Pharrell's 'ELLE UK' Cover Features A Headdress, But Is It Offensive?
Oh, Pharrell. You darling little oversized head accessory enthusiast. Why'd you have to go and do this to us? On Pharrell's ELLE UK cover this month, the "Happy" singer is sporting a prepped up version of a drug rug, a plastic pearl strand, and, naturally, a massive Native American headdress. Hm.
I'm pretty sure we've been over this before — like, a ton of times. These feathered headdresses are part of centuries old traditions, not a cool accessory for girls in crop tops at Coachella. Remember when H&M had to pull a headdress from their stores? Or the "Stop Racism" headdresses at Fashion Week?
However, Pharrell has claimed to have Native American heritage before, which, I guess, makes it slightly more okay in a not really sort of way. It's still taking a spiritual statement and turning it into a fashion statement, which is a unsettling no matter who's wearing it.
Judging by the teaser video on elleuk.com, Pharrell's photo shoot is not completely Native American themed (thank goodness.) His signature park ranger hat makes a few appearances, as well as a charming yellow slicker and some seriously cool graphic tees. Not sure why they went with the headdress on the cover when there were so many less controversial options from the shoot. At least they realized what an awesome hashtag this cover star provided the mag — the #PharrELLE issue hits stands on June 5. Hopefully there will be some sort of explanation for the questionable choice in the interview.
UPDATE: Pharrell has issued an apology for the cover, saying, “I respect and honor every kind of race, background and culture.”