Social Media Is In An Uproar Over ‘Cosmo’ Appropriating This Hairstyle

February 13, 2016  |  

From Kylie Jenner’s cornrows to Katy Perry’s gelled baby hairs to fashion week runways being full of controversial trolls from head-to-toe, the latest reiteration of a traditionally black element of style, as it pertains to women especially, has been revealed. This time around, yet another hairstyle is on the chopping block and being re-imaged.

Earlier this week on Thursday (Feb. 11), Cosmopolitan posted an article stating that “hair tattoos,” commonly known to the masses as undercuts, were the next big trend in hair. Next?

Twitter

Twitter

For those that may not be hip to undercuts, it’s basically a haircut where the back and sides of your hair is cut very short or shaven. It’s definitely an edgy look for those who are all about making a statement with their mane, but honestly there’s nothing new about this look at all.

Nevertheless, Cosmo went on to explain that Allure actually discovered the trend first:

“When singer Madison Beer posted a “gooood morning” photo to Instagram last week, all anyone could talk about was her hair. It looks like a simple top knot at first, but if you look closely, you can see the back of her head is shaved into a cool pattern.

And she’s not the only one rocking this hair trend. It’s called a Hair Tattoo, reports Allure.com, and it’s blowing up on Instagram. One girl showed exactly what it looks like both down and pulled up. The “tattoo” is totally hidden and then — surprise!”

Unfortunately, it’s clear that Cosmo didn’t care to give credit where credit was actually due when it came to this article. Ever heard of Kelis? Maybe Cassie? Or Rihanna? What about Lala? Mel B? Laurie Ann Gibson?  All of those Black women and many more have rocked this style, influenced many others to do the same, and stamped it as a full-on hair trend years ago. You also can’t forget about rappers in the ’80s and ’90s like Big Daddy Kane either — it’s a long lineage of this hairstyle in the Black community.

While this style isn’t just a “Black” style that can only be worn by “Black” people, an element of our community has once again been appropriated and spun as some sort of new trend by a majority white publication without recognition. And of course, when Twitter (primarily Black Twitter) got a hold of the news, reactions were abundant, declaring disapproval of Comso’s article. Soon after, the publication pulled both the tweet and the article from their site and social media pages.

Are you with us on this one or what? Continue scrolling to see what Twitter users had to say using the hashtag #CosmoHeadlines:

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  • MonicaT

    I’m so cracking up at The Puff! The new hairstyle your boss finds appropriate and never needs to speak to you about it. WOW!!!!

  • layah2010

    either way, white ppl didn’t come up with it. I mean geeze, what culture do they have? Incest? Yodeling? Guys wearing skirts?

  • Guest

    I don’t understand how these large publications don’t do their research. There is nothing new under the sun, as soon as people get that, the better it will be to give proper information and credit.

    • bedot

      they don’t do their research bc they are not interested in anything outside of what white, young, “attractive”, models and entertainers are doing. THAT is the entire spectrum as far as they are concerned — nothing else exists. we (ppl of color) and what we do as it relates to pioneering, trendsetting, breaking molds isn’t even on their radars because they cast such short and narrow nets when it comes to beauty and style. they would argue, i bet, that they DO do their research — but where they look doesn’t include us. they never say “let’s see if there are some other groups of people, other cultures, something other than young, white, blondes that may have done this thing first. let’s make sure we pay homage properly.”

      no indeed because, privilege.

  • Masterpieced

    Truce. Sisters stop the weaves if you want to own this style then WEAR IT YOUR DAMNED SELVES!

    • Chanda

      Some already do. Not every Bw rely on weaves.

  • Tebogo

    Well it’s hideous anyway, so cosmo can have it.

  • enlightenment

    *Yawn* Is that it? I honestly cannot get myself to care about this sh**. Someone thinking Madison Beer started some undercut trend does not affect my life at all.

  • heyheyno

    The point is….Cosmo ignored people who have rocked these styles only years before and called it new. Not sure where it originated from but it seems they didn’t take anyone into account smh.

