YouTuber Apologises After She’s Accused Of Cultural Appropriation For Wearing Braids
A YouTuber has been forced to apologise after she was accused of cultural appropriation for wearing braids.
Aussie influencer Sarah Stevenson was promoting her new activewear range with White Fox Boutique when she came across some criticism for the way she had styled her hair.
The fitness model wore her hair in long blue braids in the promotional shots, which some people have branded as cultural appropriation.
‘I’ve always loved you and your channel and still watch every one of your videos, but I’m disappointed to see this use of cultural appropriation in your latest collaboration,’ one follower commented.
Might be ‘just a hairstyle’ to some, but to many of us black women it is what keeps us out of getting jobs, and what we are constantly discriminated against for.
A third suggested Sarah should ‘take the criticism’ and ‘acknowledge [her] mistakes’, adding ‘you have a huge platform and you can’t seriously be this culturally unaware’.
And, it seems as though the influencer has done exactly that as she has since issued an apology admitting it was a mistake to wear her hair in braids in the promotional pictures.
‘With a new activewear campaign centred around confidence, strength, embracing and loving our bodies, I’m absolutely heartbroken some people and communities are feeling the exact opposite right now. I am so sorry and I want to make it right,’ she wrote.
Attempting to explain her actions, Sarah said in the first campaign she wore four braids, adding that the idea for her new campaign was to take inspiration from all her previous campaigns ‘but elevate it’.
‘I created a mood board which was full of festival hairstyles including colour, length and braids. We selected various elements of our past activewear campaigns to show the evolution of my life and fitness since becoming pregnant etc,’ she wrote.
It genuinely breaks my heart that I could ever offend anyone, particularly surrounding a project that was based on feeling empowered, embracing our differences and feeling confident in our own skin. I was so excited for you to see this campaign we all worked so hard on, however, not at the expense of offending anyone.
Now, the influencer has admitted that although she doesn’t know a great deal about cultural appropriation, she’s trying to learn about what is and isn’t acceptable.
‘I’m still doing my best to understand and be aware. This uncertainty and sadness in my heart has led me to pull the campaign. I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That was never my intention. I want EVERYONE to feel empowered, valued and confident,’ she wrote, adding, ‘please know that I love you all and I’m doing my best at being respectful of everyone’s opinion.’
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