Bo Derek came forth to speak on the controversy involving the latest claims of cultural appropriation leveled against Kim Kardashian-West, on Thursday, January 31.
West has been under scrutiny for sharing images of herself rocking Fulani braids via a series of Instagram posts that she kicked off with the caption: "Bo West."
Many are taking issue with Kim crediting Derek with inspiring the look when the 61-year-old actress was merely borrowing a familiar African style and not innovating her own when she rocked the braids in the 70's. The backlash she is facing is akin to that which confronted Coco Austin when she took to Instagram with a version of Fulani braids that she attempted to coin the "Da Coco Swoop," last Summer.
While there are other names that Fulani braids are traditionally referred to as ("cornrows" being one of them), descendants of the diaspora identify with feeling like facets of African culture often go unappreciated and at times are even dishonored until such staples are co-opted by white society.
After headlines on Kim's posts flooded the press, Chicago media personality Kendra G was invited to expound on where Black women are coming from with their frustration during a Fox News morning segment. She explained feeling like, as a Black woman, she practically needed to straighten her hair to excel in the profession because her natural hair, even when put in tidy braids, is looked upon as "unprofessional" and "ghetto." That all changes when a Kim Kardashian comes around and repackages the tradition, she posed.
Derek went one better than Kim by sharing what inspired her to braid her hair. She also gave some historical context, tweeting: “I copied it from Ann-Margret’s backup singer from her Vegas Sho [sic]. And we all copied Queen Nofretari. I hope Her Royal Highness is flattered.”
Take a look at the tweet above.