Kim Kardashian Defends Controversial Choice To Wear Braids To MTV Awards

Mother of an empire – and also three small children: NorthSaint and Chicago – Kim Kardashian has spoken to Bustle about her controversial decision to wear her hair in braids at last weekend’s MTV Movie and TV Awards.

Speaking at the opening of a KKW Beauty and Fragrance pop-up in LA, Kimmy K said the choice of hairstyle, which saw her accused by fans and critics for the zillionth time of cultural appropriation, was at the behest of her eldest daughter, North.

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.”

Back in late January, Kardashian came under fire for referring to her blonde cornrow look on both Snapchat and Instagram as “Bo Derek braids“, a reference to Derek’s ‘do in 1979 movie 10 – which ignores the Black women who have been braiding their hair in the style for centuries.

Talking to Bustle, Kardashian acknowledged the furore, but said that she is cognisant of the rich cultural background behind the hairstyle. But she returned again to wanting to celebrate her daughter’s natural 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.