Wherever Kim Kardashian goes, a controversy and twitter uproar is sure to follow. That ancient saying came into full effect this weekend, when Kim Kardashian was called out for cultural appropriation yet again for wearing her hair in braids. This time it was more intense, though, since she also came under fire a few days earlier for straightening her 5-year-old daughter North’s hair for her birthday. She’d also been accused of applying hair extensions on North. This isn’t Kim’s first time at the rodeo, and she knew exactly how to come back at critics during her KKW Beauty and Fragrance pop-up launch in Los Angeles yesterday.
are we gon talk about kim k’s cornrows or is cultural appropriation pointless to talk about anymore— Cyber Jiggaman Jupiter (@jerminator510) June 19, 2018
Kim first addressed her own braids, which she wore to the MTV Movie Awards. She explained North wanted braids herself, and asked her mom if she could join her. “In no way am I ever trying to disrespect someone's culture by wearing braids,” Kim said, per BuzzFeed. “If anything, my daughter was so excited to see me get matching braids with her. When we did her hair in these braids, she was so excited.”
It would be easier to accept Kim’s answer if this was the first time this exact situation had happened, but it’s not. Back in February, she was heavily criticized for calling her braids “Bo Derek braids,” thereby referencing a white actress who wore the same hairstyle in the 1979 movie 10 instead of calling them by their real name, fulani braids. The misnomer was seen as a slight on the cultural significance of braids for black people. Kim referenced that exact instance and said “obviously I know they're called fulani braids and I know the origin of where they come from, and I'm totally respectful of that.”
“I’m not tone deaf to where I don't get it,” she added.
She then addressed her daughter’s hair, again chalking it up to North's preference and adding it was definitely a one-time thing. North usually wears her hair natural, but “she wanted to try straight hair so I said she could try it for her birthday party and then if she liked it, she could do it in New York for her birthday,” Kim said. “It's very limited to just that. And she knows that.” People were concerned North’s hair was permanently straightened, but Kim stressed it was just flat ironed, and no extensions were used.
Y'all.... Kim really straightened out her baby's hair. That's sad, what is she like 6? Leave her natural hair alone— Hailey Bradford (@HaileyMBradford) June 15, 2018
So, that’s that. While Kim’s explanations sound innocent enough, there’s something to be said for how many times she comes under fire for similar offenses.