Why is Hailey Bieber being accused of cultural appropriation over her lipstick?

Hailey Bieber
Screengrab via TikTok/Hailey Bieber

Hailey Bieber is facing accusations of cultural appropriation, leaving many wondering why the model and social media influencer — and the wife of pop singer Justin Bieber — has received such backlash.

It all comes back to one of Bieber’s most-used social media platforms, TikTok, where she often shows beauty tips to followers. In one such video that has since gone viral, Bieber uses brown lip liner and clear lip gloss.


the lip combo vibe I’m feeling for fall 😍🤎 @rhode skin

♬ She – Tyler, The Creator

The original caption for the video read: “Ready for all the fall things including brownie glazed lips,” according to ABC News. However, when we checked Bieber’s TikTok, the caption was apparently changed to “the lip combo vibe I’m feeling for fall 😍🤎 @rhode skin.”

It’s also important to note that the cosmetic brand Bieber tagged, Rhode Skin, is a skincare company that is owned by the model herself.

The video has since caused some TikTok users to accuse Bieber “of appropriating the makeup routine, which is thought to be a popular style from the late ’80s and ’90s originating among women of color — particularly Black and Latina women,” the ABC article said.

Another social media user reminisced while making a nod to the acronym “Black American Princesses,” as popularized by the 1997 Halle Berry and Natalie Desselle cult classic comedy film B.A.P.S.

Just what is cultural appropriation? Here’s Encyclopedia Britannica‘s definition:

“Cultural appropriation takes place when members of a majority group adopt cultural elements of a minority group in an exploitative, disrespectful, or stereotypical way.”

With the perception that Bieber, a white woman, will be profiting off of a cosmetic style that many have called out as being popularized by women of color in the 1990s — and without at least an acknowledgement of where that style came from — this seems to be why people are taking issue with the TikTok.