Every time Love Island’s Rebecca Gormley has been accused of cultural appropriation

She is back at it again and is yet to comment

Former Love Island 2020 contestant Rebecca Gormley has been accused of cultural appropriation and blackfishing following her latest social media posts in braids while she celebrates her birthday in Dubai.

Cultural appropriation is the inappropriate use of an element of a culture by a member of a different culture. This isn’t the first time the ex-Islander has received backlash for her choice of hairstyles since the show.

Here are all the times Rebecca Gormley has been accused of cultural appropriation:

Native American photoshoot

In 2020, the model was criticised for taking part in a photoshoot where she dressed in a traditional Native American outfit. On her Instagram, Rebecca shared photos of her posing with a horse whilst wearing a traditional headdress, Native American jewellery and holding a totem pole.

Despite receiving backlash in the comments, the photo is still on her profile. She did issue an apology, saying: “Coming to the photoshoot that I did with the horse, I apologise if anyone felt any upset or hurt, I didn’t want to hurt anyone, it was just generally a photoshoot. I do modelling that’s what I do, I didn’t mean to intentionally hurt anyone.”

Tight braids hairstyle

Shortly after facing criticism for the photoshoot, Gormley found herself being accused of blackfishing after braiding her hair. Rebecca posted a photo of her in tight braids and gelled edges, a hairstyle typically worn by black women. Blackfishing is a term used to describe someone who uses hairstyles and makeup to make them appear as if they have black heritage or are mixed-race.

Rebecca defended herself on her Instagram story. She said: “So I’ve been going through my requests, and I’ve got loads of awful messages which I don’t think is fair at all.

“I’ve had messages saying I’m being disrespectful to people’s culture because of my hair but I wear braids all the time, just because I’ve got a few more braids downs meant I’m being disrespectful. I don’t want to hurt anyone I’m just being myself, I’m doing me. I’m literally just doing me.”

Her now ex-boyfriend and former Love Islander Biggs supported her. He said: “Just a quick one guys, I’m sorry, basically my point is if a young white boy came to me and said, ‘Biggs I like your hair and I want that.’ I should be happy because I’ve got something he wants. He’s appreciating the culture. I’d be worrying if he said, ‘I don’t want that.’ It’s 2020, it’s different.”


In 2021, Rebecca snapped a photo with her and her now ex-boyfriend Biggs with cornrows on the side of her hair. She received a number of criticisms in the comment section of her post.

One user commented: “Okay miss cultural appropriation!”

Tight braids hairstyle

While celebrating her birthday in Dubai, Rebecca posted a photo in a braided hairstyle. She described her look as “Birthday glam” and has received criticism in the comments of her post.

The hairstyle is commonly worn and associated with the Black community, and the model has been accused again of cultural appropriation. She has not addressed the criticism and continues to post on her social media.

The Tab has contacted Rebecca for comment.

Featured image credit via Instagram.

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