Adele Shared a Photo of Her Wearing Bantu Knots With a Jamaican Flag Bikini Top, and the Internet Lost It

Hardly anything in the year 2020 seems strange anymore. Then something new happens, like a photo that singer Adele posted to Instagram that found its way around the internet on Sunday. The strangeness of it had her followers questioning not just the attire, but the singer herself.

Adele is shown wearing bantu knots in her hair and a Jamaican flag bikini top, and her post read, "Happy what would be Notting Hill Carnival my beloved London." Her post was followed by emoji flags of both Great Britain and Jamaica.

The Notting Hill Carnival is a popular annual event that's significant in Black British culture, and it takes place during the Sunday and Monday of the country's August Bank Holiday weekend. The carnival that began in 1966 has taken on a Caribbean flavor since 1976, but it was canceled this year because of COVID-19.

Because of its cancelation, many people have celebrated virtually—or online—in their own ways. This is where the famous British singer made her virtual mark.

First, she wore bantu knots in her hair, but what are they? It's a traditional African hairstyle that's been around more than a century, according to The term "Bantu" itself is a term that collectively describes hundreds of African tribes that spoke the "Bantu" language, but it doesn't refer to any one homogenous group of people.

Though the hairstyle that's sometimes called "twisted mini buns" was popular among African women, it also became popular among Black women all over the world. And recently, non-Black celebrities and models have worn the hairstyle, even drawing criticism for doing so.

The Jamaican flag bikini top worn by Adele was an obvious nod to the Caribbean country and culture.

Adele performs at The Gabba on March 4, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. Photo by Glenn Hunt/Getty Images)

Her photo had Twitter, Instagram and other outlets on fire Sunday night.

Frederick Joseph, author of "The Black Friend," said people have seen enough this year already.

“Black people have been through enough in 2020.”


— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) August 30, 2020

Adele went from “Hello” to “Wah gwan”

— Toonami Park (@1993ParkAve) August 30, 2020

Ernest Owens, an author who has more than 20,000 followers on Twitter, said "This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic."

If 2020 couldn't get anymore bizarre, Adele is giving us Bantu knots and cultural appropriation that nobody asked for.

This officially marks all of the top white women in pop as problematic.

Hate to see it.

— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) August 30, 2020

Adele’s hair after taking out the Bantu knots

— deka 🧞‍♀️ (@dekaliketen) August 30, 2020

Adele’s next music

— Jameson (@OnlyFans____) August 30, 2020

Adele out here looking like the tombliboos from in the night garden 😭😭😭😭

— Aych (@Aychceo) August 30, 2020

Adele is from the Tottenham district of London. She has three studio albums: 19, 21 and 25, and a live album. She told friends at a wedding this year that a fourth studio album that would be released in September 2020, but that has since changed because of COVID-19.

Adele has many popular songs, including:

Rolling in the Deep
Someone Like You
Set Fire to the Rain
Rumor Has It
Send My Love
When We Were Young

Correction 8/31/20: This article was updated to correct the spelling of Tottenham.

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to
  • Ad free experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts