Rihanna's Savage X Fenty show criticized for non-Black women Vanessa Hudgens, Emily Ratajkowski wearing braids


Rihanna is being called out on social media for letting certain stars who are not Black women sport braids at her third Savage x Fenty fashion show. 

The event dropped on Amazon on Friday and was largely praised online for its celebration and wardrobe meant for all kinds of bodies, big and small. However, some of the body positivity was eclipsed for some when they noticed that celebrities like Vanessa Hudgens and Emily Ratajkowski were styled with braids, which many deemed a look that is exclusive for Black people and thus accused the show of appropriating Black culture. 

It didn’t take long before many viewers took to social media to call Rihanna and the show out for its use of braids.

“rihanna has white mfs in braids for the savage x fenty show…” one user wrote.

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“why did rihanna let vanessa hudgens and emily ratajkowski wear braids in the fenty show,” another wrote.

“Now why the hell did Rihanna have white dancers in braids on the fenty x savage show…” a third user noted.

“lmao rihanna putting vanessa hudgens and emrata in braids is unsurprising at this point. no further comments,” another user wrote.

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“did rihanna really chose/approved these yt girls wearing braids and cornrows… like wtf… suddenly the billions blinded her?” someone else wrote.

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In this image released on September 23, Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Poarch are seen during Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 presented by Amazon Prime Video at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, California; and broadcast on September 24, 2021. 

In this image released on September 23, Emily Ratajkowski and Bella Poarch are seen during Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 presented by Amazon Prime Video at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, California; and broadcast on September 24, 2021. 
(Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 Presented by Amazon Prime Video)

The two women are hardly the first to be accused of cultural appropriation for styling themselves in braids. Both Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner have been called out over cultural appropriation in the past for going to public events while sporting braids. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber was mocked earlier this year when he debuted that he’d styled his hair into dreadlocks, which his critics also said was an appropriation of Black culture.

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 23: (L-R) In this image released on September 23, Chavez Barrientes and Vanessa Hudgens are seen during Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 presented by Amazon Prime Video at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, California; and broadcast on September 24, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 Presented by Amazon Prime Video)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 23: (L-R) In this image released on September 23, Chavez Barrientes and Vanessa Hudgens are seen during Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 presented by Amazon Prime Video at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles, California; and broadcast on September 24, 2021. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 Presented by Amazon Prime Video)
(Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 3 Presented by Amazon Prime Video)

Other stars such as Gwen Stefani, Kendal Jenner, Michael Che and Hilaria Baldwin have also dodged allegations of cultural appropriation in various forms in the past as well.



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