Stray Kids’ Bang Chan Under Fire For Racially Insensitive Hairstyle

Fans are pissed.

Stray Kids‘s Bang Chan was spotted with a new hairstyle and no one was happy about it. His blond hair was cornrowed back and finished off with a bandanna. But, the cornrows were what rubbed everyone the wrong way.

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Fans were quick to defend Bang Chan, claiming that his stylist was responsible for the poor choice in hairstyle.

Bang Chan has showed in the past that he’s respectful of other cultures, so it’s totally possible that he wouldn’t have allowed such a faux-pas if he’d known about it.

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Bang Chan’s cornrows are the latest example of a long-standing issue in the K-Pop industry: cultural appropriation. The history of braids, cornrows, and dreads in African (particularly African-American) culture is a long and complicated one, and one that often intersects with racial discrimination. Among other things, what makes this more than “just a hairstyle” is the fact that people of African descent continue to be discriminated against for donning hairstyles like cornrows while people from the dominant culture (e.g. white Americans, or in this case Koreans) are considered cool or edgy when they do it and can profit from this image. And this is why so many fans are upset.

Many fans have decided that the best thing for Bang Chan to do is to deliver an apology to those he’d hurt and take the incident as a learning experience not only for him but the rest of Stray Kids as well.

Fans are clearly upset by it, but it’s a very important lesson to learn in furthering their success as a global group. And true to his accepting nature, Bang Chan will soon address the issue.

 

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