Cornrows coverKylie is surely the Jenner-Kardashian sister that has rocked the most daring hairstyles: she changes color every week and and she launched her own line of wigs. That’s why when last Sunday she posted her umpteenth selfie showing off her abs and cornrows, she almost went unnoticed. Not to Amandla Stenberg (remember little Rue from Hunger Games’ Disctrict 11 ?), who publicly criticized Jenner accusing her of the appropriation of a symbolic hairstyle of black culture stripping it of its symbolic value, reducing it to just a fashion trend. Kylie’s answer dismissed the subject with a personal comment (Amandla is very close to Kyle’s ex boyfriend Jaden Smith), but the internet caught fire, even because the matter is complex. If, one hand we are talking about a world in which certain black aesthetic features are exalted but racial discrimination still exist, on the other it is also true that cornrows are certainly not a new thing for fashionistas. Just think of Bo Derek who in 1980 became famous for wearing them in the cult movie 10 and the runways where they cyclically make their return; from Alexander McQueen’s shows  to Kenzo’s 2015 Resort. What do you think?

11 Responses to “It’s a Cornrows Affair”

    The fact that you bring up Bo Derek as one of the people who popularized the style speaks to Amandla’s point. This hairstyle originated from, and is closely associated with black culture, and yet it’s most celebrated and referenced on a white woman.

    This is not merely a fashion statement that should be discussed as “hot” or “not”. It is part of many much larger issues: cultural appropriation in a time when white privilege is as powerful as ever, systemically discrimination of people of color, and mass incarceration tearing apart black communities. Amandla’s point is that she co-ops the culture for her own gain, yet doesn’t have to carry any of the disadvantages of being black. She can continue to just act “hood,” while completely ignoring black issues.

    Reply to Mary
  • I don’t think I can get behind this trend! It reminds me too much of that Friends episode when Monica gets cornrows and then gets her hair caught in her shower curtain!!

    Reply to ma-luxe
  • To the girl who said she doesn’t like this trend…it’s not a trend, it’s been a hairstyle that has been part of african culture for centuries but is only seen as a trend now because of its integration in pop culture


    I think the whole thing blew out of proportion especially since all she did was have the hairstyle and not make a comment but I get where the other girl is coming from

    Loving all those cornrows!

    Agnes x

    Reply to Agnes
  • I don’t understand the sudden fascination with cornrows. It is a style that has been worn by black girls for generations before hair straighteners. A style that many were forced to wear to keep their hair tidy in its natural state. In recent decades, we have seen men from urban areas and rappers take a liking to the style. However, Bo Derek adapts this hairstyle in the eighties, Kylie Jenner imitates it on instagram and suddenly it’s cool, again. Personally, I do not find it attractive or refined. There are far more sophisticated braided hairdos but cornrows are not one of them. The cornrow fad needs to go away, pronto!

    Reply to Kemal Forrester
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