The Kardashians are no strangers to accusations of cultural appropriation, with middle sister Kim Kardashian frequently being called out for wearing her hair in Fulani braids and, most recently, sporting Indian-inspired jewels on her forehead.
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Now it’s Khloé Kardashian who is getting backlash. Though it’s been several days since the reality star attended Diana Ross’s star-studded 75th birthday party on March 26, she waited until this Monday to post photos of her outfit from the event.
“When the legendary Ms. Ross invites you to her birthday party, you show UP as best you can,” she wrote on Instagram. “What a beautiful inspiration!! Thank you for having us.”
She added two photos of herself channeling Ross’s disco queen style in a gold lamé gown with a plunging neckline, her hair styled in springy blonde curls.
While the glam look earned its fair share of rave reviews, most commenters thought that Kardashian’s hairstyle and bronzed skin crossed the line. “Culture appropriation,” one follower put it bluntly.
“This is modern minstrel blackface, how do you not see that perspective?” read another comment.
“The hair is inappropriate,” added a commenter.
One critic explained why people were objecting.
“Black people who have this natural texture in their hair don’t get hired for jobs, kids get sent home from school, etc. That’s what the issue is and why it’s [cultural] appropriation. Until they get treated fairly for their natural features, this will always be #CultureAppropriation and not ever ‘appreciating.’”
But others — many of them white women — defended Kardashian, saying she was simply trying to celebrate Ross.
“If y’all say this is cultural appropriation, stop,” one fan wrote. “She could’ve taken this DRESS-UP outfit a lot further if she really wanted to. She’s literally wearing a poofy WIG and a dress the singer would probably wear. Stop being so sensitive 2019.”
“Never understood why appreciating the features of someone else’s culture is a bad thing,” added another supporter. “She isn’t mocking it. She isn’t poking fun at black women. She literally just wants to wear her hair that way because she LIKES it. LMK when ironing your hair is going to become cultural appropriation as well.”
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