Pharrell Williams has been attacked by hordes of angry social media users who believe Pharrell’s latest photo shoot for the UK edition of Elle magazine is ‘disrespectful’ and ‘racist’ towards Native Americans.
Why has Pharrell been targeted for so much hate you may ask? Well, because Williams, or his team of enthusiastic stylists, thought it would be a great idea for Pharrell to sport a traditional Native American feathered headdress for the July edition of Elle.
In a move that at best could be described as “ill-advised,” or at worst, an “epic fail,” Pharrell appeared to think that it would be a great idea to appropriate an item that is sacred towards Native Americans and use it to look cool in on the cover of a glossy magazine.
The feathered headdress, or war bonnet, was traditionally worn by Native American chiefs and warriors of renown who received individual feathers for heroic deeds.
Nowadays it appears they’re worn by image-conscious celebrities in a bid to shift product.
Pharrell can be seen on the cover of Elle magazine, staring solemnly into the distance and wearing a headdress with an awful lot of feathers in it.
A mere hours after Pharrell’s feathered headdress shot had been seen by the Great British public, both Pharrell’s and Elle UK’s Facebook pages were attacked.
Cleverly sharing the hashtag #nothappy in reference to Pharrell Williams’ smash tune “Happy,” users were eager to vent their spleen and share their displeasure at Pharrell’s peculiar choice of headgear.
One furious user snapped at Pharrell:”Are you kidding me? This is the most disturbing overtly racist, disrespectful cooptation of a cultural object.”
Another felt it necessary to warn that dressing Pharrell up in such a manner was a: “Bad move Elle... very disrespectful, he has no business wearing that.”
Another disgruntled member of the public advised Pharrell to: “Please stop your stylists from exploiting native culture on photo shoots. You should know better.”
Others appeared to have a degree of pity for Pharrell’s plight and felt Williams’s ill-informed choice of headgear was less to do with the blind vanity of a celebrity and more to do with the complete ignorance of another peoples’ culture.
Facebook user, Ruth Rose, kindly explained to Pharrell: “The headdress is sacred, it was worn by those who were revered and chosen to lead the people. It’s not meant to be a fancy headdress for trendsetting.”
Eric Garcia wrote: “The war bonnet is equivalent to the Medal of Honor,” then asking Pharrell “Would you appreciate it if a foreign nation had photos of people with that medal on?”
What do you think? Is Pharrell wearing the headdress as a celebration of Native American culture or is it just an ill-advised fashion statement?