Hey Kardashians, don’t make my culture your trend.

By Alyssa King

The Kardashian-Jenner sisters have been known to love black culture, black men, but have yet to acknowledge where the hairstyle came from, or no cultural understanding. They have even went as far as renaming the look. Last August, Khloe Kardashian posted a picture on Instagram and Twitter of her wearing Bantu Knots captioning “Bantu Babe”.

khloe

Of course the majority of white women comment saying “Wow that’s trendy!” or magazines say “Khloe is rockin’ a new chic edgy hairstyle”. Before Khloe posted this, Rihanna had a photo shoot with Bantu knots but people called her ghetto and used the phrase “she looks like she’s from Africa” as an insult. This is what we call cultural appropriation. Cultural Appropriation is when someone takes credit for a culture and ignoring the history behind it & people who created it. Appropriation occurs when the person partaking in the culture is not aware of the significance. For example, when black people wears dreads, we are considered ghetto, unruly, our hair is dirty etc. but when white people or other people of color wears this style, it’s trendy, chic, hippy-like and cool. Many people in the black community ask “Why is black culture loved more than black people?” Young black activist Amandla Stenberg has said “White women are praised for the same things black women are shamed for having naturally and culturally.”

kardashian-cultural-app-tout

kim-kardashian-cultural-appropriation-300x300

This is not the first time the Kardashians wore hairstyles that are mainly worn by black women. A week after Khloe posted this, Kylie posted a picture wearing of what the black community identifies as cornrows. Kylie called them Birthday Braids. Kim has also posted a picture wearing cornrows and now society called them “Boxer Braids” or “KKW Signature Braids”.  As I say again, the Kardashians have been praised for things black women having been wearing for years. All these hairstyles are traditional in the black community and for people to say that the Kardashians are starting this new trend is extremely disrespectful to the black community. Many celebrities have spoken out about cultural appropriation, such as Amandla Stenberg, Azaelia Banks, Zendaya, Jesse Williams, youtuber Chime Edwards, and companies such as Teen Vogue and Affinity Magazine. Amandla responded to Kylie Jenner’s picture saying “When you appropriate black features and culture but fail to use your position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards your wigs instead of police brutality or racism.” She couldn’t have said it any better. #ClapBack

As I said before, the Kardashian-Jenner sisters love black culture and love to imitate but many have come to realize they have never acknowledged the history behind the hair styles they imitate.  Bantu Knots and cornrows originate from the Zulu tribe in Africa. Bantu Knots can be worn in many ways such as to keep hair out the face, for events such as weddings, or it can be unraveled and worn down for beautiful curls. Cornrows were used to maintain black hair and keep it nice & neat. Black women have bonded over hair since the start of slavery. It was the only culture we have left because everything else that was cultural had been stripped away from us.

In the process of black people being shamed for their original hairstyles, this can make blacks hate themselves and their natural beauty. I’ve seen many friends of mine that have beautiful hair from curly, to dreads, braids, and are shamed for it. Self hatred is horrible.

african-hair-braiding-near-me (Black singer Alicia Keys with 5 cornrows)

In my opinion I have nothing against people who wear hairstyles that are mainly worn by the black community . I just think its offensive to see when hairstyles that black women have been wearing for years, have been turned into this new trendy style and renamed “birthday braids” or “boxer braids”. More people need to be educated on this issue. If non-black people acknowledge the culture of the hairstyle, black people would be less offended when you wear the hairstyle.

Youtuber Chime Edwards has a amazing video about cultural appropriation and racism and I recommend everyone to watch it:

 

Works Cited:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/elliewoodward/times-the-kardashians-have-been-accused-of-cultural-approp?utm_term=.osZa8lMQ0#.fcAOM8Dmw

http://dailycaller.com/2016/08/12/black-lives-matter-the-kardashians-are-racist-for-appropriating-black-style/

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Hey Kardashians, don’t make my culture your trend.

Add yours

  1. Hi Alyssa,

    This blog post really stood out to me because I know this is an important issue many are ignoring. While I do feel some hairstyles should only be for the black community due to the cultural background, I like that you were open to anyone wearing the hairstyles as long as they were educated on the culture. We all know the Kardashians love to appropriate cultures they have been doing it for years. With such a platform you would think they use it to help make a good change. Sadly, they have set the tone for non-black youth that it is okay to culture appropriate because “it’s cute”. When in reality, they are deleting the meaning of these hairstyles, and this is not ok. I would hope people from all races could help bring more awareness to this issue before it gets more out of hand than it already has.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I found this post very eye-opening because I never thought of how society judges people of different races differently on certain cultural hair-styles. I like the examples you gave of how a hairstyle may be called either “ghetto” or “trendy” depending on a persons race. I especially liked the comparison you made between Khloe Kardashian and Rihanna because these are two big names that everyone knows and we can clearly see them treated differently in the media.

    Like

  3. I recently have been seeing a lot of people who are not from the black culture do that. Like more famous vlogers , Instagramers or youtubers have been putting corn rolls in their hair. This article really opened my eyes to what is happening in the blacks fashion trend. It is sad to see others take credit for something they did not come up with in the first place.But also how from other races it much more “prettier” or cleaner” when in reality its a way of them not like the race of blacks. Such an interesting topic! love it Alyssa!

    Like

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