Jesy Nelson and other celebs accused of cultural appropriation

The former Little Mix member responds to accusations of 'Blackfishing'

Stars Insider

12/10/21 | StarsInsider

CELEBRITY Controversy

Pop culture is a melting pot where cultures and customs fuse and coexist. However, when borrowing is done in bad taste, it's called something a little different: cultural appropriation. It's been a hot topic in recent years, and power dynamics between majority and minority cultures are now being discussed more openly than ever.

Jesy Nelson has been charged in the court of public opinion with counts of Blackfishing and cultural appropriation following the release of her new music video for 'Boyz' on October 7. The former Little Mix member was bombarded with accusations of having intentionally changed her style and bronzed her skin to appear racially ambiguous.

In an interview with Vulture magazine published on October 8, Nelson said she was "just 100 percent being myself," adding that she loved Black culture and Black music. In an August interview with the Guardian she had previously expressed that she was surprised by accusations of Blackfishing, adding that she "would never want to offend anyone." But when asked by Vulture if she's had time to reflect on the valid concerns continuously being raised about her image, Nelson replied: "The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that. And then I came out of (the band) and people all of a sudden were saying it."

She continued, "I wasn't on social media around that time, so I let my team [deal with it] because that was when I'd just left. But I mean, like, I love Black culture. I love Black music. That's all I know; it's what I grew up on. I'm very aware that I'm a white British woman; I've never said that I wasn't." Despite Nelson's claims that she "would never intentionally do anything to make myself look racially ambiguous," and though her collaborator Nicki Minaj came to her defense, many simply aren't buying it. 

Cultural appropriation can be pretty divisive, so click on and check out some other cultural appropriation cases.


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