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Jessica Simpson spent her 35th birthday Friday kicking back and relaxing with family and friends on a two week-vacation in St. Barts. But it wasn't all cocktails and bikinis.
Among the Instagram shots she shared was a black-and-white one of her in a feathery headdress that angered some of her followers. "Native American traditions are not fashion statements," one posted. "My culture is not your costume," wrote another. Then there were comments that people were just being too sensitive about the subject. It got kind of ugly.
Simpson wasn't the only one who sported the controversial look over the weekend. On Sunday, British singer Susan Boyle wore a similar headdress as she attended the T In The Park music festival in Perthshire, Scotland.
Both women must have missed Pharrell's fiasco last summer, when he was photographed for the July 2014 cover of Elle U.K. wearing a headdress. The "Happy" singer's photo shoot spurred a hashtag of #nothappy on Twitter, and he eventually apologized. "I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture," he said. "I am genuinely sorry."
That same month, Khloé Kardashian posed for Instagram photos wearing a headdress of her own at her niece North West's first birthday party where the theme was Kidchella, inspired by the Coachella music festival. She did not apologize.
However, actress Michelle Williams issued an apology in 2013 after she was blasted for wearing dark braids and a feather in her hair in an attempt to dress as a Native American for the cover of AnOther magazine in 2013. So did No Doubt, whose November 2012 video for "Looking Hot" featured an Old West theme, which did not go over well with the Native American community. The band pulled the video and apologized to anyone offended.
Dennis Zotigh, a cultural specialist with the National Museum of the American Indian, explained in an interview with MTV last year why not just anyone — celebrity or not — should wear traditional Native American garb.
"In Native cultures, both feathers and face paint are earned through actions and deeds that bring honor to both tribes and nations," he said. "Individuals [outside the community] who wear feathers or face paint were not given the rights or permissions to wear them. This is analogous to casually wearing a purple heart or medal of honor that was not earned."
Hear that, celebs?