If you haven't noticed, Kim Kardashian has been wearing her hair in braids a lot lately, and while the style, which people are calling boxer braids on social media, looks great on her and has even become much more popular since she started rocking them, is this really a new trend?
MTV UK posted an article titled "How To Do Boxer Braids" on Friday, referring to the style as the "simple double Dutch braided style" that has been taking over Instagram the past few months with the hashtag #BoxerBraids. It then gave helpful step-by-step instructions on how to achieve the look and even posted photos of a few celebrities, including Kardashian, Hailey Baldwin and Zendaya, sporting the look.
"The A-list are loving boxer braids right now," the tweet read. "So here's an easy way to do them yourself."
While there's nothing wrong with the style and people wanting to copy the look, the article is sparking a lot of backlash from people who are quickly realizing that the braids are not a "new favorite" and simply an old classic: Cornrows. So are these "new" boxer braids, aka double Dutch braids, any different than cornrows or similar braid styles like French braids that have been around for decades?
"The Dutch braid is the opposite of a French plait," hair stylist Marta Nunes explained to the Daily Mail. "You start the same by dividing the hair in two and starting with a triangular section at the hairline. You divide your triangle into three even pieces of hair. Here is where the difference begins. With a French plait you tuck strands of hair under the plait. With a Dutch braid you take it over; you reverse it so the braid is on the outside rather than on the inside."
Other websites offer tutorials on how to do Dutch braids and cornrows, and the difference is so small that you barely notice at first glance, according to Yahoo! Style. On one site, Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care, the two styles demonstrated look nearly identical while a French braid vs. a Dutch braid look very different.
"Calling the style 'boxer braids,' the British division of the music television channel made a fool of themselves and it's something that Black Twitter couldn't let go without serving hilarious clapbacks," Essence wrote, providing several tweets of people calling MTV UK's article ridiculous. "From mocking the new name of 'innovative' hairstyle to simply reminding MTV UK that this is a look Black people have been rocking for years, the reactions were priceless."
Last July, Kardashian's little sister Kylie Jenner posted a photo of herself with a similar style, and Instagram users went off on her for sporting cornrows, as HNGN previously reported. "Hunger Games" actress Amandla Stenberg even started a feud when she commented, "When u appropriate black features and culture but fail to use ur position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards ur wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter."
When Jenner responded, Stenberg, who had been open about the issue of white individuals wearing cornrows in the past, took to Twitter to respond with a long statement about cultural appropriation.
"Black features are beautiful. Black women are not. White women are paragons of virtue and desire. Black women are objects or fetishism and brutality," she wrote. "This, at least, seems to be the mentality surrounding black femininity and beauty in a society built upon eurocentric beauty standards. While white women are praised for altering their bodies, plumping their lips and tanning their skin, black women are shamed although the same features exist on them naturally."