  • Trisha_B

    I cried at the seasoning tweet lmao

  • Invitado

    There is no such thing as a black Latino. Latin people are white and descendant from European Latins. No Latin person recognizes a Negra who happens to speak Spanish because that is the language the Latin sl@ve masters forced upon them, but it is well known that Hispanic Blacks are not latin!

    • Raze

      If they are born in Latin America, then they are just as LATIN as any crummy white Latino.

    • Lex

      Give it a rest k?

  • Femmebott

    How can this article possibly forget to mention Salt n Pepa? They were the first I saw w/ this cut and Pepa said it was by accident….

    • Chanda

      Pepa mentioned something about a relaxer taking her hair out the side and just took the style from there.

  • Oh please

    It’s the lack of giving credit where credit is due. It’s ok to rock the style, just reference it correctly.

  • Lisa

    Do black people have trademarks, copyrights, or patents on any of this stuff? If the answer is no, then move on.
    Obviously this style is not new but maybe it is new to the millennial readers of Cosmopolitan. I can remember black guys and some white ones cutting designs in their fades in high school in the mid 1980s (before Rihanna was even born), not to mention the same style elements being worn at the time by punk rock performers such as Cyndi Lauper. I guess everyone was allowed to wear any style they pleased without being accused of “appropriation” and having to justify and “give credit” to random entities.

    • PeoplePlease7

      So called professional media outlets should be held to professional journalistic standards regardless of the topic or the outlet and do a pinch of research before posting content. Otherwise, you wind up with a cultural free for all where people get labeled as innovators or trendsetters even if they were influenced by (or stole) from others.

  • Da Black Capitalist

    I think Cosmo goes out of its’ way to offend the hypersensitive hacks in a bid to keep its’ name in the headlines and sell those magazines. Eh, never mind, life isn’t that interesting.

  • Da Black Capitalist

    What a waste of energy and time.

  • Nothing new!

  • Mr. 215

    Oh sweet baby Jesus, whine, whine, whine! So what, it’s a hair style people so what! Black men and women started straightening their hair years and years ago to emulate who? But you don’t see them whining and crying about black women doing this do you? You women literally buy natural and synthetic hair to look like white women! The hypocrisy is so real and pathetic!

    • Secret87

      No the texture I bought is usually Brazilian. And many of them of blk.

      • Mr. 215

        Not even you believe that! We live in America, not Brazil, what about black women with blonde hair? Still Brazilian, LoL!!!

        • cecil toungsi

          You do know there are black people with blonde hair right?

          • Mr. 215

            Albinos and mixed black folks yes, you know exactly what I am talking about.

            • cecil toungsi

              Ignorance is bliss. You’re on the internet a simple search would help cure that and you don’t even try. Whose fault is that? I’m black light skin and I have natural red hair and I’m not mixed. There is a lot of folks in Africa that are just like that: blonde, red hair, blue eyes, green eyes with their dark skin.They are not albinos or mixed. Some white anthropologists test them thinking they were mixed, they just found out some had some of the oldest dna in the world giving them the abilities to evolve and produce different outcomes.Now find something else to define or limit our blackness.

              • Mr. 215

                Right, so that’s why the weave industry is a BILLION dollar business, and American black women are the bulk of that money appropriating white culture. Waiting for the next excuse in 3, 2, 1………

                • cecil toungsi

                  You think by counting I won’t say anything?
                  First of all: excuse for what? That’s their money and they spend it how ever they want. They can’t appropriate anything if they find it in its natural state in their own culture.
                  Second if the weave industry is so good, why don’t you invest in the weave instead of coming here trying to lecture people on something you clearly have no clue about.
                  Last time I heard the porn industry is doing very good as well, just wonder who is the bulk of that money MR.215? What are you trying to appropriate? Just a rhetorical question by the way.
                  Like I said internet is your friend, read more and watch less you might learn something and save a child in the process.

