Friday, February 10, 2017
UK: "Racist" to use a hairstyle popular with blacks?
Bristol University students have been accused of “blacking up” for a fancy dress party after wearing cornrow braids to impersonate fictional characters for the television show Orange is the New Black.
However, the two female undergraduates have defended their outfits, claiming they were dressing up as a “white girl with blonde hair” and were merely wearing heavy facial make–up.
The university has summoned them to a meeting with Professor Nishan Canagarajah, who is chair of Bristol’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group. The theme of the house party, which took place on Friday night, was Teams, Memes and 2016.
They were accused by peers of cultural appropriation, with the student union stating that it is a case of racism. But the students rejected the claims, saying they were dressing up as a white character, named Patricia Miller.
One told student paper The Tab: “I’ve been wanting to get my hair done in braids for a while now… Wearing BB CRÈME, which is not to be confused with foundation is what I always wear on a night out. I find it deeply offensive to be accused of being racist for my hairstyle, make-up and outfit.”