Kylie Jenner accused of ‘cultural appropriation’ for wearing cornrows

15 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

#WhiteGirlsDoItBetter Is What Happens When Misogyny Meets Racism.

NEW YORK – Kylie Jenner is being accused on Instagram of cultural appropriation for wearing cornrows in her hair. “Hunger Games” actress Amandla Stenberg called out the reality star via the social media site, writing: “Hen u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter.” “Guys leave her alone, we’re all trying to figure it out and she happens to be under a microscope,” he wrote. “I’m the first to know this. The Kardashian Klan are used to hairstyles that break the internet — Kim’s platinum blonde dye job threatened to overshadow the whole of Paris fashion week in March.

Active since as early as 2013 and initially associated with porn promotion sites, the hashtag recently saw a resurgence in activity — populated largely with provocative or posed selfies of young white women. After an appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live stirred controversy on the Internet, Cox wrote a lengthy post on her Tumblr page to explain her thoughts on cultural appropriation. Let’s focus on the bigger picture and instead of fighting over something stupid let’s do something about equality, but it doesn’t start here blasting a 17 year old kid for wearing braids smh.” Bravo personality Andy Cohen blasted Stenberg, 16, his “Jackhole of the Day” during a segment for his talk show, “Watch What Happens Live,” which resulted in a slew of comments calling for the TV personality to be fired. For her part, Stenberg wasn’t backing down, returning to Instagram with another post about “racial fetishism” which has garnered over 30,000 likes and counting since she posted it on Sunday. “Most of us are influenced by our peers and especially at her age.

The tag caught the attention of black users online, who have since flooded the tag with thousands of tweets and reappropriated its use in an effort to call out its hypocrisy and racism. (It was the catalyst for the recent exchange between teen star Amandla Stenberg and Kylie Jenner, when a fan used it to comment on a picture of Jenner wearing cornrows, prompting Stenberg to call out the appropriation of black culture by white women.) Many of the tweets from online commenters have attempted to humorously call out the double beauty standards of white vs. black women (“do what better? burn in the sun?”). Her peers and most of her surroundings are of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds,” Atlanta-based hair stylist Nakia Crouse told FOX411. “So, she’s only doing what she sees which is the case for most of us when it comes to how we dress and how we wear our hair. At once funny and political in their approach to skewering the hashtag, the tweets point out not only the cultural appropriation some white women engage in, but also the double standards of the beauty politics that white women face vs. women of color.

This dismantling of the hashtag has been a hilarious and informative exercise in shifting a troubling social media trend to a more constructive conversation, but what makes the presence of #WhiteGirlsDoItBetter so unfortunate and disturbing is the fact that it pits women of all races against each other. The Orange is the New Black star didn’t apologize for not weighing in on the interaction, which many have dubbed an “Internet feud,” and white women rocking black hairstyles in general saying she needed more than “10 seconds or less” to properly engage.

According to Vocativ, the hashtag is heavily associated with the creators of the #WhiteGirlWednesday hashtag, Shawn ‘Big Neechi’ Onyechi and Kareem William, and is often used by black men who are vocal about preferring white women, or “snow bunnies” as they call them, over black women. I’m white, and I had my hair braided for the Guardian earlier this year by Keash, a braiding service set up by school friends Taiba Akhuetie, 25, and Jessy Linton, 24.

Akhuetie, whose mother is Nigerian, said she liked the idea of these styles going across races and ethnicities, despite some negative comments from black people. The #whitegirlsdoitbetter hashtag is in the same vein as trending topics like #TeamLightSkin and #WhiteGirlWednesday, used to seemingly uplift one group of women while denigrating another.

It’s not about race, it’s about style.” “The aesthetics of race is and always has been political and in this year when the high profile mass and individual murder of Black people has spawned a #BlackLivesMatter movement, some are understandably sensitive toward whites who want the ‘beauty’ without the brutality,'” Rooks wrote in an e-mail to FOX411. “Of course no one actually ‘owns’ a hairstyle but right now you won’t get a ‘you’re so adventurous and fashion forward’ nod and pass for trafficking in Black looks if you are not willing to at least comment on behalf of those for whom Black looks matter most.” “Kylie is expressing herself by wearing cornrows. As they feed into the validation of fetishizing men, they perpetuate stereotypes about beauty and miss out on the kind of solidarity and understanding that comes from celebrating all women. As Twitter user Fawrz pointed out, it’s unfortunate that the white women are choosing to use the hashtag to “empower themselves when they’re already the standard of beauty, instead of defending WoC who aren’t.”

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