Actress Selma Blair is taking an online beating from some observers who said a photo of her wearing a head wrap is “cultural appropriation.”
The 46-year-old — who’s appeared numerous movies, including “Cruel Intentions” and “Legally Blonde” — posted an
Instagram photo of herself this week with filmmaker Rachel Fleit, who’s known for embracing her hair loss and baldness caused by alopecia, People reported.
Both were wearing head wraps.
She followed up that post with another photo of herself, this time accompanied by her 7½-year-old son — and both were wearing head wraps.
Some commenters blasted Blair for wearing the head wrap, People said:
- “This is not brilliant and is not cool. White people have scorned Sikhs for hundreds of years, and now we wanna appropriate and make it trendy? No. Just no. We don’t get to do this.”
- “Cultural appropriation. How can one wear that when the religious people who actually wear it gets so much ridicule.”
- “You are so wonderful and I know you mean no harm, but this is serious cultural appropriation. I’d be happy to have a private conversation about how this is hurtful to Sikhs if you’re open to it.”
How did Blair respond?
Unlike other celebrities who’ve caved to pressure from online trolls, Blair didn’t back down.
“This is not at all a Sikh turban or imitating one,” she said in one comment, the magazine reported. “And funnily enough, Sikhs absorb negativity, diffuse it. Tolerance. So none of these comments hurt. They may be not knowing what they write. A head wrap can be useful and beautiful in all cultures.”
Blair added a few other salvos to cool off the mob, People noted:
- “Covering one’s head is not appropriating anything but warmth and a wig alternative.”
- “Scarves have been worn by all colors for ages. Relax. What do you want a woman with no hair to wear? Just an itchy wig? Why not tie your own scarf and bejewel it. I think it’s a pretty alternative.”
- “This is a scarf. A turban. Not a ritualized religious statement. I will keep on doing what I want to do in this case.”
Multiple sclerosis struggles
It could be argued that such acrimony is minor for the actress, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last year.
Blair offered an Instagram
post in early May that described her struggles with the side effects of MS.
“Here’s a truth,” she wrote. “I feel sick as all hell. I am vomiting and all the things which are not polite to speak of. My son ran away. From me. I have to get him to school. The medical treatments take their toll. I am going to get through this. We do. This will pass.”
And she shared the following in March:
Blair told People for its 2019 Beautiful Issue that she’s glad to be simply living.
“Life is hard, and living with a chronic illness is hard,” she told the magazine. “There are things I can’t do at the moment, but things like all these [facial] lines are a luxury because it means I’m still alive and enjoying it.”