During a recent event for her #REALisBEAUTIFUL campaign, Zendaya sounded off on the way the media has been praising white women like Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry for popularizing “boxer braids” when black women have been wearing cornrows for ages.
“Braids are not new,” Zendaya said. “Black women have been wearing braids for a very long time. We’ve been using that as a protective style, as a hairstyle.”
“Another problem is it became new and fresh and fun, because it was on someone else other than a black woman. You know what I mean? So that is the frustration. That’s where the culture appropriation element comes into play.”
Just this week the New York Post cited white female UFC fighters as the inspiration for cornrows recently worn by the Kardashians, Blake Lively, and Malia Obama.
The first daughter joins a raft of high-profile beauties sporting a version of the now-ubiquitous boxer braids. Fueled by celebrities and the popularity of UFC fighters, the center-parted reverse French-braid style has surged back into fashion.