Gwen Stefani has found herself in hot water yet again after appearing in a Sean Paul music video last week. Stefani is seen in the rapper’s “Light My Fire” video wearing her hair in twisted dread locks and flaunting a dress very clearly representing the colors of the Jamaican flag.
It didn’t take long for disappointed viewers to take to Twitter and Instagram to criticize the pop star for finding herself in yet another cultural appropriation dilemma. One critic, @trevorhacker even said “no one can appropriate a culture the way Gwen Stefani does.” This is not the first time Stefani has found herself under fire for appropriating other cultures. She received heated criticism for wearing a bindi—a cultural symbol for many south east Asian cultures—for a No Doubt photoshoot in the 90s, and for performing with a group of Japanese dancers called the Harajuku Girls while promoting her first solo album.
Though Stefani has not responded to the cultural appropriation complaints for the Sean Paul video, she told Billboard in 2019 “I get a little defensive when people [call it culture appropriation], because if we didn’t allow each other to share our cultures, what would we be?” One of Stefani’s fans defended the singer on social media saying “she has always shown love to race and culture. Some people just do it for the profit. She’s doing it cuz she loves it.”
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