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.