Watch This Documentary on Braids and Appropriation in America | ELLE

Watch This Documentary on Braids and Appropriation in America | ELLE



Lupita Nyong’o, Young M.A, Ayana Bird, Lacy Redway, Vernon François and more talk about braids and black hair culture in America.

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Comments (50)

  • Gecko Lia Reply

    I don't understand the USA and them connecting hair to their problems with segregation, exploration of first Americans and slaves, to which to this day accounting for it and reperation is lacking.
    In Europa there was a trend with wigs in certain centuries and braids existed here at least since linear pottery time. c. 5500 BC — c. 4500. BC.
    My town is more than 2000 years old and braids were always known and existed. People didn't shampoo their hair like today and often put it in braids for a while. Yes, there is also a huge tradition in sub Sahara region of Africa but not just?! Please use such subjects to fully educate yourself.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • artkid t Reply

    cultural appropriation is complete bullshit

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • KIHYUN OWNS MY ASS Reply

    Some black people say you can't wear cornrows if you're not educated in history, so what? If I am educated should I walk around with cornrows and a degree in black history? Chill ffs

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Fleur Dixon Reply

    Actual disgusting racism is happening and y’all are worrying about people having braids?? Would any of you actually be offended if you saw a white girl with french braids. No. So let’s get over this and focus on the actual problems in the world not hairstyles.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Aalika Chalker Reply

    Funny because, I am Native American and we have been braiding our hair since the dawn of time and way before Slaves were brought here to America. So it's really not who is the first or who was the first one to braid, but yes with corn-rows, box-braids, micro-braids, crochet-braids, but braiding itself, is complete universal, but any other braid does belong to the African Americans of America.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Emilia Malkova Reply

    my Mom took me to make braids every summer, so she don't have to spend time styling them. Some time i went to school with them and everyone was fine with it. And I am russian, i have never even wonder how they were called. So who the fuck cares. In russia women were braiding thir hair always, not in this particular style but anyway.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Gerlinda137 Reply

    I hate this shit

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • FOLLOW MY INSTAGRAM ksl850g1 Reply

    Us black people can't have shit got dam it this shit is fucking crazy😂😂😂😂

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Pebbles Stone Reply

    We are going to do Our Own Thing !!!

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • anais 0011 Reply

    Don't black people know that russians and ukranians have braiding traditions as well?

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Madeleine Burns Reply

    ok no one else except for Australian's can eat tim tams

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Angela Urbina Reply

    I'm so in love with this culture and everything about to the history to what everything means….you guys are truly a blessing to thus world and such strong entrepreneurs ❤💕 much love for the culture and the people behind it❤

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • matchastick Reply

    This comment section is so sad. Literally 90% of non black people are making comments haven't actually watched the video. They just flew down to making extremely ignorant statements that make no sense. Brading hair is not something that's exclusively to African descendants, we are talking about exclusively African braiding that is being used to market and degrade the originators with. Please check your history books if seeing your hateful responses to this video isn't enough; we are discriminated and degraded and then attacked with sarcasm like "we're doing the same as approriating cars" or something else absurd. Being told were not professional, ugly, ghetto, then feel you have the sheer audacity to instead of being educated and respect this space, insult us. Which is just proving the point of every point made. Love to scream "fire" when it's subject you're passionate on God forbid when we have a issue it's just us overreacting. Don't be rude be respectful and humble yourselves. Self reflect if hate is the first thing that comes in your heart.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Taneeka smith Reply

    My grest grandmother hair naturally Straight and very very very long

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Taneeka smith Reply

    All my great hrand fathers were African and all of (their wives) were either Irish or cherokee

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Lay slays Reply

    Somebody always gotta be retarded and bring up black girls wearing weave and skin bleaching lord talk to your kids or whatever they are this is ridiculous

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Lay slays Reply

    What bothers me is exactly what the lady said AFTER WHITE WOMEN got their hair braided people started calling it beautiful and acceptable so it’s like wtf how is that even fair

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Tajmah Hall Reply

    Everyone is missing the mf point.
    It’s sad and shows that we as people don’t take the time to learn about other cultures.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Jasmin Dean Reply

    I personally don't care what someone else does with their hair. If they're not claiming to have invented the style or anything I dont see the problem. Also, my hair has personally not hindered me from getting a job. I wear my hair in a huge afro and I have never been told it was unprofessional when I was at work. I've had braids as well. Growing up I had dreads and went to majority white schools and never got bullied for my hair. I dont even remember having a desire to be lighter or have straight hair. Just my perspective though.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • skeet skeet Reply

