Kylie Jenner criticised by Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg for 'appropriating black culture' with cornrows selfie

The actress has since penned a post on the mentality surrounding black femininity in a ‘society built up eurocentric beauty standards’

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Tuesday 14 July 2015 10:57
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Kylie Jenner posted a picture of herself in cornrows
Kylie Jenner posted a picture of herself in cornrows

Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg has criticised Kylie Jenner for “appropriating black culture” while “failing to help black Americans” after the reality star shared a picture of herself with her hair in cornrows.

Jenner, who has recently been promoting a new wig line, shared a picture of herself on Instagram showing her hair plaited into cornrows, with the comment: “I woke up like disss”.

Stenberg, who played Rue in the Hunger Games, appeared to post a comment underneath the picture, stating: “When u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter”.

Her comments were seen in a screenshot taken and shared by another user. Stenberg also tagged an instagram user November Skyy Rivera in her comment.

Jenner then appeared to reply to the comment, stating: “Mad if I don’t, Mad if I do… Go hang w Jaden or something,” apparently referencing Jaden Smith, who Stenberg went to her prom with in May.

Stenberg has since penned a post on the ideas surrounding black femininity in today’s society, in which she claims “black women are objects of fetishism and brutality,” and shared it on her Twitter and Instagram accounts.

“Black features are beautiful. Black women are not. White women are paragons of virtue and desire. Black women are objects of fetishism and brutality,” she wrote, explaining that “this appears to be the mentality surrounding black femininity and beauty in a society built upon Eurocentric beauty standards”.

She continued: “While white women are praised for altering their bodies, plumping their lips and tanning their skin, black women are shamed although the same features exist on them naturally.”

Stenberg has previously spoken out against cultural appropriation. In a video entitled “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,” she discussed her views on the misappropriation of black culture, from music to hairstyles.

“Appropriation occurs when a style leads to racist generalisations or stereotypes where it originated but is deemed as high fashion, cool or funny when the privileged take it for themselves,” she says in the video,

“Hip hop stems from a black struggle, it stems from jazz and blues, styles of music African-Americans created to retain humanity in the face of adversity.

“On a smaller scale but in a similar vein, braids and cornrows are not merely stylistic. They’re necessary to keep black hair neat.”

Representatives for both Stenberg and Jenner have yet to respond to request for comment.

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