We’re Pretty Dang Sure That When It Comes To Black Culture Kendall Jenner Does Not Care If You Think She’s Stealing It
It’s nothing new that the Kardashian’s love to appropriate Black culture.
From hairstyles to fashion choices, white women have always benefited from ripping off black culture and while they keep getting called out — maybe even canceled — it still doesn’t stop anyone who isn’t non-black to keep on appropriating. From Kary Perry rocking her “baby hairs” dubbing it a “new trend,” to Kylie Jenner wearing her hair in dreadlocks then in cornrows, to Miley Cyrus also wearing dreadlocks, and to magazine’s giving white women afro tutorials, the list of misses are endless.
And the Kardashian-Jenner clan is no stranger to being called out for cultural appropriation. Every other week or month or so, the Kardashian-Jenner sisters make headlines for yet again another case of cultural appropriation. The latest? Kendall Jenner was spotted wearing cornrow braids (again) and people weren’t happy about it.
According to PEOPLE magazine, the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star and model was photographed wearing cornrow braids on August 23 in Los Angeles.
“She was also seen wearing the style, traditionally tied to black culture, in several Instagram Stories that next day, shared both to her page and sister Kylie Jenner’s page,” reports PEOPLE.
This isn’t the first time Kendall Jenner has made headlines when it comes to making problematic and questionable choices. Remember that Pepsi commercial?
People on social media have taken to Twitter to share their thoughts about Jenner wearing braids.
A Twitter user said she was exhausted of white people, women specifically, constantly appropriating black culture and wearing hairstyles “that we are always ridiculed/chastised for having and just doing it because they want to ‘look different’ or ‘stand out.'” User @tinaallamm went on to say that black women wear these types of hairstyles to “PROTECT our natural hair from damages” meanwhile white women simply wear them to look cool and aren’t scrutinized in the same ways.
Another Twitter user said the Kardashian family just “loves to use black culture to their benefit it’s disgusting.”
The Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s family has constantly been criticized for thriving off of black culture and rarely giving credit where credit is due.
PEOPLE reached out to Jenner’s rep but they did not immediately respond to the publication’s request for comment. As aforementioned, this also isn’t the first time the Kardashian-Jenner sisters have faced backlash after wearing cornrows or other protective hairstyles for black women.
Last year, Kim Kardashian West was under fire for wearing cornrow braids, referred by the Kardashian-West sister as “boxer braids,” at the MTV Movie and TV Awards.
However, this wasn’t the first or the last time she would be caught rocking cornrow braids. She then dyed her hair/braids blonde and posted numerous Instagram Stories flaunting the hairstyle even amid the social media backlash. First, she made it clear she didn’t care about the negative feedback but as always, Kim caved and somewhat apologized.
“I’ve definitely had my fair share of backlash when I’ve worn braids,” the KUWTK star said at BeautyCon in Los Angeles last year. “I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel around the world and see so many different cultures that have so many different beauty trends.”
Kim Kardashian-West has also recently been criticized for her decision to trademark and name her new line of shapewear, “Kimono.” After the social media backlash, she opted for “the less culturally inappropriate Skims instead,” AdAge reports.
Back in 2016, the “self-made billionaire” Kylie Jenner also took to Instagram to show off her cornrow braids and once she even wore her hair in dreadlocks.
(Photo Credit: Kylie Jenner Instagram)
After donning the hairstyle, actor Amandla Stenberg made sure to comment on her photo and make her opinion known. Stenberg commented on Kylie’s photo back in 2015-16 that “when you appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards your wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdobetter.”
While it seems as though Kylie Jenner never addressed the backlash then, she’s perhaps learned from that mistake since she hasn’t been seen wearing that hairstyle again. But the same cannot be said for her sisters.
Ultimately, it’s important for women as powerful and influential as the Kardashian-Jenner clan to learn from their mistakes and address the backlash head-on. It’s irresponsible and hurtful to the black community to go around parading themselves in hairstyles inclusive to black women. Culture isn’t something you can put on and then take off whenever it feels convenient to you, and this family has the privilege of being able to pick and choose when they can try on someone else’s culture.