Kim Kardashian West is no stranger to cultural appropriation, so it should come as no surprise that she’s under fire again. This time around, she’s facing intense scrutiny for styling her hair in beaded braids and posting pictures of it on her Instagram and Snapchat.
On Sunday, Jan. 28, she posted a video of herself flaunting thin, bleach-blond braids with white beads at the end. In the video, Kardashian West called them Bo Derek braids. Bo Derek is an actor who may be best remembered for being one of the first white people to culturally appropriate braids in popular media when she wore them in the 1979 film 10. Derek’s hairstyle led many white women to wear the hairstyle, and now, that apparently includes Kardashian West.
“So, guys, I did Bo Derek braids, and I’m really into it,” Kardashian West said in the video.
Immediately, she was slammed and accused of cultural appropriation for wearing beaded braids, which she also wore on the set of a photo shoot. Many lashed out at Kardashian West for mislabeling the braids, which are actually Fulani braids. This protective hairstyle was created by the Fulani people, an ethnic group concentrated in West Africa and parts of East Africa — a fact Kardashian West seems to be unaware of or not able to readily acknowledge.
Critics were quick to call out Kardashian West for her cultural ignorance. Many lambasted her for crediting the hairstyle to a white actor, while others scolded her for her racial insensitivity.
Kim Kardashian got on Fulani braids and called them “Bo Derek” braids. These why culture appropriation trash. Also, how many times is that family gonna get dragged for them to stop appropriating other people’s culture. This why Beyonce don’t like her stiff lips ass. pic.twitter.com/Nd2NHt7aOB
— MOOLAH!!! (@Yawldeex) January 29, 2018
Hey my loves, just saw a pic of Kim Kardashian in braids and beads please don’t show it to me again pic.twitter.com/TvvXqe0re7
— k (@sportyidk) January 29, 2018
I just KNOW I ain't seen Kim Kardashian with braids and beads. Can someone tell her to stop appropriating our culture cause Kanye clearly ain't. Smh.
— 𝚋𝚛𝚊𝚍 𝚙𝚒𝚝𝚝’𝚜 𝚠𝚑*𝚛𝚎 (@oluwablk) January 27, 2018
Kim Kardashian on snap talking bout her Fulani braids are “Bo-Derek braids”, while she got 3 black children I CANT tonight 🙃😑
— Eliza Bennet (@smASHing_hearts) January 29, 2018
Kim said she did “bo Derek braids”…now go look them up and tell me if that white lady created that style smh
— rae. (@MIRAmorenaaa) January 29, 2018
It’s way past time to stop giving the Kardashians and Jenners any kind of pass for cultural appropriation, or at the very least letting the furor die down as quickly as it begins. There is no excuse, and we hope Kardashian West not only issues an apology, but also stops appropriating other cultures’ beauty and fashion and tells her sisters to cut that shit out too.
Originally posted on StyleCaster.