Should Kim Kardashian be straightening five-year-old North’s hair?
Kim Kardashian has found herself at the centre of controversy after straightening five-year-old daughter North West‘s hair, opening up conversations about black hair, identity and mum-shaming.
The eldest of the Kardashian-West children is naturally blessed with brown curls, but ahead of her fifth birthday on Friday, North was seen with a poker straight high ponytail with a braid on the crown.
Days later, the mother and daughter pair were snapped out again, this time with North wearing her newly-straight hair down.
The 37-year-old’s decision to modify her daughter’s hair in this way has been met with varied opinions.
What are people saying about North’s straight hair?
The overwhelming criticism against North West’s straight hair is all to do with her age.
I wish whoever did North West’s hair would stop straightening it, she has beautiful curls and y’all wanna straighten em and make her look older than she is. Let a kid be a kid
— Lady Death (@Vonn_Tesse) June 16, 2018
There’s a lot to be said for the argument that children should be raised to believe they are perfect the way they are, and on the cusp of five-years-old, North is far too young to be dabbling in appearance-altering beauty regimes
Is the act of straightening North’s hair only telling her she’s not good enough the way she is?
Ugh at the amount of people exclaiming that North West is gorgeous because she straightened her hair and she’s only 5.
This kinda shit destroyed my self image and perception of my curls my whole life. I’m so sad.
— Corinne Rose (@CorinaCorinna) June 16, 2018
Some have even suggested North is damaging her young supple hair by straightening it well before its years.
It’s true that a child’s hair is usually much finer than that of an adult, making it more susceptible to damage from chemical and heat factors.
“A child’s hair changes a lot,” hair expert Bonnie Harmon told She Knows. “Colour, thickness, texture and curls can go through several changes from birth until puberty.
“Before puberty, a kid’s hair is typically thinner and more fragile and can be easily damaged.”
I really hate how the kardashians keep straightening that poor baby’s hair tho. North west gonna have heat damage before she’s 10- bedore I even knew what a straightener was smh
— not a regular person (@_vivrantthang_) June 14, 2018
#NorthWest is going to hate the fact that she got her hair straight so young when she gets older and her curls aren’t popping anymore 🤷🏾♀️
— agent K (@yougo_GlennKiki) June 15, 2018
Another argument against Kim Kardashian straightening North West’s hair is tied into the highly politicised discussions around black hair and beauty ideals.
One Twitter user wrote: “Ever since they’ve been straightening her hair people have been acting like she just grew into this supermodel overnight . STRAIGHT HAIR DOESN’T MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL.”
North West has always been the cutest but ever since they’ve been straightening her hair people have been acting like she just grew into this supermodel overnight . STRAIGHT HAIR DOESNT MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL. Don’t let them ruin her curls @KimKardashian ! 😩
— Brianna (@FOXYBRI_) June 16, 2018
I don’t know how other people feel abt this but now that north is older she barely wears her natural hair? I rlly hope Kim isn’t straightening and damaging her hair because we know black women are constantly told their natural hair is “messy” or “unprofessional”
— Big Smoke™ (@Biggiebigsmokes) June 15, 2018
It’s worth noting that Kim Kardashian has always been vocal about embracing her daughter’s natural curls.
Speaking to Interview magazine Kim Kardashian said: “She’s obsessed with her curly hair, and if she finds someone who has the same hair, she runs to them and is like, ‘You have curly hair like me?’ And we get to talk about it.”
Kim Kardashian even revealed she took braiding lessons to help style North’s biracial hair.
“North is so proud of her curly hair, and she’s very opinionated on how she wants to wear [it],” Kim reportedly said in an old ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ episode. “As a mum, you don’t wanna have to tell her, ‘I don’t know how to do your hair’. It’s such a prideful thing to make her look pretty and make her look confident; it’s important to me.”
Is Kim being mum-shamed?
Some believe the act of straightening North’s hair is harmless, and the backlash Kim has received is a form of mum-shaming.
okay… I am not a @KimKardashian fan, but as a mother…I will do whatever I want with my childs hair!!! Maybe North wanted it straightened like her Mama’s for a day or two, I’m sure Kim has the best hair care products IN THE WORLD!!!
— Nicole (@thebeecharmer97) June 16, 2018
Kim has taken such good care of North’s curls over the years. The comments about North’s hair being straightened is tired. First of all, mind your own children 🙄😑
— KIM WEST SOURCE (@KIMWESTSOURCE_) June 15, 2018
One Twitter user wrote: “As a mother I will do whatever I want with my child’s hair!!! Maybe North wanted it straightened like her Mama’s for a day or two” (sic).
While another said: “The comments about North’s hair being straightened is tired. First of all, mind your own children” (sic).
So people are actually mad that Kim Kardashian straightened HER child’s hair and I can’t tell if I’m extremely entertained or deeply hurt about the people I’m sharing this earth with
— Tessa Langton (@Tesslangton) June 18, 2018
This all assuming that it was Kim Kardashian herself sat her daughter down and suggested they straighten her curly hair.
Perhaps North made the decision herself asking for straight locks, ahead of her big birthday.
As parents, don’t you just want to do whatever makes your child happy?
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