Madonna has been blasted for cultural appropriation over her birthday outfit
In case you haven't heard, Madonna turned the big 6-0 last week. The Like A Prayer singer celebrated with her family and friends abroad, choosing the Moroccan holiday hotspot of Marrakech to throw a very, very elaborate looking party. She Instagrammed the occasion with as much gusto as you can imagine, and you bet that included a lot of selfies.
However, the singer has attracted quite a lot of backlash because of her choice of outfit. Madonna wore a hot pink Gucci dress, which she attempted to style to match the venue - by accessorising with a traditional Moroccan jewellery including a headdress and coin belt, presumably bought from local vendors.
She included the #berber hashtag to reference the indigenous ethnic group of North Africa (alternatively known as Amazighs) to whom the traditional ornaments belong. But even though she probably wasn't intending to offend anyone, the singer was still slammed for cultural appropriation.
One person wrote: "So madonna is referring herself as a ' berber queen' ? the Disrespect".
While another pointed out: "Not sure how she’s celebrating 'Berber Culture' (the native people of Morocco are called Amazigh) by playing dress up and locking herself up in one of Marrakech’s most expensive boutique hotels that no 'Berber' can actually afford to celebrate in, but OKAY."
It seems most people took issue with Madonna's terminology, aside from the fact that she was incorporating someone else's traditional dress into her birthday ~lewk~.
Someone wrote: "I’m glad madonna is showcasing berber culture (minus the appropriation) but... note: when non-berber—white people—use the term “berber,” it’s a slur.. we’re 'Amazigh' or 'Imazighen.' Sure, you may hear or see us say 'berber,' but that’s because we are reclaiming the term."
Another reiterated this, saying: "we CALL OURselves Imazighen, berber was a name GIVEN to us by the ancient greco-roman civilizations".
Madonna hasn't yet apologised or responded to the cultural appropriation claims. However, she's known for her bold looks and outfits that cause a bit of controversy. In fact, she's previously said that she likes to be inspired by different cultures. Whether that's really okay or not is another question, but it hasn't stopped her in the past.
Attracting a similar reaction to her latest look, Madonna was slammed for wearing a blue sari to the 1998 VH1 awards.
Then there was the time she dressed as Marie Antoinette when she performed Vogue at the 1990s MTV Awards, flashing her era-accurate undergarments to guests. And yes, there appears to be a man under her skirt in this pic...
On another occasion, she channelled "milkmaid" to promote her the release of her book titled SEX.
With Michael Jackson on her arm, Madonna unashamedly stole Marylin Monroe's look at the 1991 Oscars.
And do we even need to mention all the cone bras?
Well, a bit of bad press hasn't stopped her from wearing controversial outfits in the past, so why should it at age 60!