Miley Twerking, Khloe’s Braids & Why We Need To Embrace Our Culture

30 comments
June 25, 2013 ‐ By Charing Ball
Source: WENN

Source: WENN

According to the Huffington Post, our favorite famous-for-being-the-sister-of-a-woman-who-is-largely-famous-for-nothing-in-particular, Khloe Kardashian has channeled the innovative spirit of the late, great tech-god Steve Jobs, and has sent forth to the world a new hair trend called braids. All hail the power of the Kardashian name!

From the Huffington Post

The Kardashian sis debuted her own version of the half-braided head on Wednesday evening, showing off her ‘do at an event for her family’s new line of self-tanner. Khloe drew attention with her sheer shirt (hello, bra!) but even more so with her braids, which reminded us of Jennifer Aniston’s hair at the Spike Guys’ Choice Awards last week. Carmen Electra has also rocked lopsided braids several times over the past few months, giving us the creeping feeling that this fancy update to the Skrillex-inspired hairstyle is becoming a trend.”

If ever there was a proof that we live in a WASP-focused culture, it’s that. Black girls have been putting braids in a variations and patterns since likely the inception of time – no one declares it a trend. White women come along and slap a couple of half-hearted braids in their hair and, with the wave of a wand, which could only be mimicked by the color-cueing commands of the great and powerful Wiz (the Black version), it’s considered not only a trend but also representative for all.

It’s no wonder so many people of non-WASP descent subscribe to the many philosophies of ‘white is always right’ and dark skin as nothing more than a synonyms of crime, poverty, immortality and all other pathologies. A couple of months ago, I drew the ire of a lot of readers to a piece I wrote in which I dared suggest that two black teenage girls did not deserve to be beat mercifully on camera by their father for twerking, especially considering that twerking is not as perverse as folks in the community want to believe. But rather follows a long tradition of cultural dances movements centered on the behind, which too have a long history throughout the Black Diaspora. People thought I was mad – among other things – for the mere suggestion. And some even went to great intellectual lengths to disassociate themselves from the immoral or bad behavior.

But that was a couple of months ago. Today, many of those same folks are raging mad again; this time about Miley Cyrus, her twerking across mainstream America and how everyone is loving it – well mostly everyone. You would think that folks would be happy she has taken this “ratchet” perversion of everything “virtuously black” off of our hands. But nope, folks are still pissed. Now it’s appropriation, they say. Now she is making a mockery of our culture, they shouted. Now she is a selective thief, stealing the fun parts of the black experience, in hopes of appearing cool and rebellious, but not bearing the brunt of the responsibility, they argue. All true however, how can we blame others from picking up the cultural baton when we give it away so cheaply and freely?

Since before our ancestors reached the shores of the original 13 colonies, folks of largely darker skin tones (as well as other non-WASPy differences), had their cultures demonized, removed or altered, in some instances violently, and were forced to adopt the culture of their colonizers – included religion, education and history and language – for the purpose of exploitation. That was colonialism. Yet as we have progressed onwards, hundreds of years into a future, mostly free of the sort of White oversight and exploitation, which ruled and basically developed the Western world, the beliefs of these ideologies still linger on in the hearts, minds and deeds of many of the same oppressed folks, who have conditioned themselves to believe that by internalizing many of the values and principles, it will provide them some leverage in this WASP-centered, thus inherently exclusionary, racist system. When in reality, all it does is reinforce the original oppression. That is called neo-colonialism.

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  • http://www.youtube.com/user/ChakaKhanian?feature=mhee ChakaKhanian

    I think it’s high time for black people to stop being so damned excited about non-blacks copying mannerisms we relate to. For example and I know some might say I am a bit stiff in this, but I DON’T get excited about non-black people singing soulfully, I just don’t. Oh, it’s just ‘regla’ when we do it, but it’s phenomenal when they take it and then end up receiving credit for the ‘trend.’

  • jessrey

    Lol I honestly could care less about Miley twearking or mrs Khole rocking the side braid. I do get the article that white man has made money of our ideas. Mary that lives next door think lashawnda is ratchet for twearking at the club but now Miley is doing it marry think its cool. I get all of it ! Lol but who cares ! Lets just stop complaining and do better.

