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BLACKPINK's Lisa under fire for alleged cultural appropriation in 'Money'

BLACKPINK's Lisa recently came under fire for allegedly appropriating black culture. (Image via @lalalalisa_m, Instagram)
BLACKPINK's Lisa recently came under fire for allegedly appropriating black culture. (Image via @lalalalisa_m, Instagram)
Tuba Waqar
ANALYST

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.

Lisa wants to be black so bad... girl never learns 💀💀 queen of CA

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.

AGAIN!?! I was rooting for her.. also if ur not black you have no right to speak abt Lisa bc this is CA https://t.co/wflDj2kjVQ
as much as i love lisa i’m so tired of her for always doing ca. i really want her to be educated and learn from her mistakes and i want her to apologize to the black community because that apology is long overdue
Lisa’s hair is still CA you guys. It’s not box braids exactly but it’s still BRAIDS. They used braiding hair to blend with her hair. I am black. I’m not debating with nobody.
Now…I have seen the excuse that it’s not CA or it’s Thai braids. Lisa does have a say in how her hair is styled. It just rubs me the wrong way that this is a “hip-hop” song to say the least, with her blaccent (controversial) she puts on and the aave (also controversial) used. https://t.co/LYi8FJ5zZL
they gotta stop giving lisa tacky braids and they gotta stop trying to give her a hairstyle that is as close to box braids as possible without it being ca because it just looks bad.
y’all see one “black” blink say lisa’s braids aren’t ca and run with it https://t.co/9tTM19gz02
@24Liligirl Here this is CA and Lisa wearing braids to give off a "cool" or "edgy" look just to take them out after 2 days isn't it like when black people get shamed for wearing them while she gets praised for looking "cool" this is why non black people aren't allowed to wear braids https://t.co/sLlhMAOPpG

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.

Honestly Lisa hair is Thai braids. Can y’all stop screaming ca every time you see someone with braids? Other cultures have worn braided hair. Y’all just use this opportunity for your stupid fanwars.
A certain Fandom was talking about CA & Thailand prime minister appreciating Lisa Showing and presenting Thai culture in the whole world ✨ We love to see it
@sopiyagrc @BLACKPINK The ist thing I thought is lisa getting hated again for this. I want to know what she thinks about it she had a pic w her dad when she was little w thai braids. She grew up w it. Some1 PLEASE ask her about it on her next online fan sign I beg you! & if she knows about CA! https://t.co/8T1SfGtlkg

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.

And apparently box braids like the ones worn by Lisa were introduced in Thailand in a really popular Bangkok market by Jamaicans, along with other black hairstyles, the ones korean call ignorantly "reggae" hair, everything just bring us to BLACK FOLKS.

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.

Edited by Danyal Arabi
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