The topic of cultural appropriation is a tough one. One person's appropriation could be seen as another's appreciation. When it comes to outfits, traditional jewelry, hairstyles, and even music, the conversation around 'cultural appropriation' can get muddled and particularly heated.
Enter, repeat offender, Kim Kardashian.
People were quick to correct the record and educate Kim on her hairstyle which she dubbed 'Bo Derek braids', after an actress who had sported cornrows in a 1979 movie called 10.
Appropriation is first gen imo. However, the effects of cultural appropriation ripple on into perpetuity. So I see Kim’s actions as a ripple of someone previously (perhaps Bo Derek, perhaps the media) who carried out the appropriation...— rebecca (@Becca_Denae) January 31, 2018
For many people it wasn't just the fact that Kim had worn the hairstyle, it was that she had erased and disrespected the cultural heritage of what many were calling Fulani braids by referring to them as Bo Derek braids.
We are't angry she's wearin em,we're angry she's not giving credit where it's due they are Fulani braids nt Bo Derek https://t.co/y2UysIW1xG— Zaqiyyahtu Abdulaziz (@ZaqiyyahtuA) January 31, 2018
Oh Kim please stop 😭 you SHOULD give a fuck about cultural appropriation. They are not “Bo Derek” braids. They are Fulani braids. At the very least give credit where it’s due.— Jess (@JessLouise04) January 31, 2018
Easy: "These are Fulani braids. Aren't they cute?" It's not that hard. Don't give credit to Bo Derek. She didn't invent or popularize anything.— Its_Kristina (@Lady_Kay101) January 31, 2018
This is far from Kim's first brush with appropriating elements of black cultures. The entire Kardashian Jenner clan has been accused of profiting from black culture and physical characteristics that are seen as being linked to black women.
Is there a running tally on how many times "cultural appropriation" had to be explained to any member of the kardashian/jenner clan?— Peaches (@PeaKathLa) January 31, 2018
Like y’all already know the Kardashian’s and Jenner’s stay famous through their cultural appropriation and idiocracy. Idk why y’all act surprised when they do shit— 🤦🏿♀️ (@Mama_Ammaa) January 30, 2018
Kylie Jenner caught serious heat in 2015 after posting a picture of her wearing cornrows on Instagram. More recently, makeup guru and YouTuber Jackie Aina called out Kylie for failing to send her products to black beauty bloggers to review.
In a scathing video, Jackie went in on Jenner, accusing her of being a serial copycat - for a half-hearted attempt to imitate Fenty Beauty's diverse shade range - and doubted her brand's commitment to inclusivity.
"I kind of feel like you did all that work for nothing by making all of those dark colours and then not bothering to send them to any dark skinned bloggers who could have reviewed them," Jackie said.
"When I'm spending my money on a brand...ethics is important to me. I would have loved to have seen any dark-skinned vlogger sent this product to be able to give the review on it."
With a YouTube subscriber base 2 million-strong, anyone serious about promoting their brand to black women would have gone to Jackie. Not only this, Jackie said the shades were overly pinkish, and did not match their descriptions. If only there had been some black beauty bloggers that could have tested them...
In this latest controversy, Kim Kardashian continued to post multiple pictures of herself rocking the braids, and refusing to countenance any criticism. She even fired back at actress Lindsay Lohan after she commented that she was confused on Instagram.
Hmm, you'd think the mother of three children with a black father might have a bit more cultural sensitivity. This is a far cry from the heartfelt and eloquent open letter Kim penned in 2014 about the realities of racism and raising a mixed race child - even if some did think it was a bit late of her.
Let's hope that 2018 is the year that this clan finally sorts themselves out. Do better!
Do you think Kim Kardashian is guilty of cultural appropriation? What about the whole Kardashian Jenner family?
Let us know what you think in the comments below and join the discussion on