Another day, another case of gross cultural appropriation. Norway-based beauty vlogger Gilan Sharafani, who made a tutorial for Bantu knots and called them “Big Heatless Curls”.
After uploading the video, it was shared on Girls Creativity, a popular beauty tutorial page on Facebook. There, it received thousands of comments, most of them negative.
People have pointed out that Sharafarani mentions the technique without even mentioning the source: that this is a hairstyle mostly worn by black women who have natural hair, and that its origins go back to southern Africa, many generations ago.
And many black women still rock the hairstyle, from the girl you see on the street every day to world-famous celebrities like Rihanna.
“They’re called ‘Bantu knots’ if you must appropriate our stuff, please put some respect on the name.”
“Pardon you? We Africans have been doing this for centuries, this is nothing new, I don’t care if you do it too, just give credit where it’s due! Also, this particular method isn’t meant for your texture of hair so it didn’t come out properly.”
A lot of the commenters were bitter because, as they put it, society finds it acceptable for white women to wear their hair in such a way; however, when a black woman tries the same, she gets criticism and ridicule for it.
This is sadly accurate; we live in a world where black girls and women are shamed for rocking natural hairstyles, to the point that they are suspended from school, fail job interviews or even fired from their workplace.
Only a few weeks ago, a black woman entered a salon and the stylist told her that her curls were an animal that cannot be tamed.
Sharafani obviously heard about the criticism, and she was quick to defend herself. She claimed that until she got all that hate, she’d had no idea that the “big heatless curls” were actually an African hairstyle.
“If you want me to call it Bantu Knots, then it’s Bantu Knots.”
Cultural appropriation has been at an incredible high of late, with white-centric magazines and celebrities taking black hairstyles and giving them a new name as if expecting no one will notice.
With the massive reach of social media, hopefully, this is something that will end. Anyone can adopt the style of another culture if they wish, but they should give credit where it is due.
Lamekia Hopkins says
That’s what they are!!!-so why is it a problem?
Lamekia Hopkins says
I do this to curl my hair!!
Vivian Lino says
OMG! Seriously? Lets relax really. so many real issues in the world and this woman getting “hate” over a hairstyle.
Alicia Kerr says
That is just stupid. That is what they are.
What an excellent idea!
Kesha Keysha Keisha says
Shes trying to act like she came up with it on her own, like women of color haven’t been doing it for years. Thats the issue with it.
Karen Ross Thomas says
Its jus perceived that way because the media dont show us So when we see then wearing whats customarily a sisters style we feel some type a way like dont copy us who else they gonna copy we set the pace for style
Lorina Armstrong says
Sparqel somebody finally called this heffa on this madness smh
Yolanda Hill says
Cornrows or crown rolls depending on deep southern accent.
Hudson Valley Crochet Braids By Constance says
Amazing post I <3
Jammin Jay says
People around the world have been doing this for centuries. I guess it’s just called different things depending on your culture and where you are from
Cairo Star says
Cuz she’s an idiot
Lauryn McKay says
I’m glad someone called her out smdh
Karen Ross Thomas says
hair styles are for everybody who have hair Lil grls brush their cats an dogs so stop it
Layemi Morgan says
OR maybe it’s actually a Norwegian way that people curl their hair, and it happens to look like Bantu Knots? Smh why do we always want to criticize people without even knowing the full story.
Montrena 'Poochie' Branch says
So freaking what..the shit is heatless smh…damn
Terri Poindexter says
How can anyone in touch with popular culture NOT know this? It’s been called out before.
Valerie Johnson says
They are not going to call them Bantu knots y’all lol…they are far from Africa…I want to see the finished product though…I never thought of using this for curls because it seems like it would come out messy…
Meya's Styles says
Oh lawd…yawl are embarrassing
How will anyone take cultural appropriation seriously if we get outraged at everything? Every.little.thing? This woman is from Norway, how is she supposed to know what a Bantu knot is? And can we really claim that only African’s and people of African descent use this style?
Easy. . the internet. People have made money millions of it off the backs of people who they steal stuff from. We don’t have to go back far either.