Jack Harlow is what’s poppin’ on social media recently. Still, the reactions are mixed as Twitter tries to decipher whether the rapper is rightfully receiving heat for his recent appearance at a Louisville City FC game in Kentucky over the weekend, where he was spotted sporting a black, satin bonnet.
He raised eyebrows over photos that surfaced from the soccer game where Harlow posed with fans wearing reflective shades, a black tee and the matching hair covering to top it off.
While the hitmaker’s hair care is up to him, and no harm comes from protecting your curls, the disapproval Harlow is getting derives from the question of whether or not the 25-year-old white artist is guilty of cultural appropriation.
It’s no secret that there’s been plenty of friction between the fine line walked by many between showing appreciation for Black culture and just plain appropriating it. Online debates are quickly swept up by this issue, which extends to Black slang, clothing, hairstyles and even hair care items such as durags and bonnets.
There are cultural ties behind something seemingly as simple as the bonnet, which serves a functional purpose in Black communities but sees public condemnation when Black women wear them out in the real world. Similarly, you don’t hear nearly as much flack concerning Black men who wear durags (which serve the same purpose).
Thus, despite not necessarily being considered a style statement, seeing a white man like Harlow wear an item that doesn’t hold the same significance in his own culture, yet represents a double standard seemingly only applied to Black women, is cause for some discourse.
Especially as you could argue, bonnets symbolize Black culture and are integral to Black hair care. Whereas Black women get called disheveled and “ghetto” for wearing a bonnet in public, Harlow does so freely without the same ridicule.
Harlow has yet to comment on the internet’s backlash around his bonnet, but the mixed feedback has been swift and loud as fans react to the sensitive, controversial topic.
Y’all, why am I seeing Jack Harlow with a bonnet on?????” one person questioned.
“If I see a bunch of white kids walking around with bonnets on, Jack Harlow will have to answer for his crimes,” one user tweeted.
“They’re mad because if a Black woman does this, she’s called ghetto for it, but Jack, a white man, is getting none of that same smoke,” another Twitter user explained.
they’re mad because if a black woman does this she’s called ghetto for it but jack, a white man, is getting none of that same smoke
— Lou Rob (@official_lourob) June 12, 2023
“Why y’all not calling Jack Harlow ‘ghetto’ and ‘unclassy’ for wearing that bonnet?” another commented.
why y’all not calling jack harlow ghetto and unclassy l for wearing that bonnet?
— ♰ (@Dulenciaga) June 12, 2023
“Interestingly enough, no one is saying he’s ghetto or looks a mess but let it be a Black woman… the jokes write themselves…” another user wrote.
Furthermore, he has every right to sport the bonnet as anyone else. The only reason he’s getting some heat from this debate is due to the free pass a white man like him gets for wearing an item Black women are judged for on the regular.