As if facing backlash for being accused of wearing blackface weren’t enough, Kim Kardashian is playing in the arena of cultural appropriation once again thanks to her latest “Bo Derek“-inspired braided hairstyle.
Over the weekend, the 37-year-old reality star posted a video on social media wearing platinum blond braids accessorized with white beads at the ends. During the short clip, she says, “So guys, I did Bo Derek braids, and I’m really into it.”
Shortly after sharing, social media’s unapproving response to her new look was swift. The Shade Room reposted the clip and individuals commented: “Those are African braids” and “Bo Derek didn’t invent any braids, style are anything that has to do braids. Let’s clear that up.”
While Bo Derek did wear the same hairstyle in the 1979 film 10, the actress has also been incorrectly glorified for popularizing the braided ‘do. In a 2015 interview with New York, Derek was asked about her thoughts on the look, and her responses were basic: “It’s a hairdo! That’s all it is.” She added, “No, seriously, of all the important racial and cultural issues we have right now, people are going to focus on a hairstyle? No, no. I’ll save my efforts toward important racial and cultural issues.”
Unbeknownst to Kardashian, she is actually rocking Fulani braids, a hairstyle inspired by the Fulani people of East Africa and West Africa and also worn by women of color for centuries. Just like on Instagram, Twitter users were quick to credit the style as Fulani braids and how they are being culturally appropriated.
This unfortunately isn’t the first time Kardashian rocked the braided look without giving proper credit. Rewinding back to 2013, she also wore jet-black Fulani braids with clear beads and her Instagram caption shouted out Bo Derek too. There also was the instance when she referred to cornrows as “Boxer Braids,” and it’s safe to say the list goes on. See a pattern here?
When will the Kardashian-Jenner clan learn to give credit where credit is due? A little research can go a long way.
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