Stray Kids leader Bang Chan is under fire for donning a hairstyle that many fans were not happy to see.
He was seen at on the 18th of April, 2019 with his blonde hair in cornrows and wrapped in a bandana.
For many fans, this is something they will choose to ignore. For others, however, this is something they will not take lightly.
For those that say that this is a problem, this is their reasoning: In African and African-American cultures, cornrows, afros, dreads, and other similar hairstyles have a lengthy and complicated history. Sometimes, this history collides with racism and hate, seeing that people have been repeatedly discriminated against for decades just because they used these hairstyles. That is why when people from other races wear cornrows, afros, and dreads, it’s not “just a hairstyle”. They’re using an aspect of someone else’s culture for clout and profit, without knowing or willfully ignoring the rich and tumultuous history behind it.
In the past Bang Chan has been proven to be aware and respectful of other races and cultures, which is why this comes as a shock to so many fans. They quickly jumped to his aid, claiming that it was the fault of the stylist for choosing such a racially insensitive hairstyle. There are rumors that he asked the stylists for that specific hairstyle, but the source is unknown. Other stays claim that he is too young to know all the rules, and that he needs time to get himself educated and learn from his mistakes.
Many say that this incident is just one of many on the seemingly never-ending path of cultural appropriation. It is a major issue in the k-pop industry but has time and time again been brushed over and forgotten in a matter of days.