Kim Kardashian Responds To The Fulani Braids Backlash: "I'm Not Tone-Deaf"

Photo: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images.
Here's a little #insideR29 tea: I really did not want to talk about Kim Kardashian's newest set of Fulani braids. At this point, she must know what she's doing. She has to know that people get really, really irritated when the Kardashians do that appropriating thing that they're ever so fond of. Not that there's anything wrong with anyone trying a new style, but it is wrong when you try to rename those styles (what are boxer braids, Kimberly?!), and when your 174 million combined followers think that you're responsible for making those styles trendy.
In a new interview with Bustle, Kardashian claims that she "didn't see backlash" after attending the MTV Movie and TV Awards last week... and that she wasn't trying to purposely stoke the flame. "North said she wanted braids and asked if I would do them with her. So we braided her hair and then we braided my hair... if anything, my daughter was so excited to see me get matching braids with her," she clarified. That's not to say that Kardashian completely forgot about her past missteps, though.
"I [do] remember the backlash when I had the blonde hair and that I called them 'Bo Derek braids,'" she admitted. (For the record, Fulani braids are plaits assembled in a pattern and decked out with beads — a style that's been worn by the Fulani people of West Africa for centuries.) "I obviously know they're called Fulani braids and I know the origin of where they came from and I'm totally respectful of that. I'm not tone deaf to where I don't get it. I do get it. Maybe if I had come out and explained that from the beginning instead of calling them 'Bo Derek braids,' then it wouldn't have gotten such backlash. But in no way am I ever trying to disrespect anyone's culture by wearing braids."
And as for North West's birthday hairstyle — a stick-straight ponytail that the Internet flipped out about — that's NBD to the selfie-loving star, either, really. "She wanted to try straight hair so I said she could try it for her birthday party and then if she liked it, she could do it in New York for her birthday. It's very limited to just that," she said. "I think everyone thought it was this crazy pressed thing — I mean, I just used a flat iron and everyone was saying she was wearing extensions and I was like, 'No, she has curly hair, so that's what the length of her hair is when it's straightened.'"
While we do appreciate the clarification, what I really want to know is what you, our reader, thinks of her reply. Heck, tell me what you think of her even wearing them in the first place. Ready, set, comment below.
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