like the one Adele was wearing, are commonplace at the festival and generate very little controversy.

Those of Jamaican heritage eventually chimed in, with most comments made in support of Adele by openly thanking her for celebrating their culture. 

The intense debate eventually spilled onto Twitter, where “Bantu” and “Adele” became trending hashtags.

Adele has not publicly commented on the matter. 

By Megan Stone
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