People Are Accusing Khloé Kardashian of Cultural Appropriation for Wearing Bantu Knots

Social media is outraged.

Khloé Kardashian recently uploaded a picture of herself wearing bantu knots on Twitter and Instagram, and her followers were not happy. The image sparked social media outrage due to the fact that she gave no recognition to the history of what the hairstyle actually is.

According to Us Weekly (opens in new tab), Khloé originally posted the photo with the caption, "Bantu Babe," and then promptly deleted it and posted another photo captioned: "I like this one better."

A post shared by Khloé Kardashian (@khloekardashian) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Bantu knots are a hairstyle with origins in southern Africa and are often worn by black women with natural hair. They're styled by sectioning off a strand of hair, repeatedly twisting the hair into a tight coil, and then securing it with a bobby pin. Some women choose to wear the style as knots and others unravel each coil, revealing beautiful ringlets of curls.

Black-ish actress Yara Shaidi shows in her flawless selfie video below how bantu knots are styled on natural hair:

And here are some more examples:

A post shared by Back Up Page -->Rihbelious (@rihbelmafia) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

People aren't taking issue with the fact that she wore the style but more so that she didn't at all acknowledge what the style actually is called. Khloé's bantu knot photo on Instagram, which was styled by Justine Marjan (opens in new tab), has since racked up over 14,000 comments from people calling her out for cultural appropriation.

Instagram user @NewPlanning wrote:

The problem is not you wearing Bantu knots. The problem is when the media "glorifies" non-African Americans for wearing these hairs styles that black women have worn for decades and call it a "trend" or something new. But let a black woman wear it, and we are "unprofessional" or our hair is "unkept." Then trying to give the style a new name to make it sound "trendy." That is the problem. Wear whatever style you want, but don't allow the media to bash us for the same style they call cute and trendy on you.

Commenters on Twitter are also calling her out for not acknowledging the style as bantu knots:

See more
See more
See more

Unfortunately this isn't the first time bantu knots have been culturally appropriated. There was recent controversy over Swedish vlogger, Gilan Sharafani (opens in new tab), for discrediting bantu knots in her tutorial as "big heatless curls." It's important that people understand the origins of hairstyle before labeling it as something else.

Follow Marie Claire on Facebook (opens in new tab) for the latest celeb news, beauty tips, fascinating reads, livestream video, and more.

Maya Allen
Maya Allen

Maya Allen is the former Digital Beauty Editor at MarieClaire.com where she covered makeup, skincare, haircare, wellness, you name it! She has a 15-step skincare routine, owns over 200 red lipsticks, and enjoys testing the latest and greatest in beauty. On most weekends, you can find her at her happy place, which is her makeup vanity. There, she’s usually blasting her speakers while singing along to lyrics at the top of her lungs, and making sure her highlighter is on point.