Actress Selma Blair slammed accusations that she culturally appropriated Sikhism after posting two photographs on Instagram of herself wearing a head wrap.
The Legally Blonde actress first sported the wrap in a photo with filmmaker Rachel Fleit, who suffers from alopecia.
“We have one answer to your bad hair days or NO hair days. #alopecia @rachelfleit … wraps! (oh, it’s been around for thousands of years…)” Blair wrote in the caption.
Blair also wore the wrap in a photo with her seven-year-old son Arthur.
“See. It’s a thing. of love. And warmth. #arthursaintbleick #shineon,” she captioned it.
However, the wrap triggered her progressive fanbase, some of whom accused the actress of culturally appropriating Sikh culture.
“This is not brilliant and is not cool,” one user wrote. “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,” added another. “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,” said a third commenter. “I’d be happy to have a private conversation about how this is hurtful to Sikhs if you’re open to it.”
“This is not at all a Sikh turban or imitating one,” Blair responded. “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.”
“Scarves have been worn by all colors for ages,” she continued. “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.”
The actress, who has also starred in Hellboy and The Sweetest Thing, announced last October she was suffering from multiple sclerosis, a chronic central nervous system disease that causes symptoms including fatigue, pain and coordination problems. In February, she revealed that she felt “relief” on hearing the diagnosis after years of intolerable symptoms.
“Ever since my son was born I was in an MS flare-up and didn’t know, and I was giving it everything to seem normal,” she said at the time. “I was ashamed and I was doing the best I could … so when I got the diagnosis, I cried with some relief.”