Kim Kardashian West Just Responded To The Backlash Over Her Controversial Braids

Over the years, cornrows have become one of society's most prominent—and prominently controversial—signs of cultural appropriation. So when Kim Kardashian West's freshly braided head overwhelmed news feeds everywhere Saturday night during the 2018 MTV Movie & TV Awards, a sharp, very audible intake of breath could be heard. This isn't the first time Kardashian West has worn the style (remember when she credited her bleached, beaded Fulani braids to the very much white '70s actress Bo Derek earlier this year?). And honestly, we're sure it won't be the last. (She did caption the "Bo Derek" photos with "Hi, can I get zero fucks please, thanks.") Plus, hair aside, it's far from the first time the media mogul has undergone criticism for appropriating black culture—from the way she dresses to the way she chooses to raise her children to even the shape of her body.

Interestingly, amid the expected flurry of fury, disgust, and overall tiredness at Kardashian West's apparent lack of concern and what many view as ambivalence toward black culture and other entangled, highly relevant issues like mixed families, identity, and how she is (or how she isn't) styling 6-year-old North's hair, there have also been words in her defense. And in a recent interview with Bustle, Kardashian West sets the record straight.

"I actually did that look because 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. I [do] remember the backlash when I had the blonde hair and that I called them 'Bo Derek braids.' But 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. If anything, my daughter was so excited to see me get matching braids with her. [When] we did her hair in these braids, she was so excited."

So before we join the majority of the internet in bashing Kardashian West's cornrows, we thought we'd open up the conversation up to you, our readers. We already know what the majority of reports are calling, but what are you calling? To break the conversation open, we put calls out on our Twitter and Instagram accounts yesterday to get your thoughts, and, not surprisingly, we received an overwhelming response with over 500 (and counting) comments. We heard you—keep scrolling for a taste.