Miley Cyrus' Dreads Bring Cultural Appropriation Moment to 2015 MTV VMAs Red Carpet

Miley Cyrus' Dreads Bring Cultural Appropriation Moment to 2015 MTV VMAs Red Carpet
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Miley Cyrus was going to have all eyes on her no matter what she wore to the MTV Video Music Awards. But her get-up for Sunday night's 2015 VMAs, which she's hosting, involved a ponytail full of blonde dreadlocks.


Source: Giphy
And from the back...
Source: 
Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, not everyone was a fan — including the many who called out Cyrus for cultural appropriation in wearing a traditionally black hairstyle.

As some on Twitter were quick to point out, Miley's "appropriating moment" may be even more objectionable considering her recent comments about Nicki Minaj.

In an interview with the New York Times, Cyrus critiqued Minaj's Twitter "rant" from July saying, "If you want to make it about race, there's a way you could do that. But don't make it just about yourself. Say: 'This is the reason why I think it's important to be nominated. There's girls everywhere with this body type.'"

While Cyrus seemed to critique Minaj for the sin of self-centeredness rather than for talking about race, her words rang insensitive for many — and her past style choices don't help. 

Miley also sported dreads during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week, and she spent nearly all of 2013 facing criticism for her gold grills, twerking dance moves and overall "ratchet" style seemingly cribbed entirely from black culture. 

Cyrus might not have intended any harm with her dreads, but as far as celebrity offenses go, trying on other cultures' hairstyles tends to be a risky one. Kylie Jenner was recently slammed for her dreadlocks, with Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg explaining why in a pointed message:

"when u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter."

We have a feeling some would say the same of Miley.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Ellie Krupnick

Ellie is Mic's editorial director of lifestyle. A former style and fashion editor for The Huffington Post, her writing has also appeared in Women's Wear Daily, HarpersBazaar.com and the Twitter feeds of British royal fans everywhere.

MORE FROM

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

‘Hot Mic’ podcast: Democratic brand, WH Communications Director, Jared Kushner to be questioned

Here are the important stories to know for Monday, July 24

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

‘Hot Mic’ podcast: Democratic brand, WH Communications Director, Jared Kushner to be questioned

Here are the important stories to know for Monday, July 24