Adele is breaking her silence over one of last year’s most viral examples of cultural appropriation.
During London’s Notting Hill Carnival in 2020, the pop star shared a much-anticipated new image after her reported 100-pound weight loss — at a time when Adele had all but disappeared from the spotlight for more than a year.
Unfortunately, the long-awaited update was overshadowed by her … um, enthusiasm for the festival. Rather than celebrate the occasion alongside fellow Brits of Caribbean descent, she went full-bore with a Jamaican flag-print bikini and bantu knots in her hair, a style worn traditionally by black women in the region.
“I didn’t read the f–king room,” she told British Vogue in a new interview for their November issue. In hindsight, she said, she “totally” understands why a backlash occurred.
Adele, 33, also believes in owning her mistakes.
“I could see comments being like, ‘The nerve to not take it down,’ which I totally get,” she said. “But if I take it down, it’s me acting like it never happened. And it did. I totally get why people felt like it was appropriating.”
In the end, the Grammy-winning artist — who will drop a long-anticipated new single, “Easy on Me,” on Oct. 15 — was served a heaping helping of karma for her poor form, and not just in terms of bad press.
Rather, she learned that bantu knots aren’t just a hairstyle — indeed, they serve a functional and cosmetic purpose for certain hair types — and made the unfortunate discovery that they are novel to white women for a good reason.
“I was wearing a hairstyle that is actually to protect Afro hair. [It] ruined mine, obviously,” she said.
Elsewhere, the “Hello” crooner’s extensive interview for British Vogue also revealed new details regarding her divorce with ex Simon Konecki, 47, and the forthcoming album — possibly titled “30” — it helped inspire.
According to Adele, the new record is a personal reckoning.
“I feel like this album is self-destruction, then self-reflection and then sort of self-redemption,” she said. “But I feel ready. I really want people to hear my side of the story this time.”
“My body’s been objectified my entire career,” the 15-time Grammy-winner said in her Vogue cover story. “It’s not just now. I understand why it’s a shock.”