MadameNoire Featured Video

‘Top Five’ New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theater
Featuring: Coco Austin
Where: New York, New York, United States
When: 03 Dec 2014
Credit: Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/
**Not available for publication in Germany, Poland, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia**

When I see a white woman on the street with braids I think two things: “Interesting” and “She must have a Black man.” It’s really only when we’re talking about a feature in a magazine or fashion campaign that I let my mind wander all the way to cultural appropriation because in those instances brands are literally taking something from our culture and trying to sell it off to theirs. But on the street — or even the ‘gram — I just don’t have the energy required to be upset, given all the other gripes I have with white women that come much higher on my list.

But it seems a button was pushed last week when Ice-T’s wife Coco got the braids everyone has referred to as “Beyonce braids” or “Lemonade braids” ever since the singer debuted her visual album last year with a set of long blond cornrows. But Coco, well, she referred to them as the “Coco swoop” when she showed off her new style on Instagram and, apparently, all Internet hell broke loose — if you let her tell it.

Though that post went up more than a week ago, it was Sunday that Coco decided to “address the hate” shall we say. And as these things usually go, she went from explaining that calling her hair the “Coco-swoop” was just a “Coco-ism” — something she does with all hairstyles — to declaring braids are not a race thing, but a “human thing.”

Sis was trying, but the argument simply wasn’t strong enough, as she failed to see the difference between her and Beyonce actually is a race thing. Beyonce also didn’t rename her braids and the bigger thing Coco fails to see is that the issue some may have with her hairstyle isn’t what she called it, it’s the fact that she, a white woman, is wearing it.

Of course, if you look at her page now there’s nothing but love and affirmations of “do you boo,” all of which makes me question whether that many people really had an issue with her look or her “Coco-ism” to begin with. At this stage in the game most of us have bigger fish to fry. The real race issue here might be another white woman making herself a victim of “hate” when she’s really not. But you tell me. Does it bother you when white women wear braids? Was Coco off for calling her style the “Coco swoop”?

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