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Kim Kardashian Under Fire for Crediting Actress Bo Derek for Ancient African Braids

Kim Kardashian adds yet another culture vulture accusation to the family résumé. The reality star on Snapchat Sunday, Jan. 28 proclaimed she got “Bo Derek braids” and that she’s “really into it.” But the problem is that the braids existed in the motherland long before Derek wore them in 1979’s “10.”

The true name of the style is Fulani braids, named after one of West Africa’s largest ethnic groups and they have existed on the African continent since ancient times. The look includes cornrows with one or two of them braided front to back along the side of the head. The traditional style also includes a braid around the perimeter of the head, which is typically omitted from the Americanized style. It’s complete with beads or cowry shells on the ends, according to Un-Ruly.

But it seems Kim K missed out on that history lesson and Twitter users promptly let her have it.

kim kardashian braids

Fulani braids verses Bo Derek’s braids in the movie “10.”
(Mandivas/Bettmann/Getty images)

“First of all, f— you @KimKardashian for wearing cornrows and calling them ‘[Bo Derek] braids,’ someone tweeted. “Second of [all] f—- you again for crediting the creation of ‘[Bo Derek] braids’ to a white woman who was culturally appropriating cornrows to begin with.”

“It’s not cultural appreciation when Kim Kardashian fights tooth and nail to avoid crediting the Black women who inspire her looks/aesthetic/hairstyles,” one person tweeted. “It’s a form of erasure and it is racist as hell. She doesn’t want to credit Black women because she envies us. And I am over it.”

Yet those on her Instagram fan page defended Kanye West’s better half.

“Come on…No where is it written that braids are only for a specific culture..that’s just stupid…haters…y’all just mad …. because they beautiful and rich….jajaja..” one person wrote.

“I’m not Kim Kardashian fan but, if Bo Derek was her inspiration for the braids so be it,” said another, defending the starlet against accusations of racism. “OMG! She is clearly not a racist she married a Black man and her children are biracial.”

Still, it’s not the first time Kardashian has sported the look. Back in 2013, she wore Fulani braids again … albeit with her natural brown hue. However, she still credited her braids to Derek.


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