    I've tried to do alot of research on this but it's hard to know becuase not everyone's opinions match. Some black people say white people shouldn't wear braid periodt and that if they do they're being disrespectful for even asking. Then other black people say you can Broad your hair but give credit that it isn't your culture. Then there's the opinion of it's your body no one can tell you what to do. It's such a tricky topic to try and understand but as a white person I do respect the fact that braids, dreads etc are apart of black culture and that there is history there however idk if there's a definite answer of can white people wear braids.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Sarah Ha Chalom Reply

    braids are the only way to put your hair back and out without use of hair ties or barrettes, unless you just quit brushing your hair , and no matter your ethnicity, you'll end up with dreadlocks. But I wouldn't be surprised if oppressive corporations are pushing this argument just to keep us all buying their stupid rubber bands and hair barettes. if there is an easy way to keep our hair out of our way, we will do it, no matter the ethnicity. braids have been being used forever for that exact reason, in literally every culture ever. Black culture simply got more creative with it. Who cares? We are all humans, and we are ALL oppressed now, by the globalists. There are black US soldiers overseas oppressing and beating on Middle easterners and taking control of their land. It's what happens after assimilation into this garbage! It happened to whites first, then blacks, then Native Americans, and now we are ALL part of this shit and our nation is taking over the Middle East. It's a beast and it keeps growing. Other white people who were enslaved before black people are not the enemy. The people who orchestrated this crap are the problem. We are ALL brothers and sisters. It is ALL love. and it's time we start blaming those who deserve it and loving each other.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Quing Ching Hua Rong Reply

    What annoys me is that everyone snapped at this little piece of culture appropriation, but did not care about the big fad where people appropriated Chinese culture in the 90's.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Pure Henderson Reply

    Oh my god it doesn’t really matter that much if a white girl wants to get her braided great if a black girl wants to straighten her hair go ahead like what does it even matter it’s your freaking hair I’m white and I’m 13 years old and I’ve gotten my hair braided 3 times in the past two years

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Salome Cook Reply

    Fun fact I can do literally whatever I want with my hair bc this is not that big of a deal. Hair styles don’t belong to certain people. There are so many terrible things going on in the world and you guys are talking about stupid stuff like cultural appropriation and braids. I think we should all forget about silly things like this and really try to come together and focus on what’s really important.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Salome Cook Reply

    Bro it’s just a hair style…

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • sparkleë narwhol friend Reply

    i understand how hurtful/wrong it would be to see cornrows being disapproved of for so long and then having one white girl popularize them and erase their cultural ties, and i get that that's indicative of a bigger problem (certain things being seen as bad, unprofessional, or ugly until white people do it)… but braids in general come from many other cultures, european included. for instance, my understanding is that "boxer braids" is simply two french/dutch braids going from the hairline down the back. that style is not specific to black culture or black hair…

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Kisakaw Rogers Reply

    Watching this as I cornrow my not black, non exotic hair.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Skyler Rae Reply

    They’re not saying they’re mad about other races wearing cornrows or other braided styles they’re saying they are wearing these styles and RENAMING THEM example: “Kim K braids”. They just want the credit call the styles what they are.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Blue Savage Reply

    If non-blacks are not allowed to have braids, then black people cant have straight hair.
    See how ridiculous and racist that is? Hair can be styled however you want without worrying what race you are.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Amanda Reply

    Unpopular opinion: it's funny they don't call it appropriation when black people steal white people's hair style aka straight and super long. Why can't people just wear what makes them feel good on the inside?

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Yellow Penguin Reply

    This is insane. Imagine white people being like "You can't wear jeans. That's straight up stealing. It belongs to white people."

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Yvonne Reply

    Who cares if white people get braids but if white people go and say a white person made the hairstyle then that's a problem

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Keivan Reply

    ridiculous…..FFS

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • ForeverDreamWithinADream Reply

    Do what you want with your hair. Dye, straighten it, curl it, braid, etc…whocares? Life is too sort and have too many other things that are important to worry about. People been styling hair since forever. You don't own hairstyles, nobody does, so let them be. It's all been done before, even dreadlocks have been found all over the world for centuries and many braided hair as part of their culture. Wore braids for years and nobody ever made a fuss nor is braiding in general anything new and we all know it. It is just one of many styles. You do you, I'll do me.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Charlotte-Grace Xox Reply

    French plaits aren’t black culture are they? (Genuine question don’t get mad)

