Vanessa Hudgens found herself on the receiving end of a barrage of social media criticism on Monday after some users accused the actress of appropriating Native American culture in a photograph she posted online.
The 26-year-old High School Musical star posted a photo of herself to Instagram earlier this week in which she wears a dreamcatcher in her hair.
“Chin up, Princess… Or the crown slips,” she captioned the photo.
The reaction from her progressive followers on social media was swift and relentless.
“F*ck you Vanessa Hudgens for cultural appropriation,” one user wrote in the comments on the actress’ photo.
“This is not the first time she has done this either,” wrote another poster. “Even though she is part Native American using a dreamcatcher as ‘hair jewelry’ is not done. If someone can tell me a tribe who does it I will take it back. But until then she is constantly pulling this type of stuff with multiple cultures and I don’t like it.”
Still, some commenters claiming Native American heritage didn’t seem to have a problem with the accessory.
“I dont understand how this is ‘Racist’ or ‘Cultural Appropriation’ Whatsoever,” one user wrote. “I’m cherokee indian and I think this is absolutely stunning! I love wearing dream catchers in my hair for festivals and to also show how creative and beautiful the native american accessories are. To be honest people need to stop using ‘cultural appropriation’ as an excuse to be f*cking offended by everything its super f*cking annoying and a little bit irritating. People need to start using the cultural appropriation for the right reasons and not for ridiculous reasons… I think Vanessa looks amazing!”
For her part, Hudgens didn’t seem to be bothered by the criticism. The photo is still up on her account, and she posted another one a short time later wearing the same dreamcatcher.
Hudgens is just the latest celebrity to be accused of cultural appropriation. On Sunday night, pop star Justin Timberlake was torched on Twitter for saying he was “inspired” by Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams’ acceptance speech at the BET Awards. Critics accused the pop star of stealing inspiration from black artists.
Timberlake later apologized for his tweets.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum