Zac Efron recently posted a photo of himself on his Instagram, showcasing a new look that is far from his usual appearance; he has dreadlocks! While many were disappointed with the new look in general, others are accusing the star of ‘cultural appropriation’.
The Baywatch actor captioned the monochrome photo, “Just for fun.”
Zac has been known for displaying different hairstyles every now and then. However, none has been so drastic and controversial. While a few admired the new look, others thought he didn’t look ‘as handsome’ with it. A majority of his 35 million followers, however, called him out for cultural appropriation, accusing him of being culturally ignorant with his new hairstyle.
“Don’t do this,” the top comment read. “I say this as a white woman who grew up incredibly ignorant in North Dakota and has dreads when I was 19.”
The woman continued, telling the actor his travel and experiences should have taught him better. She wrote, “You have been afforded so much privilege and world experiences that should also inform you that dreadlocks on white people is cultural appropriation. It’s really that simple.”
Another wrote, “Cultural appropriation is a serious thing. People are being ignorant by acting like it isn’t… It shouldn’t be taken as a joke.”
Several were offended by the very caption the actor wrote, pointing out that dreadlocks are not a ‘meant for fun’ hairstyle but are part of a culture. One person wrote, “When Africans decide to loc or dread their hair they don’t do it for fun. They do it because it’s a part of their culture. It’s special to them.” The follower further pointed out that it’s a traditional hairstyle for a reason, which is that Africans naturally have hair that dreads.
“My lifestyle is not something you steal and pick up for fun,” an African follower agreed.
“I’ve got an idea – let’s start the White People Quit Having Dreadlocks Challenge,” another wrote sarcastically.
One simply stated, “Stop trying to be black.”
Meanwhile, there were fans who told such commenters to relax, pointing out that the African culture is not the only one that dreadlocks are associated with.
One explained, “It’s not appropriation. Vikings wore dreadlocks, ancient Brits wore dreadlocks, anyone that has hair can wear dreadlocks. Haters just love to hate.”
“Many skin tones have historically (worn) this hairstyle. Stop acting like you are hurt,” another agreed.
Another criticized the haters, writing, “Love how some people can take something as simple as having the hairstyle of their choice and turn it into a racist action.”
Trying out new styles is not unusual for Zac. Just back in March, he had surprised followers with a new hairstyle, calling it ‘Beast Mode’.
He has previously also rocked a mustache, which got mixed views.
Whether he has gotten the dreadlocks for a role or just as a persona choice is not yet clear. So far, he has not commented on the criticism.