The LA Times Covers Cornrows, the Hot New Trend for White Ladies

Illustration for article titled The LA Times Covers Cornrows, the Hot New Trend for White Ladies

Friends, readers, ladyfolk, I believe we are being trolled. I believe we are being trolled by major newspapers and fashion magazines through a series of willfully ignorant and low-key racist articles where they attempt to completely erase black people from the very styles and trends that they created.


They must be trolling us because I simply do not want to believe that these people are as utterly stupid as they are making themselves look.

It was just a hot minute ago that Vogue looked a damn fool by suggesting that big butts are a new trend. They were followed by the New York Times and later the whole "urban fabulous" baby hairs debacle. Now, we have yet another major newspaper showing its ass. In a roundup of fall hair trends, the Los Angeles Times wrote a blurb about cornrows without mentioning a single black woman.

You think they would have learned their lesson the first time around when Marie Claire was dragged for tweeting that Kendall Jenner was taking "bold braids to an epic new level."

Truly, it's almost too stupid to believe that this is happening again. I won't even insult your intelligence by explaining that black people have been wearing cornrows pretty much since we figured out we had hair because you are a person with eyes.

The very first—VERY FIRST—line of the article reads: "Move over, Bo Derek."

Yes, the first person that Ingrid Schmidt of the Los Angeles Times thinks of when she thinks of cornrows is a white lady. Crediting Bo Derek in an article about cornrows is literally the exact same joke that was made when Black Twitter went in on Vogue for their "big butts are a trend now" story.


Schmidt continues:

Far from the bead-bedecked cornrows and plaits the actress wore in the 1979 film "10," cornrows with a punk vibe have shown up recently on model Cara Delevingne, singer Rita Ora and actress Kristen Stewart, as well as on the Alexander McQueen, DKNY and Marchesa runways. Madeline Brewer in "Orange Is the New Black" was another forerunner of the trend.


It's almost as if Schmidt deliberately went out of her way to dig for examples of any white woman who has ever worn cornrows so as not to utter the name of a black person.

If Schmidt came out and just said, "Hey, white women are just now discovering cornrows even though they have obviously existed forever," that would have been fine. WHATEVER. I can understand that being a story. But by not referencing a single black person, she is implicitly suggesting that these white women truly are the harbingers of this trend.


She then spoke to some white male hairstylist named Jon Reyman who just says "fuck it" and blatantly insults black people: "'Cornrows are moving away from urban, hip-hop to more chic and edgy,' says Reyman."

He is directly contrasting things that are "urban," which is often a codeword for "black," with style, elegance and creativity. Personally, I would say that creating trends that are so incredibly dope that white people cannot stop themselves from stealing them is pretty "edgy," but I'm just an urban. What do I know?


Reyman continued because his entire foot was not yet in his mouth.

Just one cornrow or a couple on the side is really cool [as opposed to a headful], but they have to be on the right person with the right clothing. Obviously, McQueen is very gothic and strong, so that customer is looking for that Elizabethan or 'Game of Thrones' edginess.


As opposed to a headful, you know, like black people. That might as well have been what he said, because who do you most commonly see wearing a headful of cornrows? BLACKITY BLACK BLACK PEOPLE.

And maybe I missed every single one of those days in history class throughout my entire education, but I don't recall seeing a lot of cornrows on Elizabeathan women. Reyman clearly doesn't know what the actual fuck he is talking about, but why would the LA Times even allow that nonsense to be published?


WE'RE NOT EVEN DONE, GUYS. Here is the kicker from our friend Jon Reyman: "A French braid is actually just a large cornrow."

A French braid is actually just a large cornrow. A French braid is actually just a large cornrow. A French braid is actually just a large cornrow. That line is an Onion article come to life.


I have no more clever anger for this shit. Fuck this. Fuck whoever at the LA Times allowed this to be published. And fuck all the people who continue to erase black people from the culture we created, cultivated and for some reason, chose to share with the world.



Image via Getty; gif via


Global Beet

I'm just patiently waiting to hear from the gaggle of Jez commenters who love to say cultural appropriation does not exist. Or better yet the people who will inevitably compare this to black women using relaxers.