  • Fair and Balanced

    I have said this time and time again, when it comes to the Black woman we are trend setters and Caucasians will steal all they can as they have no real since of innovation if you look at history it will show you that everything they have done has already been done before or they have taken credit for it. Needless to say this is in part due to the fact that they out number us and the media gives them credit for being the first. They unfortunately try to steal everything even our color, they will by tanning creams and risk cancer to become darker, when Bo Derek was first credited with braids in her hair Cicely Tyson had been wearing them for years, it does not matter whatever we do they will try to steal. Its unfortunate but it is reality they steal it and we create it to be stolen.

  • blastah

    Because braids just look sexier on whites. sorry.

  • jmpmk2

    This entire article is simplistic nonsense. What you see as appropriation, I see the beautiful emulsification of culture that has existed since the first hunter-gatherer tribe ran into another — it’s how we have grown and evolved as a species. Throughout this wonderful country, you can find endless fusions of culture from all over the world, and to become protective of one particular dance or hairstyle is just petty. And you think mainstream black culture is exempt from this phenomena of appropriation? Hardly.

    What’s more fun, and a whole lot better for society, is to go, “Gee, this person appreciates my style and presence enough to revere something I value. My heritage must be pretty cool.” Should this not, instead, feel validating?

    Pardon me while I go throw the new Kanye on the stereo, eat a Korean BBQ burrito, some Lebanese hummus topped with Argentinian chimichurri, drink a German-style hefeweisen, and maybe sip on some fresh roasted Ethiopian coffee and read classical Greek philosophy afterward. It’s a great time to be an American, and I think I’ll enjoy this bevy of culture I’m afforded.

    Please continue to feel victimized if that is your wish. I just don’t think it’s necessary.

    • MM

      Petty is right. You know when someone yells at someone else for doing something real simple… that probably didn’t warrant that type of reaction, but instead was the culmination of an event that pissed them off earlier in the day? That’s what this article is… misplaced anger.

      I’ll tell the author why she’s angry – you’re not equal. It’s the way it is and I can’t see it changing in our lifetime. A tale of the times is the Honey Nut Cheerios commerical – in ads and marketing an image of a biracial individual is GOLD! Sponsors rush to your side when they see this (see Lolo Jones.. then see the rest of her LSU track mates). Yet throw in the visual reality of how they got that way, i.e., the family as a whole.. and Houston we have a problem.

      People, and black people in general naturally feel victimized because they ARE victims of a society that has stacked the cards against them (in most cases) and that same society has no remorse over their actions (see the now remorseful Paula Deen and the still ever so bold wall street). White people are NOT your enemy. The ignorant folks (any race – see some folks in Atlanta).. those who deny opportunities and stereotype you are not your friends. And you prove them wrong by outworking, outsmarting, and out-hustling them in everything you do. Create your own lane and empower yourselves.

      What we have to understand is that which cannot be written on a script or read on a comments page… it will not be televised. Housewives of wherever, Love and Hip Hop, and Black men bashing will no longer be so damned relevant and women will not care if Olivia finally gets down with Fitz because Black people will be in the street looking for a brighter day. Wake up

  • bxlala

    WASP is short for White Anglo Saxon People

    • Guest360

      *Protestant. Not people

  • Common Sense

    If Khloe can’t wear braids, black people shouldn’t be allowed to straighten their hair. Sounds obscene right, but it’s the same thing.

  • unque43

    It’s a hairstyle. There are time some of us don’t embrace us. It’s what has been instilled in us. Recently I read a comment where as a lady who wear her hair in natural styles, was told her hair was not appropriate. We relax our natural hair to resemble whose texture. In a society that will happened. We should take pride that others want to embrace the style of our culture.

  • peewee

    History provs that our natural swag has been coveted by people all around the world. From ebonics to sagging pants to dance to hair to our men. If they can claim it as there own they will and will continue to do so until we forget where it all started. Never that !!!

  • Leah Ashton

    There are somethings that every culture or race has done wrong.but its the people, the individuals have the power to change. I dont agree with this kardashian wearing braids because its been accepted to wear braids. Its the type of braids you wear. There are hairstyles that are still not accepted. No matter who is wearing them. Be the change you want to see. I read it some where and im not sure about you guys but i am trying to do that.