                • cecil toungsi

                  I’ve said it and I don’t see my comment. So let try it again the p*rn industry is also doing very pretty good and american men are the bulk of that money. What are you trying to appropriate? Are you trying to compensate on anything? By the way, just a rhetorical question.

          • Secret87

            Thank you.

        • Secret87

          Mines was shipped from Brazil. Yes still Brazilian.

    • Da Black Capitalist

      Twitter is pathetic, don’t expect much.

    • D. R. Maggie

      Appropriation vs. Assimilation. Google is your friend.

      • Mr. 215

        Whatever, excuses, excuses it’s all whining and you all know it, now make sure you all change that out or else you will grow mold! I wish that was a joke but, it has happened unfortunately. Stop “appropriating” white culture and learn how to do your own kinky, curly, beautiful black hair.

        • D. R. Maggie

          Oh I have. I wear an Afro most of the time but every 3 months or so do braids or crochet. Take your hate for black women elsewhere

    • AmbeRussell

      when have blacks claim to creating the trend of straightening hair or having it. most ppl aint even thinking about how “white” they will look, rather how easy to manage their hair it will be.

      • Mr. 215

        Okay I see your point, and for a lot of black women that is the case, so why is it when Kylie Jenner cornrows her hair it’s all these assumptions made about here motives or motivation for styling her hair in such a fashion? Black women want the benefit of the doubt, but don’t want to give it back, that’s my issue with all this and why I think this issue is silly and petty. I am quite sure that white women everywhere aren’t thinking about how they are going to steal or appropriate black culture.

        • AmbeRussell

          that is true, but on the kylie jenner note, we seen the media praise her for wearing faux locs, but zendaya was dissed. the issue is when black women do something and the outside world discredit them or say it is not ok, but when a whiite woman does it, it is edgy or cool and something NEW. i saw a website countdown the best cornrows and all of the women where white. there is no culture behind straight among white people where cornrows there is a deeper rooted connection for blacks. and yes, it becomes very silly when to think every white woman with braids is copying blacks and for black women with blond weaves to be mad and make excuses for their image. but when your image was deemed bad, and u see others deemed beautiful or good, and brain washed to view black as ugly, you will see more straight hair and less natural hair.

    • Guestest1

      Straight hair doesn’t make black women look white.. and that is not why black women go out and buy weave. You have no idea what you’re talking about. You men put white women on such high pedestals that you forget that whites aren’t the only race with straight hair.

    • Guest

      Lol! Your ignorance is astounding!! People are speaking out about giving proper credit to a trend, not that white women can’t wear it. When black publications start calling the Farrah Fawcet or the Rachel cut the new hair trend that started with BW, then your comment would make sense.

      But seeing as how you make a lot of ignorant post about BW on this blog, not surprise you completely miss what the article was about. I get it though, caping for white women from the hypocrisy monster is a hard job, but clearly somebody’s got to do it.

      • Chanda

        One of the most honest posts on here. It’s not about telling people how to wear there hair but giving credit where it’s due. Let’s just sweep past the Black people/celebs that have been doing this for decades and take all the credit for it. I hate that. Hope they learned their lesson but probably not.

        • Mr. 215

          So, everytime any white person styles their hair In a fashion that is considered “black” they must give props on say where it comes from! Again, whine, whine, whine.

          • MonicaT

            Stop whining it’s not becoming of a man!

          • Guest

            Lol! The irony of telling BW to stop whining while doing it yourself. Truly comical.

  • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

    Lol black twitter always gets em!

  • cryssi

    Did they do their research to insure that this style was in fact new? No, my big sister got it done on the tail end of the trend once she turned 18 in the mid-90s.

    Now I don’t know specifically where or when the trend started, or with whom for that matter, but I do know that it is not “new”.

    Appropriation? Eh, maybe. Poor journalism? Definitely.

  • Annamuffin

    I wanted to do a under cut up under my curls but I don’t want to mess up my hair….

  • cecil toungsi

    The thing is: they know where those styles come from but like always they pretend it started few days ago instead of giving credit where it’s due.

  • IntrovertedSE

    No surprise here. Cosmo is a disgrace.

  • StylesbyFelicia Styles

    As black woman this trend didn’t begin with us either. Latinas and Pacific Islanders have wore this DECADES before we did.

    • Loser

      The article is about White people in general appropriating stealing other cultures hair, clothing, etc when other cultures created it. Please stop derailing it into something else.

      • StylesbyFelicia Styles

        We can’t claim something that was never ourselves to begin with, that’s exactly what appropriation is. Don’t have to clear eyes when it’s done to us then turn a blind eye when we doing it.

        • cecil toungsi

          From a black woman to another, try to learn more about us. You’d be amazed.

        • Purple Sound

          “We’re” not claiming anything The author made it crystal clear that this was never an exclusively Black hairstyle. You said Latinas and Pacific Islanders were rocking this longer than Black people have. Cultural appropriation (there goes that word again…) by Whites isn’t just limited to Blacks. It’s inclusive to all minorities: people of color, period.

      • Secret87

        Toms deserve a voice too.

        Anyway blks been doing this since I was a little girl and we didn’t get the idea from anya one.

        • Lex

          Lmao!!!!!

      • Invitado

        Latins are not black and have never worn our hair this way. Latins are descendants of Europeans.

        • AmbeRussell

          umm, latinos are descendants of africans and the natives and european settlers. why else do we see so many black latin people who are dark skin or have nappy hair.

    • cecil toungsi

      It began with us. The fact is many things began with africans. Those hair styles start with african warriors and hunters to blend with their environment and sometimes scare away the enemies. They will even go as far as make body signs trough scarifications in different rituals. It’s all from Africa: the land of beginnings.

      • Da Black Capitalist

        You have no idea what you’re talking about. What a hack lmfao.

      • Christine

        What? K. I’m not even going to get into this. Just please remember Africans aren’t homogenous; you shouldn’t refer to them as such.

        • cecil toungsi

          Trust me I know how non homogenous africans are. My name should give you a hint. And despite what you think Africa is still a place and inhabitants from there are called africans. Right?
          I wish I could even teach you how homogenous africans are and that we were divided by Europeans when making countries. There were kingdoms before interacting with each other through marriages, trades and wars. Some kingdoms were assimilated, destroyed and created depending on the results of the interactions. So as much as we would like to think we are not homogenous, the reality is something else.
          Now the cultures are different. South africa culture is different from west africa, east africa and central in “general” . But if you go into details, you’ll find out that there are similarities. My name could be from south, east and west africa because my ancestors when running away from the arab invasion in Egypt at some point separated, some stayed and settled on the central and east africa band, while some thought it was safe to keep moving down south africa.
          So anything else?

          • Christine

            Um not only does your reply take what I said entirely out of context, but you contradict yourself as well. You should reread your response and figure that out; good luck with that. Also, “African” is a proper noun, it takes a capital.

            • cecil toungsi

              Oh I’m very conscious about africa. At least I answered your question. I could tell you again why I don’t care about the capital on the “a” of africa. Because that’s not the original name of that land. It was Kam, Kemet, Kemi, Kmt changed by explorers and conquerers. Now happy?

              • Christine

                I didn’t say you weren’t “conscious”, and I didn’t have to. You have demonstrated, yourself, how “conscious” you are about “africa”. Also, you didn’t answer my question, because I didn’t have one to begin with. I haven’t asked you a single question; I’ve been observing your “consciousness” and how you’re able to spring from one topic to the next without really saying anything significant or relevant to the issue at hand. I feel so enlightened having engaged in this discussion with you; you’ve really opened my eyes. Who would’ve thought that “africa” wasn’t a thing until it was made one? *Gasp!* I guess the idea that words have an etymology means nothing, especially compared to the lessons you can give us on “origins”. You should consider writing academic papers (that is, if you’re not doing so already; forgive the assumption); you’re very skilled in getting to the root of an argument and addressing/responding to it, or simply building one yourself. You’re very, very skilled. *Kudos!* (By the way, you forgot to cite the source of your claims. Academic writing 101 girl! <<<<<<<<<<<<.)

