Earlier this week, the hugely popular male beauty vlogger Patrick Starrr, who most recently filmed a makeup tutorial with Kim Kardashian West, decided that he wanted to use his makeup and fashion expertise to recreate Solange’s iconic wedding look.
So he slipped into a low-cut white pantsuit with a cape à la Solange, put on some bling and topped the look off with an afro wig. And that’s where Starrr ran into a problem.
While many fans fully appreciated the look when he posted it on Monday...
...others found issue with the fact that Starrr, who is Filipino, was emulating a black woman and her natural hair.
To many, it was appropriation, adding Starrr’s name to the many celebrities who have been accused of borrowing parts of a culture that isn’t their own for fashion or beauty’s sake. Often these accusations are made by internet personalities that could be known as the appropriation police. Ironically, just last week Starrr did a makeup tutorial with Kim Kardashian West, who is infamous for appropriating black culture.
Starrr responded quickly just hours later on Twitter. “I want to apologize for offending anyone with my hairstyle last night,” Starrr wrote. “I wanted to celebrate a beautiful hairstyle inspired by Solange.”
“I am not in any way claiming to be black,” he continued. “I am Filipino and accepting and I hope we can all celebrate beauty/diversity all together.”
Apologies for problematic behavior aren’t rare in the male beauty world, unfortunately. Jeffree Starr, for example, has been accused multiple times of racism and making violent statements about black women, and it took him a full year to apologize in a form other than a tweet. Then there’s James Charles of CoverGirl fame, who tweeted a racist remark about getting Ebola when traveling to Africa. He too apologized.
But we have to say that compared to those other men, Starrr managed to apologize swiftly and earnestly to this criticism, recognizing the gap between his intentions and how some received it.
Mic has reached out to Starrr’s people for further comment.