Kim Kardashian says she is an appreciator of culture, not an appropriator.
The social icon has been slammed in years past by allegations of being a culture vulture and profiting off of Black culture when it comes to her sometimes deeply tanned skin, bronzed makeup looks and curvier figure. But as far as the reality TV star is concerned, people have misconstrued her intentions, in particular when it comes to her rocking her hair in braided styles.
While addressing the years of blackfishing allegations Kardashian said the public has it all wrong. “I would never do anything to appropriate any culture,” said the star of the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” franchise. The 41-year-old mother of four claims that in part some of the criticism she receives is an unfortunate byproduct of wanting to share stylish moments with her eldest child, daughter North West.
“I have in the past got backlash from putting my hair in braids and I understand that. Honestly, a lot of the time it comes from my daughter [North] asking us to do matching hair,” she explained to i-D magazine in a December feature.
Kardashian shares all four of her children with estranged husband Kanye West. The SKIMS creator and founder is part Armenian, but the fact that her children are biracial is not lost on her when attempting to appease the 8-year-old.
“I’ve had these conversations with her that are like, ‘Hey, maybe this hairstyle would be better on you and not on me.’ But I also want her to feel that I can do a hairstyle with her and not make it that big of a deal either if that’s something that she’s really asking for, and really wants,” she added.
For some social media users, the soon-to-be attorney’s logic makes perfect sense, and in return they offered sympathy or a lesson on what they perceived to be the real issue. “Damn! Imagine being afraid to braid your hair because people will bash. Black women fought so hard to have our styles be looked at as beautiful and now that it is…we have a problem with it. Hate that for us. Hate that this how we react,” tweeted one person.
Another person commented, “I don’t think wearing the braids was blackfishing — people took issue with her terminology. She called cornrows Bo Derek braids. There was a call for her to understand the cultural history if she’s going to rock the hairstyle.”
In 2018 Kardashian faced backlash after rocking beaded cornrows that she referred to as “Bo Derek braids.” While actress Bo Derek did famously wear the style in the 1979 movie “10,” Kardashian’s critics took issue with the fact she opted to not call the braids what they were — cornrows. Instead she credited a white woman for their look.
But for others, Kardashian’s reasoning was perceived as an attempt to blame her child for her own history of culture faux pas.
Regardless of what people may make of her comments, Kardashian says she has “learned and grown over the years, and figured out good ways to communicate with all my kids about all this” and how to instill “that culture of learning onto my kids too.”
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