Are dreadlocks a form of cultural appropriation?

‘It just doesn’t suit white guys’

Justin Bieber posted a picture on Instagram over the weekend showing he has got dreadlocks. Some people scoffed, others criticised him for cultural appropriation.

So, is it cultural appropriation?

Ony Iroha, 30 and Jeremy Wilson, 28, journalists

P4043991 Ony : “I don’t mind, it has nothing to do with me. If he’s happy then it’s fine.”

Jeremy: “I’m a big fan, I’ve been waiting for JB to get dreads for a while, so I was happy when I saw it.”

Jay, 21, student
P4043999“I don’t think it’s racist. If he wants dreads, let him get dreads.”

Paulina, 18, hairdresser

P4044001 “He can he do whatever he wants. Cultures should be able to mix and match.”

Gabriella, 18, student

P4044003 “I don’t think it’s racist, it’s just what he wanted to do.”

Jamie, 20, journalism student

P4044004 “Not at all. I think people should be able to express themselves no matter what, as long as they don’t intend to offend anyone. Everyone has the right to their own appearance.”

Lily, 19, fashion student
“It depends on how someone does it. As long as it’s not intending to offend, it’s fine.”

Pablo, 27, sales assistant


“I don’t think it’s racist if you have dreadlocks if you’re white. They’re multicultural.”

Giovani, 32, photographer

P4044010 “In the end, it’s just a style. It’s temporary, they’ll move on to something else next week.”

Henry, 28, chef

P4044012“I think that the majority of people – including myself – cringe when they see a white guy with dreadlocks. It just doesn’t suit white guys. But if someone feels that is who they are on the inside, then who are we to tell them what to do.”

Ella, 21, fashion journalist


“I think it depends on the person. It seems JB might be culturally appropriating, but it’s different if a white guy follows the Rastafarian faith.”

Salvuccio, 30, photographer


“No, I have many friends with them, so for me it isn’t a problem.”

Chris, 27, support worker


“I don’t think so, it’s a personal opinion.”

Tadhe, 21, pub manager


“You can do whatever you want with your appearance, it shouldn’t matter. Dreadlocks have been done by a lot of cultures throughout history, so it shouldn’t belong to one culture.”