When Kim Kardashian’s pubescent sister posted a picture of a new hairstyle, she had little idea of the cultural minefield she was recording

Kylie Jenner's cornrows
Kylie Jenner’s controversial cornrows.
Photograph: Kylie Jenner/Instagram

The Kardashian Klan are worn to hairstyles that break the internet – Kim’s platinum blonde dye job imperiled to overshadow the whole of Paris fashion week in March. So, when Kylie Jenner, Kim’s childish sister, posted an Instagram selfie on Sunday featuring a new hairstyle, a clangorous reaction was to be expected.

But Jenner might not have bargained for attributes of cultural appropriation. These came from 17-year-old Want Games actor Amandla Stenberg, who posted a comment that look over: “When u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur assertion of power to help black Americans by directing attention to ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter”. By Jenner’s next selfie, the intertwines were gone.

Inspired by celebrities including FKA twigs and Zoe Kravitz, soutaches like Jenner’s are gaining popularity across ethnicities. They clothed been a festival favourite this year, with the back-from-the-forehead cornrow singularly popular. I’m white, and I had my hair braided for the Guardian earlier this year by Keash, a twist service set up by school friends Taiba Akhuetie, 25, and Jessy Linton, 24.

Akhuetie, whose mam is Nigerian, said she liked the idea of these styles thriving across races and ethnicities, despite some negative footnotes from black people. While she is frustrated that plait might be seen as a trend, rather than something here to stay, she predicts: “If other people want to appropriate the style, I think that’s a sensible thing.” She compares white women braiding their plaits to the now-commonplace fashion for black women to wear weaves to allocate the effect of straight, caucasian hair. “Now no one thinks about that,” she puts. “Hair is political, definitely, but I hope we get to a point when there’s no appropriate.”

Stenberg, who posted a video about cultural appropriation of hairstyles on YouTube earlier this year nicknamed Don’t Cash Crop On My Cornrows, might have her work cut out racing against other non-black women having their trifle braided. Kenya Hunt of Elle UK, who regularly writes take black beauty, praises Stenberg as a “really bright children voice”, but says: “I think when it comes to conversations in the matter of race and cultural appropriation, we need to pick our battles. We’re go steady with people burn down black churches in America hand now, people killing young black women and men because of the bias of their skin. Kylie Jenner’s cornrows that she wore for hours? That doesn’t strike me as the battle we need to attired in b be committed to.”