WHY are so many people talking about U-Kwon’s “dreads”?
It’s people who like them; it’s people who don’t. Here is an ENTIRE THREAD objecting to “purple dreads [and] cultural appropriation,” and there’s plenty more out there (most of which I’ve blocked already, because there is only so much stupidity that I can cope with).
In all honesty, if you cannot tell the difference between dreadlocks and BRAIDS (called BRAIDS because the hair is, yes, BRAIDED), then you have absolutely zero credibility. How can you possibly weigh in on a issue that you obviously know nothing–I mean NOTHING—about?
I don’t pretend to be an expert on Black hair, but come on–I don’t remember ever not being able to tell dreads from braids, and I’m white! It’s like someone trying to weigh in on some issue between Korea and Japan, and
they’re Donald Trump they think both countries are a part of China or something.
I’m willing to acknowledge some gray area between dreads and twists (in no small part because people will often insist that what look like dreads are really twists–dreads are sometimes associated with stoners, so “twists” are more professional, even when they’re basically just very neat dreadlocks). I freely admit that when I first saw this:
it took me a second look to realize that these were braids and not some kind of threadlock or something. But you don’t look at this texture:
and think “dreads” if you’ve ever actually seen dreadlocks.
Which means that the people objecting to the “dreads” never have.
And that’s what makes me really skeptical that most of the people objecting to this are people who dislike the whole conflation of Black culture and hip-hop concept that is common in K-Pop. For every person offering plausible logic and the remotest semblance of knowledge, there’s this whole slew of people saying nothing more than, “This hair is ugly, messy, shitty, and thuggish” (…gee, I wonder what makes a hairstyle “thuggish”?), or complaining about the cultural appropriation of a hairstyle that they cannot identify with any accuracy (which is kind of hilarious, really, but still), or being outraged because Koreans are doing something other than pop or because someone hired Black people again.
Now of course, I’m white, and because I’m older and grew up in a racist part of the country, I can be a little paranoid. But the Keep Blacks Out of K-Pop crowd certainly does exist, and of course there’s the fine old assy tradition of classifying behavior by a group you don’t like as “problematic” in hopes of generating scandal. In my opinion, someone complaining about “dreads” when no dreads are to be seen is a person who deserves to have a little suspicion cast their way.