That time Kim Kardashian created "boxer braids."
Apparently, Kim and the UFC created "boxer braids," which are really cornrows or plaits. The #KimKardashianBraids Instagram hashtag is full of white women equating their cornrows with a white woman's iteration of the ancient hairstyle.
When Sasha Obama wore "boxer braids," The New York Daily News attributed its popularity to the Kardashians.
"The first daughter joins a raft of high-profile beauties sporting a version of the now-ubiquitous boxer braids," Alev Aktar wrote. "Fueled by celebrities and the popularity of UFC fighters, the center-parted reverse French-braid style has surged back into fashion."
It has been "in fashion" for a long time.
That time Kylie wore a yaki ponytail to New York Fashion Week.
Kylie wore a high Yaki ponytail to Alexander Wang's New York Fashion Week show last February. Yaki is typically used for braiding, not for ponytails. Furthermore, Yaki hair is designed to blend in with a Black woman's hair, which is why Kylie's texture doesn't match the ponytail's texture.
Black women who choose to add extensions to their braids — or rock weaves — are often accused of attempting to be "white."
Yet, Kylie's Yaki ponytail is considered high fashion. Zeba Blay, a writer for The Huffington Post, summed up why that's an issue.
"Black hair is not just hair. There’s history and context tied to these styles that cannot be ignored, a historical legacy forever linked to the ongoing cultural remnants of slavery and institutional racism," she wrote. "A white person who wears these styles dismisses that context and turns Black hair into a novelty, a parody, a subtle form of blackface."
That time Kylie accessorized with a durag.
Black men wear du-rags to assist in the process of waving their hair. It's also a way to protect a Black person's hair while they're sleeping. It's not, however, a fashion accessory as Kylie wore it in September.
In fact, most Black people, especially Black men, leave their du-rags at home. Wearing it outside can often cause Black men to be stereotyped as thugs. As Josie Pickens explained in an essay for Refinery29:
"When young Black men and women wear du-rags they are viewed as appearing unkempt and uncivilized. They can likely be viewed as mischievous or criminal. Du-rags, like baggy pants and hoodies are used as reasons to profile Black people — to see them as suspicious, because those clothing items are tied to urban fashion, and thus urban crime. When Jenner wears fashion shaped by Black experiences and Black culture, without acknowledging where that fashion comes from, she is erasing and devaluing Black people and the challenges (like racial profiling, for instance) that they experience."
That time Kylie sported faux locs, which she called "dreads."
Locs have a history that traverse over thousands of years. However, in modern times, locs are associated with spirituality, especially among those who identify as Rastafarians.
Lori Tharps, an assistant professor of journalism at Temple University and co-author of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, told Revelist last March that locs aren't exactly a hairstyle.
"It’s interesting because locs are not necessarily a style per say," she told Revelist. "A lot of different cultures claim locs for religious reasons."
Kylie hails from none of those cultures. She chose to wear faux locs, but called them "dreads," a terminology that many people who wear them oppose.
"In the United States, [locs are] associated with those of Kenyan warriors who wore their hair in dredlocs against the British," Tharps said. "The British said Kenyan warriors' hair was so dreadfully scary. Some people don't like to refer to them as dredlocs because it includes the the word 'dread.'"
Locs are often considered unprofessional when worn by Black people. For instance, Giuliana Rancic said Zendaya's faux locs looked as if they smelled like "Patchouli oil and weed." The Army only recently overturned a rule that forbid soldiers from wearing locs.
That time Kim "broke the internet."
Beyond that, Kim's photo recalls the exploitation of Saartjie Baartman, a Black woman who lived during the nineteenth century. The native South African was captured, sold, and sent to Europe to perform in a human-oddities show — because of her large buttocks and elongated labia.
She became known as the Hottentot Venus, and spent the remainder of her short life being exploited in freak shows.
That historical context can't be divorced from the celebration of Kim's body and autonomy.