kim-kardashian

photo: via @kimkardashian Instagram

Another misguided journalist has attributed the rise of cornrows to the wrong individuals. In a recently published article by New York Post, the writer claims that the rise of cornrows was inspired by UFC fighters and Kim Kardashian.

Written by Alev Aktar, the article begins with the improper headline, “UFC is inspiring the hottest new hair trend.” Aktar starts the article by alluding to Sasha Obama’s choice to wear braided plaits at a state dinner at the White House. The author suggests that Sasha Obama is joining other celebrities who have chosen to wear the “new” hair style. Aktar also refers to the style as “Boxer braids” and “Kim [Kardashian] braids.”

“Fueled by celebrities and the popularity of UFC fighters, the center-parted reverse French-braid style has surged back into fashion. The woven look, dating back to ancient Africa, has been worn by celebs including the Kardashian clan,” Aktar wrote.

Although the article does credit the style to “ancient Africa,” it fails to site how Black celebrities have worn cornrows for decades. Beginning with high-profile actress Cicely Tyson in the 1970s, popular Black celebrities who have worn braids and cornrows in recent years include Serena and Venus Williams, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Queen Latifah and Tyra Banks to name a few.

Other prominent publications such as The Daily Mail and MTV UK have also reported on cornrows while leaving out Black celebrities who wore them first.

It would only take a few minutes to find out the truth. Publications such as the New York Post and others should have writers and editors who are equipped to do a Google search in order to discover who inspired the UFC Fighters and Kardashian clan to get cornrows. However, the author failed to do research and gives credit where it’s not due.

But it’s just a small reminder of how the mainstream society often ignores Black culture and, more specifically, Black women.

A.R. Shaw

A.R. Shaw is an author and journalist who documents culture, politics, and entertainment. He has covered The Obama White House, the summer Olympics in London, and currently serves as Lifestyle Editor for Rolling Out magazine. Follow his journey on Twitter @arshaw and Instagram @arshaw23.