Last week, Kylie Jenner showed off a new, bright-red cornrowed hairstyle for her birthday. The reactions were, as you might expect, very mixed. Well, it looks like the family is keeping up with the tradition of controversial hairstyles, because Khloé Kardashian just debuted Bantu knots on Instagram — and the internet reacted similarly. To Khloé's credit, her intentions seemed to be good when she initially captioned her photo "Bantu babe." But, according to Us Weekly, she deleted the original post and replaced it with one that read: "I like this one better." Many on Instagram and Twitter are accusing the 32-year-old of appropriating the traditionally Black hairstyle and not giving credit where it is due.
Others are simply offended by how poorly executed the style was (anyone who's attempted the 'do knows it's a hard-to-master art).
This isn't the first time Bantu knots have been at the centre of controversy. The website Mane Addicts misnamed the style "twisted mini buns" last year, and was swiftly criticised. As we've stated in the past, there's no problem with borrowing hairstyles from other cultures. The issue lies in the dismissal of context. It lies in repackaging a style as "chic" and a "new trend" without giving a nod to its history. During the history of Bantu knots, they have often been called "unprofessional" and "ghetto" — but only when worn by Black women. There's a fine line between celebrating and appropriating a culture. A line that a certain reality-TV family is still constantly toeing.