MadameNoire Featured Video

Comedian and singer Franchesca Ramsey ripped into TikTok beauty influencer Isabelle Lux for Columbusing box braids. This behavior, typically attributed to individuals of Caucasian descent, occurs when someone asserts to have found something integral to another culture, community, or tradition for centuries as if it were a novel or unrecognized phenomenon.

In a video posted to Instagram on March 28, Ramsey slammed Lux for claiming that she “discovered” the long-flowing box braids of TikTok chef and model Nara Smith.

Stitched together with a video of Smith flaunting a fresh set of micro box braids, Lux gushed that she had always dreamed of sporting the style as a little girl.

Each time her family ventured to a tropical destination, Lux’s parents would take her to get her hair braided. However, Ramsey wasn’t pleased with the TikToker’s admiration for the century-old African hairstyle. The comedian sang a song called “Colonizer” — a hilarious rendition of Britney Spears’s “Womanizer”— to express her frustration about Lux’s blatant act of Columbusing.

“Girl, don’t try to front. No, I know just who you are,” Ramsey belted as she plucked away at a ukulele. “Our hair, our lips, our hips, down to our fingertips. You’re nothing but a colonizer.”

To add insult to injury, Ramsey began impersonating Spears’ distinct vocal twang when she launched into the hilarious song’s chorus.

“You’re a colonizer,” she crooned.

“Move over #Columbus this girl just ‘discovered’ Nara Smith #braids,” the Lemme Fix This podcast host captioned the funny video.

In the comments section, several users joined in on clowning Lux’s cultural appropriation. Some defended the TikTok star.

“Truly hope she gets those braids,” one fan penned with sarcasm,” to which Ramsey replied, “Cut to next week when her hair is falling out and she’s crying lol.”

Another fan commented, “First day of tropical vacay, the appropriation braids. Second day, sunburnt as hell.”

A third user chimed in, “I’d like to see her sit to get her whole head braided that tightly with that many braids. I bet she taps out before they get halfway. Our scalps are not trained for this, lol.”

Ramsey’s “Colonizer” song also sparked some backlash from viewers. One woman stepped in to defend Lux, noting how not “every white person in their twenties” was trying to colonize Black hairstyles, but Ramsey put things into perspective for the Instagrammer.

She argued how, historically, Black women have been “policed” and faced discrimination and ridicule for wearing their natural hair and cultural hairstyles, such as braids, while white women have often been praised and “profited” from adopting the same styles.

“Not sure how this woman’s age is relevant. Even so, intent doesn’t absolve one’s impact,” the comic penned.“It’s not any less appropriate just because the person doesn’t mean it to. Black women are still policed for our natural hairstyles, while white women profit off aesthetics popularized and created by Black women. That doesn’t change because someone’s in their 20s or isn’t trying to be appropriate. Our actions don’t happen in a vacuum.”

Ramsey also schooled a white woman in the comments who argued that Lux shouldn’t have been labeled a colonizer for expressing “cultural appreciation” for a style that people of all backgrounds and races wear.

“Girl, it’s 2024. I’m not going to explain the difference between appropriation and assimilation to you,” she penned. “Also, the irony of you having Black Lives Matter in your bio & then hopping in my comments to whitesplain lolol.”

Underneath the comment, one user implored the woman to look up the complexities of Black people wearing their hair in its natural state. She cited The CROWN Act, a law enacted in over 20 states that protects Black and Brown individuals from race-based hair discrimination connected to natural or protective hairstyles in the workplace, schools, and other institutions. 

The response was spot on. While Lux may have had the best intentions, there are harsh realities for Black women and individuals who choose to wear their hair in braids or other natural hairstyles that she may never experience sporting the unique look.

Black individuals often face subtle yet damaging remarks, actions, or attitudes regarding their hair, race, or overall appearance. These microaggressions vary from disrespectful comments to biased treatment in hiring, promotion, or uncomfortable encounters with colleagues and supervisors.  

Lux definitely should have thought this one through. Really? Nara Smith braids?!


RELATED CONTENT: Tales From TikTok: Black TikToker Calls Out White People Kicking Off 2024 With Colonizing Our New Year’s Traditions

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN