But it wasn't just her awkward Nicki Minaj feud, surprise free album drop or even her very naked outfits that got the most people talking — it was her choice of hairstyle for the awards shows: long, blond dreadlock extensions that many deemed as cultural appropriation.
Miley Cyrus's whole life is culture appropriation so I'm not even surprised she is wearing dreads to the VMAs. pic.twitter.com/1xDCUCCT75— ebon (@tyriquex) August 31, 2015
Miley Cyrus in a blonde dread high pony cuz sometimes you OD on your appropriation pills.— FLEEKNIK (@Judnikki) August 30, 2015
Lord please tell me that Miley Cyrus didn't just abuse her whiteness and wore dreadlocks to the VMA's tell me this is all a bad dream?— Nyfizzle (@nya_ikemifudu) August 31, 2015
Dreadlocks have been worn by many cultures throughout history, and are strongly associated with black culture. Many were quick to point out that Miley's "appropriating moment" was even more offensive after the critique she gave of Nicki Minaj's Twitter "rant" from July. (Of the rant, Miley told the New York Times: "If you want to make it about race, there's a way you could do that. But don't make it just about yourself.")
Cultural appropriation is HUGE rn. Miley calls out Nicki, wears faux dreads to VMAs. It's so calculated.— milf bitch (@nicolemilfie) August 31, 2015
Miley Cyrus berated Nicki for speaking out on issues that affect black women in the music industry,& is also wearing dreads rn. The audacity— hot ebony mom (@egbaprincess) August 31, 2015
nicki: *calls out racism at the VMAs*
miley: *says Nicki only made it about herself*
miley: *arrives to the VMAs with dreads*— Ro (@MafiosoRo) August 31, 2015
And rapper Chance also had some choice tweets for Cyrus' 'do and for calling Snoop "mammy," a term with a lot of negative history.
The dreads <— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 31, 2015
I think shorty said "my real mammy" <— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 31, 2015
"Mammy" pic.twitter.com/kuwgo2lsNm— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 31, 2015
White squad...— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) August 31, 2015
This isn't the first time the 22-year-old pop star has taken heat for appropriating black culture — at the 2013 VMAs she was called out for twerking and using black women as "props" in her performance.
While we don't know the intentions behind Miley's actions, you'd think from all the backlash she would have learned better by now. And the fact that people are calling the singer's locks "amazing" and "edgy" when Zendaya was infamously described as smelling like "patchouli oil and weed" for wearing the same 'do just goes to show how harmful it is to appropriate black hairstyles.
Because as "Hunger Games" star Amandla Stenberg once said, "when u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter."
UPDATE: This post has been updated to add historical context on dreadlocks.
Also on HuffPost