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Charlotte-Grace Xox Reply

    God, this reminds me of the people that wouldn’t let you join in their game at primary school. How about we spend this much time worrying about climate change.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Yuyugen Rose Reply

    The only thing that annoys me regarding ‘black hairstyles’ is the fact that when I went to school with braids or cane rows, people started joking about my going to jail, started asking me for weed as a joke, said I looked like a gangster or a criminal, but when a white girl (who was my friend) came in with cane rows, she was pretty, trying something different, she looked so cool, brave, etc. And the unfairness of the situation really hit me because it’s not something I SHOULD have to put up with, but it’s something I DO have to put up with and I think that’s the type of racism that is associated with cultural appropriation regarding hairstyles. But in NO WAY am I saying people of other races should not wear cane rows or black braids. I’m black-white mixed and when I go with my family to Jamaica, my mum (who is white) sometimes gets her hair braided and she makes a point of asking me if I’m comfortable with it since she gets compliments on her hair and I get mocked, but I’m always fine with it. She probably knows 100x more about black history than me and makes a point to take us to slave plantations and key points in Jamaican history. I love when she has her hair done because it makes me feel connected more than anything else since people always ask me if I’m adopted since I look nothing like her. I think as long as you know where the hairstyle is coming from and the history that comes with it, you’re fine. But the fact that people have started wearing them as just another trend upsets me when I’ve been wearing them since I was young and got so much hate for it.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Mfalme Dome Reply

    Can't wait for the comments.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Hermano Mayor Reply

    It only looks really good on black women/ women with African ancestry. Its like Coca a cola or the store brand cola, Its the same but in reality its not. Its not for everybody.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Sandii 4u Reply

    Ok, so Elle needs to explain why they have black models wearing European designer clothes and straight hair.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • A Reply

    I always got called ghetto for my braids so I never liked wearing them. Struggles of being a black girl

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Keyauna Ferguson Reply

    Y'all did not watch the whole video. No one cares who wears the damn things just don't go calling them Bo Derek braids, then fire us from jobs or suspend us from school for wearing them. When we do it, it looks ghetto. When other races do it, it's cool and ethnic.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • circuswannabe Reply

    SnoowwwflAaakesss

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • circuswannabe Reply

    Idk if i really wanna watch this

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • E M Reply

    So basically everyone but white people can wear braids because if your white and you wear them you "appropriating culture". Yet nobody says anything to black people if they die their hair blonde or something… Not that I think anyone should it's just irritating that things like this even have to be talked about. I think everyone should just wear whatever and do their hair however they want as less as they aren't being mean or offensive like white girls with braids being asked: "Why you tryna be black for?" Or black women being asked when they die their hair blonde or do something that commonly white people do being asked: "why you tryna be white?" Like it doesn't have to be an issue tf

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • dfla Reply

    The thing about the term "cultural appropriation" is that it comes with stereotypes, at least from what I understand of it. Black people are offended when white people use braids, so that means that, using the same principle, people from other cultures could be offended if someone else uses something from their culture right?
    I know this case of a korean model, that his dad is african and his mother is korean. He was born and raised in korea and was raised "culturally korean". Since he was raised with the korean culture he is in his "right" to use, for example, a hanbok (a traditional Korean semi-formal or formal attire), but since he is black, people who don't know him or just see him could say that he is culturally appropriating the hanbok, because he doesn't look like a tradicional korean man, which isn't correct since he identifies more with korean culture.
    I personally don't see a problem with people using things from other cultures as long as they don't use it to disrespect/downgrade the culture.
    Now, the stigma around the use of braids, that's a different thing, because that isn't about cultural appropriation or not, but about racism. But, then again, that's just my point of view.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • robin mcgregor Reply

    I would imagine the heads were shaved to prevent a lice infestation. Nothing more.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • bte320 Reply

    Goddamn white people and their… *Shuffles deck* …hair braids!

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • McChibzMac Reply

    I think Non-Asian people using K-Beauty should also been seen as appropriation

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm
  • Krislyn Bodyk Reply

    Black people seem to think that only 'black cultures' use braids however, braids have been a hairstyle throughout history in many many many cultures including aboriginal cultures around the world, asians, vikings, etc. Just because black people use it most commonly now doesn't mean they 'own' that hair style. Just because a white person (regardless of ethnicity) uses braids doesn't mean they stole anything. The same way no one bats an eye that blacks are using Scotch Snaps in music now but no one says they're stealing.

    May 20, 2019 at 7:27 pm

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