Written by Tiara Shae
Pharrell has the internet riled up yet again for his head piece used on the cover of Elle UK. The July Collector’s Edition includes a very candid interview with the “Happy” man. The cover features a stunning Pharrell Williams sporting a gorgeous headdress, gazing off in to the distance. Of course, the head piece included on the cover has social media in an uproar.
In the latest issue of Elle featuring the legendary musician, Pharrell shares how his wife, Helen, motivates him when it comes to creating, shares that the conversation head piece he wears by Westwood first made its debut 5 years prior to the Grammy’s, and expresses his appreciation for his fans. Pharrell tells Elle UK “The value of your fans who ultimately hold you high and lift you up. We’re just hang gliders, dude, and they are carrying us around.”
Now, back to the headdress. A hashtag was created to display the anger towards the image of Pharrell wearing the Pan-Indian inspired headdress, #NotHappy. Angry tweeters featured on Huffington Post expressed how the head piece is not his “mascot” and stating that the headdress is “not a costume or a hat”. It is surely understood why the image would rub some viewers the wrong way, but is it so disrespectful to the point that the motivational and inspiring artist had to receive so much backlash?
The headdress is a symbol for bravery and achievement. It was mostly worn by Indian warriors and leaders that conquered and performed brave acts. Although there are no words that can be said to make the gesture appropriate, let’s think about the man wearing the garment. Pharrell is a very influential and respectable black man. He appreciates all cultures and is an advocate of equality and self-expression. Pharrell wore the garment to showcase its powerful meaning, not to commercialize it. He’s a bright mind, a philanthropist, and a teacher. He’s not a half-naked model strutting down the runway with it on because it looks “cute”. He was not in any way making a mockery of the symbolic head piece. If anyone were to receive extreme backlash for any discriminative gestures, Pharrell would be far from the top of the list. Pharrell released an apology statement yesterday stating to the Daily News: “”I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture. I am genuinely sorry,”.
Well, at least he wore the headdress tastefully and not embarrassing the culture. At least he doesn’t have old videos of himself making racist comments trickling their way out into the universe.
Are you upset by the photo?