  • dddooonnnttt

    If Coretta Scott King wouldn’t do it it’s not black culture. That’s my barometer.

    • Purple Kisses

      Coretta wouldn’t have released a Hip Hop album… is Hip Hop not a part of black culture?

      • Diane Whauloknat Bridges

        It is a part but not like it use to be….they have sold out! Illuminati controls them now…

      • dddooonnnttt

        I said MY barometer. And sure, but a lot of pioneers and behind the scenes people that made HipHop happen were white (Rick Rubin, Beastie Boys). Not to mention that Hiphop wasn’t aroudn then, but it evolved from other forms of black music, which I’m sure Coretta enjoyed the blues. But she didn’t release any albums anyway. So…

      • dddooonnnttt

        And I guess since we’re goign there. Whenever Shaniqua walks down the street with a red weave rooster mohawk, most of us turn our heads and roll our eyes (at least some of us) but when it’s a white person doing it, I’m supposed to throw down for that part of my culture? Um no. That’s not my culture, no one in my family dresses like that, rooster weave wasn’t passed down like a tradition. It’s the same thing when people say if you speak proper English you’re trying to be white. Speaking English isn’t inherently white, and Rooster weave isn;t inherently black. And if people are mad when white people do it, cause they’re ‘making money off it’ well nobody told you to sit back and not figure out how to get 1000 rooster weaves manufactured and put in stores.

        • bigdede

          Love it!

        • Anon

          Dead at “Rooster Weaves”, tho.

  • It’sMyOpinion

    I’m not surprised. We don’t get credit for anything, and we always allow others to steal and make money off of our ideas.

    • My 2 Cents

      The problem is that we are looking for credit from WASP and groups of people that don’t give an $%&^ about us. We should give ourselves our own credit. That why sites like this would be really important if we didn’t constantly push THEIR agenda, misspell words and say it doesn’t matter etc. Why look to the enemy for praise and to raise our children? Praise ourselves and support things like Steve Harvey’s HOODIE awards etc

      • It’sMyOpinion

        I totally agree. I’m not referring to getting credit from other groups. I’m speaking on our people and our lack of community. You know, I was having a conversation with my friend last night, and we were having a discussion about AA’s not owning anything. That’s the problem. The only way to have power is by owing. We must own property, business, and allow those things to own other things. This creates leverage, collateral, trade, bartering etc. This is why Europeans are obsessed with Africa. Africa has tons of natural resources and land. Farrakhan was correct. We need to buy up Detroit and other dilapidated communities, build them up and have our own cities and start over.

        • TK

          I totally agree @iit’smyopinion! The only issue with is owning our own is that WE don’t support each other as a culture so the businesses and ventures don’t seem to go far. Unless we do something geared more to a global audience but then we label the Black business owner as a sell out. WE spend more time tearing each other down and throwing shade rather than lift each other up. I’m speaking generally of course. It can start by having pride in things more important than superficial clothes, shoes and hair, twirking-maybe getting good grades, acting respectable, excelling at something other than sports sometimes (all the things normally are called acting white). WE have amazing diversity and the ability to be so much better but we can’t do that when we don’t take ownership of all facets of our culture and strive for something better.

      • bigdede

        But wasn’t Cindy Luper that singer from the 80’s wearing this style? I am a child of the 80’s and I can recall her wearing braids on the side of her head. A bunch of kids in school started doing it because of her. And she had her braids in different colors. Let’s start talking about relevant stuff ppl.

      • Dee

        I AGREE! We need to remind ourselves that we come from Kings and Queens. And I def agree with your comment about misspellings and bad grammar being accepted. Sites like this and other black publications (as well as award shows, stores, events, etc) should hold themselves up to the same standard that their “white” counterpart does. There shouldn’t be THAT much of a difference in execution between the CMA’s and the BET awards

    • jessrey

      That’s something that’s has been going on since the the beginning if US history and even before that.

  • wveronica7

    what does WASP mean?

    • Raimi Nicte

      white anglo-saxon protestant

    • charingb

      My bad. What Raimi said.

    • dddooonnnttt

      White people, but upper crust, preppy, old money types.

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