Fans of Cruel Intentions actress Selma Blair are coming to her defense after she was criticized for her choice of head gear in a new Instagram photo.
Blair, 46, revealed in October 2018 that she’d been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, and she’s been exceptionally open about her struggle with the disease, including its treatment and effects, such as hair loss. She recently spent time with outspoken film producer and director Rachel Fleit, who’s dealt with alopecia since she was an infant.
Blair captioned the snapshot they posted Tuesday on their respective social media pages, “one answer to your bad hair days or NO hair days. #alopecia … wraps!” She noted two other women in pop culture history known for wearing stylish toppers: the late Edie Beale and Norma Desmond, the main character in the movie Sunset Boulevard.
Over on Fleit’s Instagram page, she referred to their time together as a “Turban Tutorial.”
The image didn’t sit well with everyone, though.
“Has she not seen all the backlash with ‘cultural appropriation’? I mean…,” one commenter said.
Another pleaded, “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.”
“I have alopecia and would love to wear a turban.. they are so beautiful but I’ve been told that since I’m white and non-religious it would be culturally inappropriate :(,” someone else commented.
Blair had many defenders, too, who scolded others for thinking the actress was disrespecting cultures in which women cover their heads for various reasons.
“First of all, Orthodox Jewish women wear something similar every day! We call it a tichel! They've been covering their hair out of modesty in this manner for over 3,000 years! As Selma is a Jewish woman, this isn't ‘cultural appropriation’ at all but a long standing tradition of her people. What I find so ludicrous is the same people screaming about cultural appropriation are the ones who demand multiculturalism yet want none of it to rub off! Do you have a problem with either a Sikh or Hindu woman wearing jeans? Or is cultural appropriation somehow entirely unidirectional or even strictly based on one's melanin or lack thereof? It’s ridiculous!”
“I’m here for all the white people who are experts on cultural appropriation lolololol.”
“I think @selmablair was just expressing her love for those with alopecia and her appreciation for the beauty of turbans. I truly don’t think she ever meant to be culturally insensitive. Looking great girl! Keep spreading the love!”
Blair apparently wasn’t fazed by the backlash.
Seven hours after sharing the original photo, she posted several images of women of various backgrounds wearing similar looks via Instagram Stories.
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