Kylie Jenner’s Yaki Ponytail At NYFW Brings Cries Of Cultural Appropriation

Kylie Jenner is facing the bemused and annoyed opinions of the internet for wearing a high ponytail to designer Alexander Wang's New York Fashion Week show on February 13. The ponytail itself isn't the problem. It's the hair used to achieve it that has women up in arms. Jenner chose Yaki, a type of hair typically used for braiding, for her ponytail. Black women the world over know that Yaki is sold in bundles at beauty supply stores for the express purpose of adding length to our braids. Higher grades of Yaki are sold to add length to weaves, but these aren't like the Remi extensions Jenner generally wears. Yaki hair is meant to mimic relaxed African American hair, which is another reason Jenner's choice is bit puzzling: Her ponytail doesn't match her natural hair texture. Jenner is now being accused of cultural appropriation — or stealing cultural staples without offering credit. It is an accusation that has been brought against the youngest Kardashian/Jenner before. Last July, Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg called Jenner out on Instagram for wearing cornrows, but not speaking out for Black girls and women who are criticized for wearing a hairstyle that originates in our communities. "When u appropriate Black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help Black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter," Stenberg wrote in a comment under one of Jenner's photos. Twitter's taken up the mantle this time and the reactions are as much about mocking her as they are angry about her appropriation.
Jenner's hairstylist has not yet responded to Refinery29's request for comment.

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