No no, KoKo. Khloe Kardashian probably had good intentions when she tweeted a photo of her Bantu knots on Tuesday, August 9. But those intentions were ignored when the reality star, 32, failed to acknowledge the hairstyle’s storied history.
The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star, who was clad in an Oakland Raiders T-shirt, knee-high boots and a choker embroidered with her nickname, originally captioned the picture with “Bantu babe” after celebrity stylist Justine Marjan finished the 'do. But Kardashian deleted that photo and posted another one, simply stating “I like this one better.”
However, the internet never forgets. Her deleted tweet was swiftly screengrabbed and widely circulated among angry users who accused the Strong Looks Better Naked author of cultural appropriation. “ok but give credit where it’s due :///,” @princedior responded. Other tweeters, like @HerPistolsGold, echoed the same sentiments. “it would be nice if you paid homage to the black woman culture when you do our hairstyles 🤔,￼” she wrote. “but Carry on ￼￼☕️💁🏿.”
Bantu knots originated from South African Zulu tribes — a Bantu ethnic group — centuries ago. Today, Bantu knots are a natural-haired girl’s savior as they create loose, springy curls without using heat. The damp two-strand twists, which are wrapped around repeatedly to create the knots, are usually kept in for a day or so, and unraveled afterwards.
Kardashian’s not the only culprit, though. After Marc Jacobs sent models down a Spring 2015 runway with knots, popular hair blog Mane Addicts opted to rename them “mini buns” without acknowledging the origin. When Kardashian’s soon-to-be sister-in-law, Blac Chyna, Snapchatted her intricate ‘do in April, multiple outlets credited her hairstyle to Bjork and Gwen Stefani in the ‘90s. And a beauty vlogger, Gilan Sharafani, was also forced to eat her words once she uploaded a June tutorial on obtaining big curly hair with no heat.
"After that I shared this video on my Instagram, ppl [sic] started telling me that the teqnique [sic] I was using was from Africa — WHICH IS CALLEDN [sic] Bantu Knots,” Sharafani posted that month. “I didn't knew [sic] that, till everyone startet [sic] commenting about that. If knew from the start that this teqnique [sic] was African, I would for sure call it Bantu Knots."
The usually outspoken Kardashian hasn’t responded to the backlash just yet. She tweeted a few indirect messages to her followers soon after she posted the photo. “You guys never disappoint! LMAO,” she wrote. “😂😂😂😂😂 I needed this 😂😂😂😂. You ain't got the answers sway.”
Her followers beg to differ. Keep scrolling to see some of social media’s most fiery responses to her risky hairdo.
lol u wanna b black so bad )-;
— Hermès Link (@lceBIueMink) August 9, 2016
— Miranda Killgallen (@GisellesEgo) August 9, 2016
oh look the culture vultures strike again pic.twitter.com/CkRuVIPbcT
— lanni mari (@guapunzel) August 9, 2016
lmao these are Bantu knots, but your attempt highlighted how much y'all need your own style ??? pic.twitter.com/tM5Ee6DkkR
— Milly Rock Obama (@meowwcydnee) August 9, 2016
Kylie with full lace wig of red cornrows. Khloe is self-proclaimed "bantu babe".
I'm going to bed.
— ?ASH LEÓN? (@theAshLeon) August 10, 2016
Khloe w/Bantu Knots doesn't surprise me.Their entire empire is built on black men, black money & black culture. pic.twitter.com/5dv5DqKUba
— Khaleesi Black (@ReeRi85) August 10, 2016
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