    • Genuinesol

      *Sigh* Another person that thinks “Latina” is a racial designation and ignores the millions of Latinas that are black. Then they state that this “trend” did not start with “us” when the Egyptians, Ethiopians, and several African ethnic groups in Nigeria, Congo, Angola, Namibia, and Senegal have been putting marks on their skin and scalps for centuries. There is even photo proof but…carry on. I just despair sometimes.

      • StylesbyFelicia Styles

        Photographic proof huh, that only account for that last 150 years. Yes civilization began in Africa but that does not mean everything was created there. Yes Latina is not a racial designation but is a ethnic identification and the was the context in which I used it. Black is a term that’s not interchangeable in the case of all Latinas.

        • Oh please

          No it’s not. You are either black or you or not. It’s funny you say that because I have read where Zoe Saldana herself has had to correct reporters in DR. when they tried to refer to her as “Dark Skinned”. She had to tell them…No I’m Black! Latinas may chose to PRETEND they are not black, but their dark skin and kinky hair tells the world the truth! always has.

          • Secret87

            Can’t run from that kinky hair. Even Beyonce got to face hers when alone.

          • Invitado

            Blacks are not LATIN! Latins are white and beige and are descendant from European Latins. The Hispanic blacks came from slavery.

            • Oh please

              No they are not all descendants from European Latins. First of all there is no such thing as European Latins. People from Spain are European. Period! They do not like nor do they appreciated being referred to as Latin, or Latina. Latins are from Latin America, that’s number one. number two, I’m not going argue with you on anything you just wrote…it’s bigoted and ignorant. I will however issue a challenge to you, try to get a Spanish passport. If you are so sure you are descended from Spain just try it. That is the very reason you all come to the us instead of trying to go to Spain. They won’t let you in NOR will they issue you passports. You have to be able to trace your ancestry directly back to Spain in order to get a passport and most of you cannot. Back to a combination of slave and indigenous people sure….but no further.

            • Guest

              Lol! Your ignorance is hysterical!!!, but at least it’s good for one thing. Hilar!!!

              • Oh please

                really! Do you know any people from Spain because I do and NOTHING pisses them off more than being referred to as Latin! They are European and they don’t mind stopping you and telling you so. I have heard them stop Latino’s (one guy in particular who was from PR) and tell them, I am not Latino I am European. Spain is literally in Europe! It’s part of the European Union!

                • Guest

                  Sweetheart I think you’re lost. Not one thing in your comment relates to what I wrote. But nice effort though.

                  • Oh please

                    AND right. Everything I wrote was correct.

                    • Guest

                      “AND right. Everything I wrote was correct.”–Yet still, none of it relates to my comment.

                  • Oh please

                    AND right. Everything I wrote was true.

                    • Guest

                      “AND right. Everything I wrote was true.”–Yet still, none of it relates to my comment.

        • Oh please

          @sylesbyfelicia. Someone should tell Zoe Saldana that. She says she’s black….and she’s not the only one. Black is an ethnicity. Zoe Saldana is literally dark of skin..ie black!

      • Invitado

        Latin is a race designation and Latins have sraight, wavy hair and Latin features and do not wear their hair this way. This is for afro hair.

        • Oh please

          Latins are people born in Latin America Period! No matter how hard you try to make it something else the REST OF THE WORLD knows better.

          • Mr. 215

            Don’t waste your breath, they will keep making excuses. Oh wait, here it comes!

        • Oh please

          If you are so sure you’re right, try to get a European Passport. You cant do it! Try to immigrate to Spain. They don’t want you. That’s why Latino/Latinas come to the US overwhelmingly. The cannot gain entrance or citizenship in Spain!

        • Lex

          Straight, wavy hair?????

    • Myllee

      Peuls an ethnic group in Africa hve been doing this for centuries

    • Guest

      If you’re talking about the 80’s with “DECADES” then yeah, balck people were doing it back then too.