Kim Kardashian finally breaks her silence after being slammed for cultural appropriation
Kim Kardashian has once again incited the ire of the internet after wearing Fulani braids when attending the MTV Movie and TV Awards.
She walked the red carpet last weekend with waist-length braids which were parted down the middle and left loose at the ends. And while her hairstylist evidently took great care when creating the style, it seems as if the Keeping Up With The Kardashians star didn't have one care about having been accused of cultural appropriation in the past.
Social media was naturally incensed. "It’s not cute to appropriate my culture. Your privilege is really showing," one Twitter user asserted, while another added "Kim Kardashian in these braids is exhausting. The most annoying part is that at this point she knows what she’s doing, she knows what cultural appropriation is and that it upsets people yet she still chooses to do it because she knows it doesn’t upset the right ppl or cost her $$."
A third individual wrote, "It ABSOLUTELY IS a distinctive black hairstyle. Fulani braids originated in west Africa. Also, by wearing braids, HOW is she supporting POC? She’s taking advantage of her privilege and appropriating the culture of minorities after many people have asked her not to."
Now, in an interview with Bustle, Kim explained why she chose to don the hairstyle.
"I actually didn't see backlash," she stated. "I actually did that look because North said she wanted braids and asked if I would do them with her. So we braided her hair and then we braided my hair."
"I remember the backlash when I had the blonde hair and that I called them 'Bo Derek braids,'" she continued. "But I obviously know they're called Fulani braids, and I know the origin of where they came from and I'm totally respectful of that. I'm not tone deaf to where I don't get it. I do get it."
As we're all aware, this is not the 37-year-old's first run-in with the look. Earlier this year, Kim posted a series of risqué photographs on her Snapchat and Instagram accounts. While the content of the polaroid snaps is graphic, showing her lounging in a white G-string and fur coat, that's not what people took offence with. Rather, it was the fact that she called her silver locs "Bo Derek" braids (in reference to the actress's hairstyle and role in the 1979 film, 10) instead of Fulani braids or cornrows.
Twitter was quick to call out Kim on her choice of words, as the hairstyle should be attributed to black culture - not Bo Derek: a white woman.
One Twitter user wrote, "Kim Kardashian said she got 'Bo Derek braids.' She is 100% out here trolling Black women. You can't convince me otherwise," while another corroborated, "Kim said she did 'bo Derek braids'...now go look them up and tell me if that white lady created that style smh".
While the incident at the MTV Movie and TV Awards hasn't provoked the same furore that we saw after Kim's comments about Bo Derek, we can only hope that this time around, Kim realises that it's not okay to blatantly appropriate other people's cultures, especially when you've been told that it's wrong before.