Kim Kardashian responds to criticism over Fulani braids


Kim Kardashian has responded to accusations of cultural appropriation after wearing her hair in Fulani braids at the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

The reality star caused outrage when she was photographed sporting the hairstyle at the awards ceremony on Saturday night, with one person describing her as “ignorant”.

This isn’t the first time that the 37-year-old has been accused of cultural appropriation, having worn a similar hairstyle in January.

Kardashian sparked a huge backlash at the time when she described her cornrows as “Bo Derek braids”, in reference to the actress who famously wore cornrows in the 1979 film 10.

While some hoped that Kardashian would have learnt her lesson by now, many expressed their disappointment that she decided to wear her hair in braids once more.

“Kim Kardashian in these braids is exhausted,” someone wrote on Twitter.

“The most annoying part is that at this point she knows what she’s doing, she knows what cultural appropriation is and that it upsets people yet she still chooses to do it because she knows it doesn’t upset the right ppl or cost her $$ [sic].”

The reality star has now given her reasoning for adopting the hairstyle at the awards show, explaining that her five-year-old daughter North West urged her to do so.

“I actually did that look because North said she wanted braids and asked if I would do them with her,” she told Bustle.

“I [do] remember the backlash when I had the blonde hair and that I called them ‘Bo Derek braids.’

“But I obviously know they’re called Fulani braids and I know the origin of where they came from and I’m totally respectful of that.

“I’m not tone deaf to where I don’t get it. I do get it.”

Kardashian believes that the basis of her criticism in January wasn’t over the fact that she wore braids, but over her decision to attribute them to Bo Derek rather than African culture.

“Maybe if I had come out and explained that from the beginning instead of calling them ‘Bo Derek braids’, then it wouldn’t have gotten such backlash," she said.

“But in no way am I ever trying to disrespect anyone’s culture by wearing braids.

“If anything, my daughter was so excited to see me get matching braids with her.”

The reality star has also recently come under fire for straightening her daughter’s naturally curly hair.

However, apparently the straightened hairstyle was upon the request of the youngster, who turned five earlier this month.

“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,” Kardashian said.

“I think everyone thought it was this crazy pressed thing - I mean, I just used a flat iron and everyone was saying she was wearing extensions and I was like, ‘No, she has curly hair, so that’s what the length of her hair is when it’s straightened.’

“I was just seeing these things [people were saying] online and they were just ridiculous."