'Cosmopolitan' Receives Major Backlash for Claiming Cornrows Are a New Hair Trend


On Saturday, Cosmopolitan posted a cornrow tutorial to its Facebook page. While it might seem like nothing out of the ordinary for the women's magazine, the publication is being dragged for calling the style "double cuff mohawk braids."

Not helping matters is the caption for the video, which now has over 14,000 shares: "You've NEVER seen a braid like this before." Cosmopolitan insinuated that this is the first time its readers would have seen one of the oldest black hairstyles that originated in ancient African civilizations.


Many were quick to comment on the video, discussing the so-called "new" look. "If someone genuinely claims to have never seen braids like this, I'd encourage them to invite more ethnic people into their lives," one commenter wrote on Facebook

"Oh snap! I have see a braid like this before," a comment reads. "It's called a cornrow(s). You just loosened it up. No matter how loose or how tight a cornrow is, a cornrow is a cornrow."

Yet another: "As many black people as there are walking this earth, how are cornrows something not seen before?!?! Is white synonymous with blind?" 


In addition to critiques, some are using the blunder as a way to educate others about the issues with articles like these: Publications so often take credit for looks that have long existed within African and/or African-American culture. When black women are credited for these hairstyles, they end up being called "ghetto" or "unprofessional." Meanwhile, if white women wear them, it's "trendy." 

"Doing the style on a white person's head doesn't make the style original," someone said in a Facebook comment. 

And many are voicing their thoughts on Twitter, as well. 

This isn't the brand's first mishap. In February, it was called out for saying "hair tattoos" were the next beauty trend. A year prior, many noticed that an online article used only black models for trends that needed to "die in 2015."

Publications from E! News to Allure have previously found themselves in similar hot water, but Cosmopolitan is a magazine that often writes about these types of missteps that occur elsewhere. Just a few weeks ago, it published an article that explained the author's disdain with Justin Timberlake's constant appropriation of black culture and how often he's taken attention away from black people.

"He's been using blackness as a convenient set dressing for his entire career," Kendra James wrote. "He collects and appropriates black talent when it suits him."

Maybe Cosmopolitan should take some more time to check — and triple check — its content before preaching about cultural appropriation, something it has done. Again. And again

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