Actress and activist Selma Blair is taking issue with commenters accusing her of cultural appropriation on social media. The actress, who has been open about her health and diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, posted a photo of herself and two others wearing head wraps on Instagram. In the caption of her photo, Blair explained that wearing the wrap was an alternative solution to hair loss or alopecia, which causes sudden hair loss. After posting the images, the comments began to pile up.
Instagram users began to accuse Blair of cultural appropriation citing traditions within the Sikh culture. Specifically, the use of the head wrap. The custom of wearing a Sikh dastaar, or turban, is mandatory for all Sikh men and women who practice. It’s an article that represents faith and honor.
Users were specific in their comments, some offering to carry on conversations away from the public setting of the app. One user wrote, “You are so wonderful and I know you mean no harm, but this is serious cultural appropriation.” The continued, “I’d be happy to have a private conversation about how this is hurtful to Sikhs if you’re open to it.”
Taking issue with some of the more abrasive comments, Blair wrote, “this is not a ritual Sikh wrap. And I don’t know a Sikh who would mind this example.” The actress continued to comment to users explaining the images. One of the responses she provided read, “Covering one’s head is not appropriating anything but warmth and a wig alternative.”
Blair has been very candid about her health since revealing her diagnosis. Many of her recent health struggles have been caused by multiple sclerosis or are side effects of various treatment options she is undergoing. While hair loss is not a direct effect of MS, studies have suggested there could be a link between treatments and hair thinning.
Just last month, the actress shared a post revealing she was losing her lashes as they began to fall off as a result of side effects. In another post last week, Blair shared a heart wrenching update, saying, “Here’s a truth. 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.”