BLACKPINK's Lisa has been in the news for the last few weeks, following the release of her new album, "Lalisa." This time though, the teaser for her latest single, "Money", has her under fire for a different reason - cultural appropriation.
An exclusive performance of "Money" is scheduled to premiere on September 23, 12 a.m KST. Prior to the premiere, the singer had released a poster announcing the news on her Instagram story and BLACKPINK's official Twitter account. While fans are excited to hear her new single, the choice of hairstyle has received less than savory comments from BLACKPINK fans.
Lisa's alleged cultural appropriation in the "Money" teaser
In the performance poster, which was released on September 19, the BLACKPINK member can be seen sporting what appear to be box braids.
The hairstyle, which is considered an integral part of black culture and identity, is being seen by many as cultural appropriation. Although braiding has been an intrinsic part of several Asian cultures, this particular style of braiding is generally considered to stem from black culture. Fans of the BLACKPINK artist, especially those with African roots, are reportedly upset by the choice of hairstyle.
The debate between cultural appropriation and appreciation has been a long-standing one, in K-pop communities and beyond.
Wikipedia defines cultural appropriation as:
"The unacknowledged or inappropriate adoption of an element or elements of one culture or identity by members of another culture or identity"
In Lisa's case, some of her fans believe that since the k-pop artist is not black, she has no right to use that hairstyle without acknowledging it.
Several fans are defending the hairstyle choice on the other side of the debate. According to them, the braids sported by Lisa are a part of Thailand's past, and given her Thai identity cannot be labelled as cultural appropriation. Some supporters have identified the braids as "Phom Pia," which literally translates to hair braids.
Ironically, some social media users have claimed, the "Phom Pia" itself had been introduced in Thailand by Jamaicans, way back in the 18th century, which once again boils everything down to black culture.
This is not the first time the BLACKPINK rapper has been accused of cultural appropriation. In her 2020 release 'Lili's Film #4', she received a lot of flack for allegedly wearing a do-rag, a typically black hair accessory.
BLACKPINK, the band too, is no stranger to such accusations. Their "How You Like That" music video has ruffled a few Indian fans' feathers due to the usage of a statue of the Hindu god Ganesha as a setpiece.
In other news, Lisa surpassed Taylor Swift and became the artist with the highest number of views on a music video within 24 hours.